Tuesday, June 7, 2022

OBX Carpenter Bees - Friend or Foe?

Carpenter Bee with Clover on Hatteras Island

Like many other areas, Carpenter Bees are being spotted on the Outer Banks. But the question is, are the Carpenter Bees Friends or Foes? 

First, let's identify the Eastern Carpenter Bee from the Bumblebee. Both Bees are yellow & black and have a fuzzy-looking head and upper body. However, the Carpenter Bee has a smooth, shiny lower body that is black vs. the Bumblebee's continued Fuzzy body and black & yellow stripes. Bumblebees have ground nests & Carpenter Bee has nests in wood.

Bees play an essential role in our ecosystem the world over. The Carpenter Bee has indeed caused debate. A local OBX market had two specific vendors, one sells Carpenter Bee Habitats & the other sells Carpenter Bee Traps. 

Carpenter Bees are pollinators, but Carpenter Bees do not produce honey, so you don't have to become a Beekeeper. Instead, hang your Bee House just like you hang your Bird House, and the Carpenter Bees will move in and go to work.

As for the Carpenter Bee Traps, before you can take notice of the Bee Traps, you will see a wooden board from a house with holes and tunnels. The damage that Carpenter Bees can do to the wood on a home is on full display. The structural damage could be dangerous & costly.

OBX Carpenter Bee
But what is interesting is that Carpenter Bees do not eat wood; they eat nectar and pollen. Carpenter Bee's natural habitat would be a tree & the females burrow holes into the tree to create a nest to lay eggs. When a tree is not available, the Carpenter Bee adapts and will burrow into an alternate wooden source that they find acceptable. Unfortunately, sometimes the Carpenter Bee will choose a board in your home.

So because of the possible danger, Carpenter Bees poses by weakening solid wooden structures. As well as the potential repair cost involved if Carpenter Bees nest in your home, the Bee Trap vendor has the Carpenter Bee Traps ready to install right away.

So, is the Carpenter Bee a beneficial pollinator or a destructive pest?
Only you can decide as the debate continues.

Most people don't associate Bees with the Outer Banks. Did you know that there are also Alligators, Wolves & Bears on the OBX? If you haven't read about the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, please see:

Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge - OBX Alligators & Wolfs, & Bears, Oh My!

Black Bear - Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

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