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Carpenter bees are 1-1.5 inches long. They have a black body with yellow hairs on the thorax. The name carpenter bee is due to the females desire to drill into wood to make a egg chamber. It is only the female that will bore into wood and create these chambers. She starts with a perfect half inch hole that goes in 1/2 - 1 inch. The female carpenter bee turns 90 degrees and creates a chamber 6-12 inches long. She will create what is called a bee ball (pollen mashed and rolled into a ball) and places it in the chamber then lays a egg on it. The female carpenter bee keeps repeating this process. You can find 5-20 eggs in a chamber. The female carpenter bee will repeat this process as much as she can before she dies.
The male carpenter bee can be found outside the chamber flying around enticing the female to mate. The male carpenter bee will fight any other male carpenter bee that gets near him and other insects and birds for that matter. The aerial battles between the males often end in decapitation of the weaker one, creating a stronger DNA pool.
PRO TIP: Do not seal up the holes before making sure the problem is solved. The young can chew outwards and create more holes. We often have a second carpenter season at the end of summer. This will typically have less bees and homeowners often don't worry about the few that are there. IT IS IMPORTANT TO TREAT AT THIS TIME.
Carpenter Bee Sawdust
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Carpenter Bee Chamber Entrance