Last summer, I photographed a number of bees in my yard. The same kind are here again. A neighbor told me that they are wood-boring bees. I had heard of carpenter bees. When I searched online, they seem to match the ones in my yard. Is this a problem? Should I take any action? I don't want to harm them.
Clark County Kentucky
Hello, those are in fact carpenter bees and do bore in seasoned, dried out wood. Mostly in wooden outdoor furniture or old tobacco barns. If you are not concerned about wooden lawn furniture or don’t have an old tobacco barn or other mostly wooded structure on your property I would not worry about them. If you have any more questions send me a direct email at firstname.lastname@example.org
I do have an old, weathered section of fencing. An new, untreated fence as well as weathered furniture. What should I do to protect them?
Here is text from UK entomology department on carpenter bees, I hope this helps.
Dealing with carpenter bees
Here are some suggestions on reducing damage from carpenter bees from the log home care website
Female carpenter bees like weathered, slightly roughened surfaces of soft woods to create their galleries. Usually, they choose west or south exposures. If practical, these areas can be treated with an insecticide that contains either cypermethrin or deltamethrin as active ingredients. They are irritating to many insect species, forcing them to leave treated surfaces. Usually, the bees are not killed but leave to find less irritating surfaces. An application may last 3 to 4 weeks so it may be necessary to re-treat. The area will continue to be attractive to other carpenter bees that are looking for nesting sites so a treatment does not mean that all bees will suddenly disappear.
Read and follow label directions and read and any precautions that must be taken when using these products.
Active ingredient Brand name
Cypermethrin (3) Cyper-Eight
Deltamethrin Bonide Household Insect Control Ready To Use (0.02%)
Bonide Termite & Carpenter Ant RTU (0.02%)
Other pyrethroids that may be effective
Cyfluthrin Bayer Home Pest Control Indoor & Outdoor RTU
Cyhalothrin Spectracide Bug Stop Indoor Plus Outdoor
Permethrin various brands
Carpenter bees prefer bare wood but will chew into stained wood. A glossy topcoat over a stain may reduce damage because bees do not like slick, hard surfaces. Painted surfaces are rarely attacked.
Treating active tunnels
Treat and plug active carpenter bee holes with a contact insecticide or WD-40 oil. After treatment, seal the entryway with a piece of dowel rod, wood putty, or Energy Seal.
Carpenter bee traps
Carpenter bee traps can be made or purchased. They attract and capture bees looking for nesting sites. They are probably most effective early in the season when the bees are establishing their sites and where bee numbers are relatively low. In some situations, they may be an effective alternative. Below are two sites with instructions and a video.
I will follow your instructions. This is a valuable online resource.