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Thread: Carpenter Bees

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    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Carpenter Bees

    Has anyone else got any experience with these guys? Everything I've read says they're virtually harmless...unless you have the nest on your property. Well...I have the nest! Let me tell you this thing is impressive. It's a hole near a tree in my backyard (next to one of my hostas) and the activity is really something. All day and into dusk there is a stream of bees going in at the same time they are also coming out. I've got alot of flowers in the yard so I'm guessing there must be a huge load of honey down there (wonder if I should dig it up? )

    I've read that using regular wasp and hornet killer will kill the immediate bees that it comes in contact with, but you will have a similar problem once the new larvae hatch. They recommend using a Drione dust spread onto the opening. This will get spread onto the larvae below and not only kill the current lot of bees...but also the unborn as well.

    The first time I walked up on the nest I got bumped in the head by a couple of aggressive males. I'm just not sure what to expect when I lay the dust down on the hole. I have no bee allergies So that's a good start. I just ordered the Drione dust today...so we'll see what happens when it comes in.

    thanks,
    dan
    21' Aqua-Leader AGP (10,200 gallons).
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  2. Back To Top    #2
    I've had those in Louisiana... ate into my aging fence. I sprayed them with wasp spray, and then took a stick and shoved it in the hole and mushed things up.
    The next year the pileated woodpeckers took care of them (and my fence ) for me! Looked like somebody had taken a shotgun to the fence, but no more bees!!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
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  3. Back To Top    #3

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    They are eating our house ... every other month the pest control company comes out and uses that dust where they are, but they always seem to return and eat a different part of our house!
    42,525 gallon IG gunite pool with DE filter and spill-over hot tub.

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Wow...a nest of them?? The most I've ever had was three or four, boring perfect 5/8" holes into my storage buildings. For those, I just use wasp spray to kill the bee, and then take a piece of wire and use it to kill the larvae in the hole.

    Are you sure you don't have cicada killing wasps instead? They are ground-burrowing, and the males get pretty territorial. They're HUGE wasps, black with white markings on their bodies.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
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    They are a problem for us every year. They love the fascia boards on the house, and as Mike says they drill perfect 5/8" holes into the boards. On one part of the house, I can hear them behind the gutters and flying in and out, but I can't see the damage they are doing.
    Gary
    21k gal SW, IG Gunite PebbleSheen, 1HP Jandy, Jandy 340 filter, Polaris 280, 17' fiberglass slide w/ 2HP pump.

  6. Back To Top    #6
    Have you ever listened to them CHEWING the wood? it is quite amazing, especially if you have lots of them!

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Mermaid Queen
    Have you ever listened to them CHEWING the wood? it is quite amazing, especially if you have lots of them!
    Oh lord, that would drive me insane to hear them actually chewing the wood. I'd be at war with them for destroying my home.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
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    Squirrels chewing your house can drive you crazy, too!!
    42,525 gallon IG gunite pool with DE filter and spill-over hot tub.

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    We haven't had any squirrels do it yet. I have heard a couple of mice gnawing around in the past, and both of them have been dispatched to mouse heaven.
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

  10. Back To Top    #10

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    ahh, for the mice, this works wonders:
    http://www.ratzapper.com/
    Gary
    21k gal SW, IG Gunite PebbleSheen, 1HP Jandy, Jandy 340 filter, Polaris 280, 17' fiberglass slide w/ 2HP pump.

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    ktdave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crabboy
    ahh, for the mice, this works wonders:
    http://www.ratzapper.com/
    I like the line "Clean (no blood or gore"
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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crabboy
    ahh, for the mice, this works wonders:
    http://www.ratzapper.com/
    Now crabboy, you know electrocution is inhumane. The mice might actually feel pain before they die, so I think you should catch all of your mice, leave them in a cage for 20 years while you debate whether they should die or not, give them cable TV and free healthcare and a mini-mouse gym to work out in, and then when all debate is exhausted, take a syringe full of phenobarbitol and humanely dispatch them.

    On second thought, forget all of that, and let 'em ride the lightning!
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

  13. Back To Top    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by crabboy
    ahh, for the mice, this works wonders:
    http://www.ratzapper.com/
    I can smell the singed hair now... :P

    8000 gallon 20' x 48" round vinyl frame pool, 12" sand filter (don't have the specs on the pump), TF100 test kit
    Handy Links: PoolMath, TF-100 Test Kit, Pool School, CYA-Chlorine Chart
    "Shock" is a process, not a product!

  14. Back To Top    #14
    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Rain rain rain!

    No poison dusting today.


    We'll be waiting for Dusting Day again. No dusting today!


    They do seem to act similar to the cicada killing wasps with their nesting habits, but they don't look like them. The bees have no hair on their last segment, but they do have the hair (and markings) consistent with the carpenter bees. What puzzles me is that their nest is near a tree beside a hosta, which seems inconsistent with their usual nesting feasting) on the wood of a house or shed. There is remnants of a torn down deck (that I'm cutting up) but the nest is probably 10 yards from there.


    We also have had a HUGE numbers of squirrels making pigs of themselves on our bird feeders. This has gone on the whole year. But as the year went on a noticed fewer and fewer squirrels around. They still come by...but I thought they just moved on to the next bird feeder. Until one day I noticed that a mother red-tailed hawk and her baby were in the yard yet again. Except this time the mother hawk was in an attack position (on the ground) with it's wings spread out darting from side to side. It had a squirrel cornered in a bush. I moved in for a closer look and spooked the hawk off. But now I know what happened to our squirrels.

    dan
    21' Aqua-Leader AGP (10,200 gallons).
    Hayward cartridge filter and two speed pump.
    Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Salt 3200ppm (in non-salt water pool)
    Borates 20ppm (slowly raising)
    Aqua-Rite SWG

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    MikeInTN's Avatar
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    Hmmm...think the bees could be actually nesting in the roots of the tree itself?? I do remember we had an old stump up by my compost bin that two bees took up residence in. They sure didn't like me trying to turn the pile, either.

    Yep, that would explain the declining squirrel population. Two quick stories about hawks - our Dachshund just hates squirrels with a passion; she'll get up in a window that looks out onto our deck/yard, see a squirrel, and start barking and lunging at the window, like she's going to tear it up! So what do we do, as responsible pet owners?? That's right - we go buy a resin squirrel that looks fairly lifelike, set it on the deck, and watch her go nuts. Well, we moved the squirrel to the top of a railing post. Lo and behold, a hawk comes swooping down, and lands right beside it. The hawk looked over at the resin squirrel, and I swear almost gives a look like "Awww..you gotta be kidding me..." and then flies off. Second story - I'm out turning the compost heap one evening, just lost in my own little world, when I hear something smack the fence down from me. I turned to see what it was, just in time to have a mourning dove come flying past me with a hawk right on it's tail...I mean, they flew right past me, to where I felt their feathers from their wings on my arms as they went past!!! Too cool!
    24' x 52" AGP - approx 13,500 gallons
    Pentair Optiflo 1 hp/2sp pump w/ Swimpro Voyager 150 sq ft cartridge filter
    Intex 8110 SWCG
    "Fear the Schnauz!"

  16. Back To Top    #16

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    gonefishin,

    Sounds like they could be digger bees. You may find this link helpful.

    http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page536.html

    I had them in the front yard and they were increasing every year. This year I dusted the area with some ant powder I had, and now they're gone.
    TFP Moderator
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  17. Back To Top    #17
    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by haze
    gonefishin,

    Sounds like they could be digger bees. You may find this link helpful.

    http://www.bugspray.com/catalog/products/page536.html

    I had them in the front yard and they were increasing every year. This year I dusted the area with some ant powder I had, and now they're gone.
    I did some (har har) digging around and found this description...

    Densely covered by yellow and black hairs, digger bees closely resemble their cousin, the carpenter bee. This subfamily has unique characteristics. It has short yellow hairs on the head, thorax and the first abdominal segment. Its legs are covered with short black hairs, and the hind tibia has apical spurs (pollen brushes). In addition, the digger bee has a narrow gena (cheek) and a tergal (dorsal-side) plate on the last abdominal segment. The wings are clear, but somewhat smoky at the tip. The forewings have a small spot on the leading edge, whereas the hind wings have a jugal lobe (a lobe at the base of the wing on the posterior side).

    I think you're right. The closest bee that looked like what I had was the carpenter bee. But the behavior was a little off. The digger bee seems to nail the physical description and the behavior. I dusted the hole this morning, but it rained a few hours later. The dust is supposed to hold up well to rain but I'll be dusting again in a week or so.

    We'll see how it goes...hopefully I don't have any other nest

    dan
    21' Aqua-Leader AGP (10,200 gallons).
    Hayward cartridge filter and two speed pump.
    Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Salt 3200ppm (in non-salt water pool)
    Borates 20ppm (slowly raising)
    Aqua-Rite SWG

  18. Back To Top    #18
    gonefishin's Avatar
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    Well...a few weeks ago I put the Drione dust in the hole of the suspected digger bee nest. The bee activity had stopped for a couple of days after that, but resumed about a week after. I'm guessing that there was a kill inside which plugged the hole. After some time the living bees had cleared there way thru to the outside. Now the bees are as active as they have ever been.

    So I decided to do a triple action Drione Dusting. I hit them hard one night. I didn't see any activity for a couple of days...I hit it again heavy...and a third time a few days after that. It has now been a about 10 days and the only activity I have seen from the hole are some flies that were flying in and out of the hole. I'll let it go another week or so before I hit it again.

    thanks all,
    dan
    21' Aqua-Leader AGP (10,200 gallons).
    Hayward cartridge filter and two speed pump.
    Aqua-Cal HeatWave 100k (HeatPump)
    Salt 3200ppm (in non-salt water pool)
    Borates 20ppm (slowly raising)
    Aqua-Rite SWG

  19. Back To Top    #19
    Cherie's Avatar
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    Re:

    We just got rid of ours (we hope) by waiting until they flew into their pretty little holes, then plugging them temporarily. We unplugged them today, after about three weeks, and nothing! You can see something dead laying inside, but I'm not gonna be the one to dig it out! All this was at our kids fort - not at our house, thank goodness. So we're going to permanently plug them now. Haven't seen a single one since...
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    Pisces's Avatar
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    Re:

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeInTN
    Quote Originally Posted by crabboy
    ahh, for the mice, this works wonders:
    http://www.ratzapper.com/
    Now crabboy, you know electrocution is inhumane. The mice might actually feel pain before they die, so I think you should catch all of your mice, leave them in a cage for 20 years while you debate whether they should die or not, give them cable TV and free healthcare and a mini-mouse gym to work out in, and then when all debate is exhausted, take a syringe full of phenobarbitol and humanely dispatch them.

    On second thought, forget all of that, and let 'em ride the lightning!
    LMAO!! Whew...my giggles for the day. Mike, I like the way you think!!
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