Carpenter Bee      (Xylocopa virginica)

Carpenter Bees are large and robust, measuring about ¾ to 1 inch
in length. They are black with a metallic sheen. The female
carpenter bee has an all black head where as the males have white
markings on theirs. The thorax of the Carpenter Bee is covered with
bright yellow, orange, or white hairs, and the upper side of the
abdomen is black, glossy, and bare.
The life cycle of this type of bee, which include, egg, larvae, pupa,
and adult, lasts about seven weeks, although the developmental
time may depend on temperature. In the spring (late April early May)
the male and female will mate outside of the nest and together they
will find a nesting site, the male will soon die after the female has
found the nesting site. The female who is the main “carpenter” if you
will, prefers a site that is an old nest which she will refurbish, rather
than a new nest. If she does have to excavate a new nest she uses
her strong jaws to create a clean cut round hole as the entrance to
the nest. This hole is slightly less than 1/2-inch wide, approximately
the diameter of her body. She bores into the wood perpendicular to
the grain for one to two inches then makes a 90 degree angle turn
and excavates along the wood grain for four to six inches to create a
gallery (tunnel).

She excavates the gallery at the rate of about one inch in six days.
In the tunnel she creates a series of small cells where she will lay
her eggs at the same time she also creates food for the larvae,
which consists of regurgitated nectar and pollen. She then lays her
eggs in the cells on top of the food mass, and plugs or closes the
cells off with a mixture of chewed wood pulp. She can lay up to 10 of
these cells in a row, and soon after she will die.
Once the eggs have hatched, the larva have grown to full adults,
they will stay in the gallery for several weeks and later chew
through the plugs their mother had created and venture out in late
August. They will then collect and store pollen in the existing
galleries, but they will also spend much of their time huddled
together inside their nest. These new adults will then hibernate until
they emerge the following spring, and the process begins all over
The Carpenter Bees prefer to create nests in softwood, but they
also been known to create nests in hardwood as well. This type of
bee can more easily tunnel through woods that are soft and that
have a straight grain. Carpenter bees attack structural timbers and
other wood products, including fence posts, utility poles, firewood,
arbors, and lawn furniture. In buildings, carpenter bees nest in bare
wood near roof eaves and gables, fascia boards, porch ceilings,
decks, railings, siding, shingles, shutters, and other weathered
wood. These bees avoid wood that is well painted or covered with
Pest Control Management
705 734-2020
Call Us :
Serving : Barrie, Orillia, Wasaga Beach,Midland,
Penetanguishene,Stayner,Alliston,Bradford, Newmarket
and Richmond Hill area