This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Carpenter bees

Recently I started painting the trim on my garage. As I did, I noticed some large bees hanging around. They are carpenter bees.

I checked the Internet to learn more about them. The male protects the territory but cannot sting. The female can sting but rarely does. The bees are solitary; the female bores round holes in the wood and raises her young. They are beneficial pollinators. Knowing that they were harmless, I did not let them interfere with painting.

They had made a number of holes in a two-by-four that is part of the garage trim. Below you can see two holes that were close enough together to capture in one photo.

The advice for prevention is to paint wood. The bees prefer unpainted wood. They will reuse holes and overwinter in them. The advice on the Internet was to plug the holes in the fall after the young have left and before the bees use the holes for hibernating.

I also had wasps making nests under the eaves. I left them alone and they left me alone. I will have to go back this fall after some hard freezes and knock down the nests and finish paining.

If you have large bees buzzing around your house or garage, they may be carpenter bees. Look for neatly drilled holes about 3/8 inch in diameter.

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