April 15, 2010

Bee Saga Part Deux

Posted in musings, photos tagged , , , , at 10:32 am by silversprung

Thanks to Al and JCphilatemap for commenting on my last post about our bees. Because of their tips, I figured out that our two bee friends are, in fact, one male and one female carpenter bee. From wikipedia:

Male eastern carpenter bees are curious and will investigate anyone, including humans, that comes near their nests. The curiosity is often interpreted as aggressiveness; however, the males are only aggressive to other male carpenter bees. They do not have stingers and cannot cause any real harm.

Okay, so that explains his interest in me and this next bit explains the hovering… (but mating with birds?!)

Males spend many hours guarding their territory against other males, hovering about the nests for hours on sunny days. They sometimes attempt to mate with other insects or small birds.

A weird trick to try on a male (that I will NOT be trying…)

An interesting trick to use to “move” a male carpenter bee out of the way is to pick up a small pebble (roughly the size of the bee), then toss it past the bee. They will attempt to chase it, distracting them for a few moments, long enough for a human to get by.

I decided there must be a nest for these two somewhere in our backyard. The females literally bore holes into wood to create their nests. So I started looking around, and BINGO! (Picture after the jump)

There’s the hole in the side of the deck right where we’ve been trying to sit each day! No wonder they were up in our business! So you can see in the photo the telltale perfectly round hole and the discarded wood bits that look like sawdust. Pretty cool. To the left outside the picture is another hole that faces the ground. Apparently, the female carpenter bees try to create a “T” shape tunnel for their nests.

This also explains the grinding, chewing sound I swore I heard coming from that area. It reminded me of the sound a mouse makes when chowing down, but now I realize it was the female bee digging away. It was surprisingly loud.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t solve our problem. While the male doesn’t sting, the female does, and we really can’t avoid this area of our house.

Bees 2: silversprung 0.


  1. JCphilatemap said,

    Wait until evening, when they’re in the nest, and seal up both holes with a fast-drying wood putty. They may burrow out, and decide to look elsewhere, but they may not get out.

  2. Springvale Roader said,

    Burying the two bees alive is cruel. Sure, they’re only bees, but why do something cruel to them? There must be ways to force them out, after which you can seal up the hole.

    Maybe you can blow smoke in there to get them to leave.

    Good luck.

  3. […] in musings tagged bees at 3:16 pm by silversprung After reading up on the options for dealing with our carpenter bees, I ended up spraying that hornet and wasp spray into the holes at night and now they’re dead. […]

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