Resembling bumble bees, carpenter bees can grow to over an inch and they have orange, yellow to white hairs with shiny black abdomens. You can differentiate the male from the female bees by looking at some white markings in the male’s faces and identifying the black head with that of a female. Generally, the male carpenter bees do not sting while the females do. Yet the female carpenter bees are believed to be docile. The peak of mating between the male and female bees typically occurs in spring.
As for their nesting behavior, the females generally build their nests in dead logs, trees and other wooden structures. They can chew their way down, making tunnels and excavating persistently for their offspring. The nest can have half an inch wide round entry point and the chewed tunnels consist of two or more parallel tunnels that are wider than the access hole. Once these tunnels are completed, the female carpenter bees can now lay eggs. Then, when the young carpenter bees have developed and left the nesting site, the same old nest is often remade or reused for nesting or overwintering. Usually once the females lay eggs, they die and the males don’t live that long to need nests.
As for their eating habits, the carpenter bees seek the only source of food for them, flowers. They don’t typically use wood as food despite their name but rely on nectar and pollen for sustenance. Today, carpenter bees are known to build nests in houses which can be a source of aggravation for many homeowners. Since they rarely make use of painted or varnished wood, simply coating the wood structures of your home can prevent nesting. It’s also sensible to contact a reliable agent that deals with pest control to keep things in check. In the end, whatever damage or concern these bees may cause is rarely severe and can be prevented or easily dealt with.