It is the age old question. Are carpenter bees beneficial or damaging pests? Well, to get right to the punch line…Yes. I know, I know, this was not a yes or no question, but then again carpenter bees are a Jekyll and Hyde kind of pest. This family of bee can be both beneficial and damaging; let’s take a closer look at why.
First of all, carpenter bees are some of the largest native bees in the U.S. They resemble the bumble bee and are often confused for them, but there are several differences. Carpenter bees have a shiny, black abdomen rather than the yellow and black striped abdomen of the bumble bee. Also, the thorax on the carpenter bee is covered with yellow, white, or orange hair which is not the case in a bumble bee. Now that you can identify this bee, let’s see how these creatures are beneficial.
Carpenter bees are excellent pollinators. They are particularly helpful in pollinating farm crops such as tomato, eggplant, and other vegetables. They prefer to work in the morning and can be found collecting nectar on crop and ornamental plants during this time. They are known as “buzz pollinators,” which means that they actually become like little tuning forks and apply sound energy to loosen particles of pollen from within the plant. This process is referred to as "sonication". These bees are also able to use their mouthparts to ‘slice’ the bottoms of the corolla in long, tubular flowers in order to steal away the pollen that they would otherwise not be able to reach because of their large size. Ingenious little creatures, really!
With the willingness and ingenuity that they demonstrate in pollination, it is sometimes easy to forget that this family of bees can be particularly damaging. The trouble arises in their choice in housing. These bees live inside wood, and they are not particularly picky about the wood they inhabit. Softwood, hardwood, it’s all the same to them. These bees are typically solitary and do not live in large groups, however, several generations of bee will often inhabit the same piece of wood. The real trouble comes in when they decide that your eaves, wooden shutters, wooden furniture, or fence posts are a perfect place to set up shop. Over time, they'll creature massive tunnel systems in this wood and cause its structural integrity to fail.
This is where Rottler Pest & Lawn Solutions comes in. Here at Rottler, we will not only properly identify the bee ‘family’ that has decided to plague your home or business, but we can also safely and effectively deal with that ‘family’. Whether you have one bee or multiple families, we have an affordable option for you.
Let us help you convince those carpenter bees to stay out in the fields and gardens where they belong rather than nesting in your eaves or lawn furniture. When those bees are in their place, you can enjoy your garden without worrying about the structural soundness of your property. Give us a call today. You’ll be glad that you did.