Scientific Name: Xylocopa spp.
Color: Blue-black, green or purple metallic sheen
Shape: Oval; bee shape
Carpenter bees look like typical bumble bees but often lack yellow
stripes. They are solitary bees, they do not live in colonies or
nests. Carpenter bees can be found in all 50 States.
Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects. Female
carpenter bees will chew a tunnel into a piece of wood to build
a nest gallery. The bits of wood she chews and deposits outside
the nest are called frass. The male carpenter bee guards the outside
of the nest and is quite aggressive when humans approach. He does
not have a stinger, but his constant buzzing causes concern for
Carpenter bees bore through soft woods to lay eggs and protect their
larvae as they develop.
Carpenter bees do not pose a public health threat, but they can
damage wood through their nest building. Although the male has no
stringer, the female does have a potent sting which is rarely used.
Carpenter bees prefer bare wood, so painting and staining wood can
sometimes deter them. However, they will sometimes attack stained
or painted wood, so contact a pest control professional for assistance.
(Source: National Pest Management Association, et. al.)