Carpenter Bees, other insects emerging during warmer weather

Carpenter Bees, other insects emerging during warmer weather
Published: Apr. 27, 2022 at 5:32 PM EDT
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CINCINNATI (WXIX) - Have you noticed more bees buzzing around, specifically carpenter bees?

With warmer weather last weekend, a lot of people got outside to break their cabin fever and soak in the sunshine, but you may have also noticed more insects and bees flying around.

These insects emerge from their winter slumber and start looking for food.

Carpenter bees are one of those insects calling this area home. They look like bumblebees, but there is a way to tell the difference.

“Bumblebees tend to have much more furry-looking abdomens compared to Carpenter Bees,” explains Dean Gene Kritsky with Mount St. Joseph University, “Carpenter Bees have so few seedy hairs on their abdomen that appears shiny black.”

Carpenter Bees earn their name because they are attracted to wood, especially unpainted, natural wood. You can paint or stain your wood to deter these bees from boring into the wood.

“They bore into wood about the size of your pinky; the diameter,” continues Dr. Kritsky, “And they stuff it full, lay an egg, and then they then seal it off and then do another cell, and seal it. So it is four or five or six depending how deep they go in.”

Because they can cause damage, it’s a good idea to prevent them from boring into wood around your home or property. You can spray insecticide dust in the hole to deter the bees from going back to the same area to lay more eggs. Then you can use a wood dowel to fill the hole.

Even though these bees can sting and they’re a nuisance if you enjoy being outdoors, they do a lot of good too.

“We don’t want to kill the bees,” explains Dr. Kritsky, “In fact, one of the things that’s helpful to us is having more forage for bees. One of the reasons that we’ve had such a generally high bee kill, especially honey bees here in urban areas, is we’re doing more lawn treatment to get rid of weeds. We used to have all the ground clover and things that used to be wonderful foraging for honey bees in particular. And that’s been on the decline and it also distributed the less food reserves that we seem to be putting up.”

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