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Carpenter Bee vs. Bumble bee: What’s the Difference?

Carpenter Bee vs. Bumble bee: What’s the Difference?

If you’ve ever seen a bee flying around your backyard, you might have wondered what kind it was. There are many different types of bees, but two of the most common are carpenter bees and bumble bees.

Carpenter bees get their name from the nests they build. These bees will burrow into wood in order to lay their eggs and can cause damage to your home. They are great pollinators and play an important role in the ecosystem.

Bumble bees are also beneficial pollinators. These bees help to fertilize plants as they collect nectar and pollen. Bumble bees will also nest in the ground rather than in wood, like carpenter bees.

Now that you know a little bit about these two types of bees, let’s take a closer look at the differences between them.

Check Out Their Appearance

Carpenter bees and bumble bees can look very similar, but there are a few key differences in their appearance.

One of the easiest ways to tell these two types of bees apart is by looking at their abdomens. Carpenter bees have smooth abdomens, while bumble bees have hairy abdomens with a yellow band near the end.

Carpenter bees are also generally larger than bumble bees. These carpenter bees can range in size from 3/4 to 1 inch long, while bumble bees are usually around 0.6 to 1 inch long.

Finally, the color of their heads is a great indicator of which bee you have buzzing around. Carpenter bee’s heads are black, while bumble bees have black and yellow heads.

Not a fan of getting up close and personal with bees? We totally get it – having bees buzzing around can be a bit unnerving, so leave the close-up inspections to us! We’re experts at identifying stinging insects, and we offer a free inspection! Give us a call today!

Consider Their Behavior

Carpenter bees get their name from their habit of drilling into the wood to create nesting cavities. Unlike bumble bees, they don’t live in colonies; each bee is responsible for creating its own nest.

Carpenter bees are also solitary creatures, but they’re not antisocial – you’ll often see them gathered around leaves and porch roofs, where they buzz and chatter away.

Bumble bees, on the other hand, are social insects that live in colonies of up to a few hundred individuals. The colony is headed up by a queen, who is the only one that can lay eggs.

The queen is the biggest bee in the colony, and she is surrounded by a group of female worker bees. Male bees – also called drones – don’t have a stinger, and their only job is to mate with the queen.

The rest of the colony consists of workers, who are sterile females. Bumble bees play an important role in pollinating plants and flowers. They help keep the ecosystem healthy and functioning. This means that they are vital to the survival of many plant species.

Nesting Habits

Another key difference between these two types of bees is their nesting habits.

Carpenter bees will often nest in the same area year after year, and their nests can cause damage to your home. These bees tunnel into wood, which can weaken the structure of your property over time.

Woodpeckers can also contribute to the damage by aggressively attacking sidings and wood trims in order to find the carpenter bees nesting inside.

Bumble bees, on the other hand, build their nests in the ground. While this can sometimes be a nuisance, it generally isn’t harmful to your home.

Ultimately, both carpenter bees and bumble bees are important pollinators, but their different nesting habits mean that they play slightly different roles in ecosystems.

Their Diet

What do carpenter bees and bumble bees eat? Both of these types of bees are pollinators, so they primarily eat nectar and pollen.

Nectar is a sugary solution that bees collect from flowers that they visit. Pollen is a powdery substance that is produced by plants and contains the plant’s genetic material.

When bees collect pollen from flowers, they inadvertently transfer some of the pollen to other flowers. This transfer of pollen helps to fertilize plants and allows them to reproduce.

Stinging Ability

You may already know that bumble bees sting, but you may also ask: Do carpenter bees sting?

Carpenter bees and bumble bees both have stingers, but only female bees can use them. Male bees don’t have stingers at all. 

Female carpenter bees can sting, but they rarely do so unless they feel threatened. Female bumble bees will sting if they feel their nest is in danger, but they will also sting if they’re simply angry or scared.

Bees are typically territorial creatures, so it’s important to give them their space. Most of the time, if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone.

How to Get Rid of Bees

Having carpenter bees or bumble bees on your property is not necessarily a bad thing. Bees are essential pollinators and help the ecosystem. However, some people are allergic to bee stings, and if that’s the case, it can be dangerous to have them nesting around your home.

The best way to get rid of bees or any pest is to know how they behave and use their habits against them. At Fox Pest Control, we are experts in bee control and have the right products for the job. We can also identify what is bugging you if you’re not sure what kind of yellow stripey pest you have flying around. If it turns out that you have a protected bee species on your property, like honey bees, we’ll recommend a beekeeper who will safely relocate the bees. But if Carpenter Bees are trying to move in, we’re your expert bee removal service,

If you’re ready to get rid of the bees on your property, contact Fox Pest Control today. Make sure to take advantage of our $75 off bee and wasp removal – use STING75 to redeem this offer. We look forward to hearing from you!

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