Biology of the Carpenter Bee:

Carpenter bees are not social insects and do not live in nests or colonies. During the winter, the adults live in abandoned nest tunnels. In the spring, the survivors emerge and feed on nectar. Then mating begins and extends into nest construction time. The mated female bores a circular hole (same diameter as her body) straight into the wood across the wood grain for a distance equal to her body length. Then the gallery takes a right angle turn, usually with the grain of the wood and parallel to the outer longitudinal surfaces. New galleries average 4-6" long but galleries developed by several bees may extend up to 10 feet. The female provisions each gallery cell starting at the closed end of the gallery with a mass of pollen and regurgitated nectar upon which she lays a single egg. This portion of the gallery is then sealed off with a chewed wood-pulp plug, Making a chamber or cell. This process is repeated until a series of 5 to 6 have been completed., about 1 cell per day. Developmental time (egg to adult) for the carpenter bee is about 36 days. Carpenter bees are like salmon, they come back year after year.

Habits For The Carpenter Bee:

Females of the carpenter bee will nest in a wide range of woods, but prefer weather and unpainted wood. Males tend to be territorial and often become aggressive when humans approach, sometimes hovering a short distance in front of the face or buzzing on one's head. Since males have no stinger, these actions are merely show. However, the female does have a potent sting.

Biology of the Carpenter Ant:

Black Carpenter ant colonies are of moderate size, usually containing up to 100,000 workers when maturity is reached in about 3 to 6 years. Developmental time (egg to adult)for workers takes at least 60 days. Workers are polymorphic, with majors, minors and intermediates present. There is usually only one functional, wingless queen per colony. Swarmers are not produced until the colony is more than 2 years old. Swarmers appear from May until October.

Habits For The Carpenter Ant:

Most carpenter ant species establish their first nest in decayed wood and later expand or enlarge this into sound wood. Inside, nests are located in wood (preferably soft wood), in insulation and /or wall voids. Workers are a nuisance when out searching for food but destructive to timbers utilized for nesting activities. Outside nests are typically located in rotting fence posts, stumps, old firewood, dead portions of standing trees, understones or fallen logs and also in mulch beds. Carpenter ants feed primarily on insect honeydew, plant and fruit juices, insects and other arthropods. Inside, they will also feed on sweets, eggs, meats, cakes, grease, and even dog or cat food. The workers forage for distances of up to 300 feet from the nest. They enter buildings around the door and window frames, eave, plumbing, and utility lines, and shrub and tree branches in contact with the building. Although some workers are active during the day, most activity is from dusk to dawn, with peak activity between 10pm and 2 am.

It's not uncommon for carpenter ants and termites to occupy the same structure.


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