Carpenter Bee

Pest: Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa spp.)

Pest Type: Insect Pest, Beneficial Insect

Major Identifying Features: Large, robust, resembling bumblebees, females are around 5/8 to 1 inch long and shiny black or with metallic blue reflections, fringes of hairs on some segments, males have pale hair on the thorax and the male valley carpenter bee is golden brown

Life Cycle: Female bees bore into sound or decaying wood to make nests, nests consist of 1/2 inch wide and 6-10 inch deep tunnels with several chambers each containing an egg and food, tunnels may extend as far as 10 feet into wood timbers, development to adult may take about 3 months, mate in spring, only one generation per year

Pest Rating: N/A

Management Rating: Easy

Host/Season/Outbreak Information: New adults emerge in late summer, feed on nectar and pollen, overwinter in tunnels with pollen reserves

Damage Information: Cause damage to wooden structures by boring into timbers and siding to construct nests, nests weaken structural wood, also attack dead wood on trees such as the California redwood, cedar, Douglas fir, cypress, mimosa, mulberry ash, pecan trees, males do not sting and females only when handled roughly

Management Options: Prevention is the main approach by building structures out of hardwoods, by filling cracks, by painting regularly, by filling existing holes with steel wool, insecticide use is NOT recommended.

Sources:

http://www.ipm.ucanr.edu

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