Carpenter Bee

Actual Size: ½ to 1”

Characteristics:  Large bodies that are black and yellow. Has a shiny, hairless abdomen.

Legs: 6

Antennae: Yes

Habitat:  Rather than building nests, females bore holes through soft wood to deposit their eggs into.


  • Unlike other types of bees, these insects do not live in nests or colonies. 
  • They do not eat the wood; instead, they use it as shelter for their eggs. 
  • Male carpenter bees are very aggressive, but do not have a stinger.

Carpenter Bees in Anaheim

As their name suggests, carpenter bees are known for drilling holes into wood. Females use these holes as chambers to lay eggs and raise their young. Aside from bumblebee queens, carpenter bees are the largest bees native to the United States. They’re found across the entire country but are particularly prominent in warmer climates, such as Florida or Arizona. Unlike some wood-destroying pests like termites, carpenter ants don’t eat the wood; instead, they chew holes into it to use as a nursery for their young.

Carpenter Bee Habitat

Carpenter bees are drawn to dry, weathered wood that is soft and easy to chew through. They are particularly attracted to sheltered places like trees, the underside of eaves, or the exterior wall of human structures. After mating in the spring, females choose a site for their nest and start chewing tunnels through the wood. Inside of the galleries, they leave behind “bee bread” – which is a mixture of pollen and regurgitated nectar that her offspring will feed on. Once she lays her egg, she closes the tunnel with chewed-up wood to keep your young protected until they are developed enough to emerge.

Carpenter Bee Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Female carpenter bees rarely sting unless threatened or mishandled, which can be particularly dangerous to individuals who are allergic to bee stings. Male carpenter bees, on the other hand, are quite aggressive and may attack nearby humans despite not having a stinger. 

In addition to the risk of being stung or bitten, carpenter bees pose one more threat; over the course of years, they can cause extensive damage to wooden structures like railings, decks, or outdoor furniture. While individual carpenter bees may not be a big problem, repeated infestations over a long period of time can result in structural instability and other serious problems. If you are noticing a lot of carpenter bees on your property, it’s best to consult a professional bee removal company to determine the best course of action.