Carpenter Bees

Color: Blue-black, green or purple metallic sheen on abdomen Size: 1″
Legs: 6 Antennae: Yes
Shape: Oval; bee shape Region: N/A

Carpenter bees look like typical bumblebees but often lack yellow stripes. They are solitary bees.


Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary insects. Female carpenter bees will chew a tunnel into a piece of wood to build a nest gallery. The bits of wood she chews and deposits outside the nest are called frass. The male carpenter bee guards the outside of the nest. He does not have a stinger, but his constant buzzing causes concern for some.

Predatory stink bugs use their mouthparts to drain fluids from other pest insects. Some predatory stink bugs are important, beneficial insects in crops and gardens. They prevent caterpillars and other insect pests from destroying plants, trees, crops and gardens. Scientists are interested in using them as natural control agents of crop pests.

When handled or disturbed, stink bugs are able to secrete a bad-smelling, bad-tasting fluid from pores on the sides of their bodies. This secretion protects stink bugs from predators. They are often fed upon by birds, spiders, assassin bugs and other arthropod predators (including other stink bugs). Many species are attracted to lights at night. Adult stink bugs of various species are active from spring through late fall.


Carpenter bees bore through soft woods to lay eggs and protect their larvae as they develop.


Carpenter bees do not pose a public health threat, but they can damage wood through their nest building.


Carpenter bees prefer bare wood, so painting and staining wood can sometimes deter them. However, they will sometimes attack stained or painted wood, so contact a pest control professional for assistance.