Carpenter Bees

gonefishin

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
414
Joliet, Il.
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
 

The Mermaid Queen

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Mar 28, 2007
2,522
Northern KY
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 :roll:) for me! Looked like somebody had taken a shotgun to the fence, but no more bees!!
 

Lisa

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 23, 2007
18
Nokesville, VA
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!
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
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.
 

crabboy

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 24, 2007
628
Suwanee, GA
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.
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
The Mermaid Queen said:
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.
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
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.
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
crabboy said:
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! :lol:
 

gonefishin

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
414
Joliet, Il.
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
 

MikeInTN

TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
May 27, 2007
1,335
Middle Tennessee
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. :lol: 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. :lol: 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! :)
 

gonefishin

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
414
Joliet, Il.
haze said:
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
 

gonefishin

LifeTime Supporter
Apr 5, 2007
414
Joliet, Il.
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
 

Cherie

LifeTime Supporter
Jul 23, 2008
507
Wylie, Texas
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...
 

Pisces

LifeTime Supporter
Jun 30, 2008
273
League City, Texas
Re:

MikeInTN said:
crabboy said:
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! :lol:
LMAO!! :lol: :lol: Whew...my giggles for the day. Mike, I like the way you think!! :goodjob: :twisted: :twisted: :twisted: :wink: