Difference Between Carpenter Bees and Bumblebees


As a residential pest control company in North Carolina, a question we get asked a lot is what is the difference between a carpenter bee and a bumblebee? And that is a great question! Here are some ways to help distinguish the differences between a carpenter bee and a bumblebee.

What Is The Difference Between A Carpenter Bee And A Bumblebee

Bumble bees have a hairy abdomen that may have some yellow markings. – Carpenter bees have a bare, shiny black abdomen. … You can see carpenter bees darting and diving around as well as “chasing” each other. Carpenter bees are also primarily solitary bees, whereas bumble bees are social bees that nest together.

Are Carpenter Bees Bigger Than Bumblebees?

Both bees are about the same size (almost 1 inch) and both are black and yellow. The easiest way to tell the difference is that the top of our eastern carpenter bee’s abdomen is black, shiny, and hairless, while the bumble bee’s abdomen is fuzzy black, often with a yellow band.

Can Carpenter Bees Sting Or Bite You?

Carpenter bees do not bite. The female does have a stinger but will only sting if directly handled; the female is not generally aggressive.

Are Carpenter Bees Bad?

While fairly harmless, carpenter bees increase the number of nests over the course of years, causing noticeable damage to wood. They can also create stains with their feces. The sudden appearance of carpenter bees crawling out of wood often frightens people. Females can sting, but will only do so if bothered.

Natural Repellents For Bees

Not all bees are created equal, and while some may be a nuisance, you should not automatically just reach for chemical sprays to keep them away. Some bees such as the honeybee are good bees to keep alive for the sake of the environment. With that in mind, the folks at Scott’s Turf and Pest Services, the pest control experts in Hillsborough, NC have put together a list of 9 natural repellents for bees to keep them away but not cause harm this spring and summer season.

1. Garlic Powder: Bees just plain dislike the smell of garlic, so in order to keep them from being near your house, sprinkle some garlic powder in any spots you may have seen them. Be careful with the powder though and don’t put it directly on a bee if you see one because it’s deadly to them.

2. Peppermint: Much like garlic, bees don’t like the smell of peppermint. If you plant peppermint around the perimeter of your house, it will help keep them away. Not only will it drive bees away, but you can also use the plant to make tea.

3. Cinnamon: Cinnamon is yet another spice that bees would rather avoid. Sprinkle it daily, or at least once a week where you’ve seen the bees going in and out of their nest. It will drive them away and help keep them away for good if you sprinkle it often.

4. Distilled Vinegar: This ingredient can keep bees out of your garden or house. Just place small, open containers of white distilled vinegar around the garden to prevent bees from hovering around. You can also use it to wipe out birdhouses and hummingbird feeders after they’ve been emptied to repel bees.

5. Citronella Candles: Citronella candles are great to burn in order to keep bees out of the yard or the house. It will help to mask possible odors that bees may be attracted to, such as the nectar in a hummingbird feeder.

6. Soap Solution: Another organic method is to fill a spray bottle with a solution of half water and half mild dish soap. Shake the bottle to mix it, then spray it around the nest or other areas you may have spotted bees. Spray the areas at night to be more effective.

7. Mothballs: You can also put mothballs in something such as old nylons and hang them near any nests. The mothballs have a strong odor, which masks other smells. The bees won’t like it and avoid it if possible.

8. Plant Marigolds: If there are bees in the neighborhood, plant marigolds to keep them at bay. Marigolds bloom throughout the summer and give off a pungent odor that bees don’t want to be around. They can be placed in flower beds or as a border around swimming pools to repel bees.

When To Hire Removal Services

If you have tried a few of these remedies, but the bees keep coming back, or if you have a colony in your house, hire a live bee removal service such as Scott's Turf and Pest Services to take care of the problem today. With over 27 years of experience in pest control services, we understand issues of all sizes and scopes to keep pests out of your home.

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