For many homeowners, carpenter bees are more than a little troublesome. Their tunneling into porches, decks and other unpainted wood around the house can create costly structural damage to homes, garages and fences. And their aggressive (though harmless) behavior during spring mating and nest construction can be disconcerting for those who happen to get in the way of a male carpenter bee’s territorial defense. Fortunately, there are many measures you can take to reduce negative bee-human interactions.
For example, you can prevent carpenter bees from damaging your property by staining or painting the wood they choose to nest in. Providing alternative, flower-based nesting sites for these bees in your backyard also deters them from using the structures of your home to build their nests.
Regardless of your management approach, be sure to respect the natural behaviors of carpenter bees and other native pollinators. Indiscriminate pesticide application is unlikely to provide satisfactory results, and killing individual bees can have a high environmental cost.
As with most insects, carpenter bees are active during the day and spend their nights in small nests. They are also unique in that they can manipulate their circadian rhythm, meaning that they are able to wake at times of the day that best suit their daily tasks and environment. This allows them to rise with the sun and start their foraging at sunrise. Similarly, they are able to fall back into their nests at dusk and stay there until the following morning.