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How To Tell Which Bees Are Harmless

There are several different kinds of bees that could affect you and your home. Although some bees may be more manageable for you to take care of on your own, carpenter bees are a species that you need to spot and remove immediately.

This article breaks down several types of bees and how to know which ones you’re dealing with:

  • Bumble Bees - This type of bee is common, as they are found throughout North America. Their coloration patterns can include black, red, orange or yellow hairs across their broad bodies. There are also pouches on their back legs that hold pollen after it’s collected from flowers, and they use these pouches to pollinate gardens and fields. Male bumble bees will often leave the hive. They do not have stingers which makes them incapable of stinging. Female bumble bees are not overly aggressive and will not seek to sting any person or animal. However, they can burrow underground and may sting if a person steps on or near their nest.
  • Honey Bees - The honey bee has shorter hair and a smaller, thinner body than a bumblebee, . As their name implies, they work to make honey. They colonize and have one queen bee who oversees everything. Other female honey bees will work to guard the colony, take care of any young bees, and pollenize. Male bees, called drones, have the sole purpose of mating with the queen. They do not have stingers and will die shortly after they mate. Honey bees can create nests inside any trees, walls, or under porches and will sting anyone who threatens their nest. However, each of these honey bees will die once they sting a predator.
  • Carpenter Bees - Carpenter bees have a broad body shape, much like a bumble bee. They have large, hairless, black abdomens, which distinguishes them from their counterparts. As their name suggests, they dig through wood in order to nest. Each hole will appear to be about the size of a dime on the exterior of the wood surface, yet they will create various chambers within the wood. Inside the nest, female carpenter bees can nest anywhere from two to eight eggs a week, making them especially hard to remove from an area. Woodpeckers like to feed on the larva and will therefore drill more holes into the wood surface. Porches, wood framing, or decks are prime burrow locations, and this creates a structural hazard for homeowners. Although these bees will become more aggressive when approached by humans, the male carpenter bees are the only ones to leave the nest, and they do not have a stinger. The female carpenter bees, which would sting a person or animal, are located in the nest.


Although all three types of these bees pose little threat to humans, it’s important to remember that the male bees cannot sting, but inside the nest the female bees are more dangerous. It’s also important to note that carpenter bees require fast action, as they populate quickly and can threaten any wooden structure.

Click here for $50 off your carpenter bee service in the Buffalo, NY area. Our trained technicians will work to make sure that your carpenter bee problem is solved!

Posted on September 11, 2019.

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