Do we write it bumble bee or bumblebee? According to Wikipedia, it can be written either way.
Carpenter Bees vs Bumble Bees
Carpenter bees are often mistaken for bumble bees because they are very similar in appearance and do not aggressively sting people like wasps. The main way to tell the two apart is to look at their abdomen. Bumble bees have hairy abdomens, but the abdomen of the carpenter bee is black and shiny. Why do you need to know this? Well, bumble bees do not cause much harm to human beings or our property. They are excellent pollinators and rarely sting people. Unlike wasps, who can sting multiple times and are known to aggressively protect their colonies, bumble bees will only sting when they are cornered or extremely anxious and even then they are not capable of stinging multiple times. In this sense, the bees are the same. Carpenter bees are also slow to sting people. The reason carpenter bees are so harmful is that they cause extensive damage to wooden structures in and around our homes.
How Carpenter Bees Damage Wood
When the female carpenter bee wants to lay her eggs, she finds a piece of wood, preferably an untreated piece of wood – one that has not been painted, stained, or treated in any way. Once she finds her desired location, she will chew a hole straight into the structure, then turn to the side and tunnel so she can lay her eggs inside, along with some food and pollen for when the eggs hatch. She will then cover the hole with a mixture of chewed wood pulp and her own saliva. When they eggs hatch, they will emerge from the hole, easily popping through the wood pulp/ saliva mixture. If a bee finds a spot she likes, she will return to it often, either expanding upon the tunnel she has already built or creating multiple holes in the same structure. Sometimes multiple bees will pick the same structure in which to lay eggs, which can cause disastrous, costly damage.
Controlling the Situation
One simple preventative measure against carpenter bees is to treat the wood surrounding your home. If you have a deck or patio, it is wise to treat the wood with some kind of paint or stain. If carpenter bees have already taken hold on your property, it is best to call a pest control expert to prevent further damage. We recommend using a local company. Always check a pest control company for great reviews and ask about their re-treatment policy before agreeing to a service.