Mostly black with some yellow markings; males have a white dot on their heads.
Characterized by smooth, hairless abdomen. Females have stingers whereas males do not.
The life cycle of the carpenter bee is fairly brief, with eggs hatching a few days after being lain and reaching full maturity within 5-7 weeks. Females deposit a ball of pollen near their eggs, providing a source of nourishment for the offspring. Unlike some other bees, carpenter bees are not social insects.
As mentioned above, carpenter bees tend to be found hovering around untreated wood, carving out tunnels to lay their eggs. While the bees do not consume wood, the insects can cause repeat damage by returning to the same tunnels year after year. Carpenter bees are not necessarily aggressive, but males in particular will vehemently defend their nests, even though males are incapable of stinging aggressors. In addition to holes bored in untreated wood, damage from carpenter bees is often characterized by frass, or fecal matter, found around the openings.
Carpenter bees can cause repeat damage if left untreated. Additionally, other problematic and destructive pests, like carpenter ants, can invade holes bored by carpenter bees, causing additional structural harm. It often is difficult to discern carpenter bees from bumble bees. If you believe carpenter bees have invaded your home, you should contact a pest control professional to positively identify the species and treat for the insects accordingly.