Facts about Carpenter Bees, The Carpenter Bees are also commonly referred to as wood boring bees, they get the name from their unique character and ability to bore through the woods and make their nest inside. Carpenter Bees are among the most amazing bees, majorly to the fact that their nest hole is always perfectly equal in size which is half an inch (1.27 cm) in diameter. Scientific name for Bee is Hymenoptera means -membranous wings- this large variety of insects have four transparent wings and the females typically have a sting. includes ants, bees, wasps, horntails, and sawflies.
Carpenter Bees Physical Description of Carpenter Bees
Many people will confuse the carpenter bee from the bumblebee. These two insects resemble in both appearance and size. The carpenter bees are not social as they do construct their nests in frame buildings or trees.
The top of the carpenter bee’s abdomen is hairless and shinny black in color. Unlike in bumblebees where the abdomen is fully covered with hairs and mostly yellow in color. It is quite clear that when you see large bees hovering on the eaves of the house drilling in woods, they are carpenter bees. Currently there is one species of the carpenter bees known as Xylocopa virginica common in Pennsylvania.
The difference between a male carpenter bee and a female carpenter bee is their face color: the male will have a yellow face while the female’s is black. And some varieties of the carpenter bees have little yellow markings at the end of their abdomen.
Carpenter Bees Life Cycle
During the winter season, the male and female of the carpenter bees hibernate in tunnels. They will mate in spring and go about to enlarge their old tunnels or even excavate new ones to be used as brood chambers for the young ones. Each brood chamber is filled with a mixture of regurgitated nectar and pollen commonly referred to as bee bread, which is used as food for the larvae. When an egg is deposited on a brood chamber with bee bread, the chamber is sealed of. A female will create 6 to 8 chambers. The eggs will hatch, complete their development and eventually pupate. New carpenter bees emerge from their nests to feed on nectar and do return to the tunnels during the winter periods.
Carpenter Bees Defense Mechanism
During the mating period the male carpenter bee can be seen hovering over the nests aggressively looking for potential female to mate with. At times they hover aggressively on people who will approach their nests; they can even fly into you. Despite the aggressive nature of the male carpenter bee, it can not sting and they are absolutely harmless. The female carpenter bee can sting though it is a rare case. They only sting in self-defense and perhaps when one cups it inside the hands. All in all, carpenter bees are considered harmless to humans.
Carpenter Bees as Pollinators
The carpenter bees are regarded as excellent pollinators. When it lands on a flower it vibrates its thoracic muscle so as to shake the pollen loose.
Carpenter bees are at times a nuisance to the homeowners; this is highly contributed by their habit of boring into wood structures, porches and decks. Male get aggressive in mating season which is highly unsettling considering the disturbance they cause. Despite that fact, the also add value as they can help in pollination. There are three types of bees in the bee hive, a Drone, Worker and the Queen. A worker bee will die if she uses her stinger.
Carpenter Bees fall in the classification of insects with six legs. Bees have five eyes; three tiny ocelli eyes and two compound eyes.
The hind legs of the Carpenter Bees carry pollen in them and it is called a pollen baskets. Pollen is the protein for which the baby bee needs to grow.
A Carpenter Bees has two stomachs, the first stomach is for eating and the other stomach is specially designed for storing nectar collected from flowers and water, for making it possible to carry it back to the hive.
The Carpenter Bees have four stages of life, Eggs, Larvae, Pupae and Full grown Bee.
A honeybee can fly 15 mph (24 km/ph). Its wings beat 190 times per second or 11,400 beats per minute. "Fear of bees apiphobia".