Carpenter Bees

Buffy and I walked a loop around the yard before we went inside. The sun was near setting.


Carpenter bees were busy. I wasn’t sure if were looking for something or doing it.

The barn was built when the original house was here. We’ve lived here forty-plus years, and it was old when we bought the house.

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Carpenter bees are often confused with bumblebees. Both are about the same size. Carpenter bees build their nest in wood, and bumblebees nest underground. Male carpenter bees have a whitish spot on the front of their face, which wasn’t evident in the evening light.

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Carpenter bees are not social insects. They construct their nests in trees or in eaves of a house by drilling in the wood. These are the adults emerging from the nests. They overwintered in tunnels as adults.


 The barn sure has a lot of character. Besides the foxes living under it, a pair of eastern phoebe flycatchers nest in it too.


9 responses to this post.

  1. Found some interesting additional info from the web on carpenter bees:

    Eggs are laid late spring to early summer and nests may contain several eggs. After hatching they feed on pollen for a month or two before pupating to adults.

    In late summer they’ll emerge as adults and hunt for pollen until winter when both males and females hibernate. They will use pre existing nests to hibernate and these nests will many times house several bees. Once it’s warm enough the following spring, they’ll emerge seeking pollen and a mate. After mating males will die and females will both fill pre existing and new nests with new eggs. Females will live most of the summer but usually not two winters.


  2. Posted by Tree Lover Therese on April 15, 2015 at 11:18 am

    Great post, as usual. I especially love the picture of the barn!


  3. With a good roof on it that barn should last generations. It’s a beauty!
    I had carpenter bees in my shed last year.


  4. What a wonderful old structure.


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