9 responses

  1. Heather Stevning
    May 26, 2012

    Linda! Thank you for introducing me to the carpenter bee. I always thought any bee that wasn’t a wasp or a honey bee was a bumble bee.

    • Linda Richards
      May 26, 2012

      good! I wasn’t sure either when I first saw them. Also, the males of some carpenter bees are fuzzy and tan so can look like bumblebees….

  2. Lindy
    April 19, 2014

    I have an old stump out back of my house in Los Angeles, where carpenter bees live. I often find some dead on the ground around the stump. I rescued one gold male that wasn’t completely dead, but had gotten soaked from my watering nearby. I put him in the sun to dry out on my patio table. Eventually he took off. But why are there so many dead adults around the stump? Do you know?
    Thanks for your attention,
    Lindy

    • Linda Richards
      April 20, 2014

      Hi Lindy, I’ve queried a couple biology experts and got one reply so far saying “there was no reason for them to die en masse like that it should be some kind of insecticide that they are getting into or being exposed to.” Perhaps neighbors are using insecticide?

  3. Linda Richards
    April 21, 2014

    Another reply on above q by UC Riverside’s Sean Prager (who has studied carpenter bees. A lek is a mating area where males compete for females): “It is difficult to know for sure without seeing the adults, and without knowing for sure which species. I assume that these are Xylocopa varipuncta since they are more commonly in cities and have golden males. There are a couple of possible reasons for the dead adults. If they are mostly males, it is likely they are losers from mating. This species has a dispersed lek mating system. And so, you will get a lot of males around a seemingly worthless landmark. So, if it is mostly males, these may have been those that lost the confrontations. Usually these leks occur where there is no real resource (like a nest or flowers). If there are also females, this could be from a couple of things. Although, females of that species are not well studied and this is a little guess. In many carpenter bees, females try to get through multiple seasons and then die in the nest. If another female tries to use that nest, either because she inherited it or found it unused, then she will “clean” out the corpses. That generally means pushing them out of the nest and onto the ground. The other option is that the females got attacked by overly aggressive males, but that is less likely.”
    Sean Prager
    sprager@ucr.edu

  4. Nancy
    March 8, 2015

    Today we noticed the Valley Carpenter Bees nesting in our half dead Weeping Willow tree about 30 feet from our house. Lots of fuzzy golden males as well as the black ones…..they are huge compared to our local honey bees….which we don’t have a lot of.
    My husband is allergic to bee stings. Should he be worried about them swarming or stinging without provocation?
    How do we get them to relocate? Will they eventually move on…….? It seems they have found the perfect nesting site, but a little close for comfort.
    Nancy

    • Linda Richards
      March 8, 2015

      I’m allergic to bee stings too and have never had trouble with any bees. Carpenter bees may nest together but they’re solitary – so won’t swarm. I would enjoy them- they’ll move on…don’t know if they reuse the nest site, it would be a new population so perhaps not…

  5. carmen
    May 2, 2015

    As weird as it may sound Ive had several interactions with these bees that seemed that they were as curious about me as i was about them. They would land relatively close, facing me and seemed to stare, take off, return and stare again, all very none threatening. Has anyone had similar experiences or can tell me about there intelligence?

    • Linda Richards
      May 3, 2015

      Hi Carmen, thx for your comment. I’ve found the males very skittish during mating season but other times have had similar behavior in carpenter bees in not being afraid of me at all.

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