Carpenter Bee vs Bumblebee

Serving Illinois and Indiana

Typical carpenter bee appearance in Indiana and Illinois - Anderson Pest SolutionsMany people just associate bees with their painful stings, but they are some of our ecosystem’s essential workers, and are able to put on extraordinary displays of communication and craftsmanship across their thousands of species.

Unfortunately for us, these abilities give them the means to proliferate where unwanted and make homes out of many places on our properties. But how do you know which kind of bees you’re dealing with?

Carpenter Bee vs Bumblebee Identification

Carpenter bees and bumblebees are some of the most common species of bees that we find in the Midwest. Here are three ways you can easily tell the difference between them:

  1. What they look like: Carpenter bees have clearly segmented bodies and a shiny, black abdomen that is larger than its other sections, whereas the fuzz-covered bumblebee looks more like a rounded blob of black and yellow stripes.
  2. Where they live: Carpenter bees dig tunnels in wood to find a safe place to construct their nests, so they prefer soft wood like pine, cedar, and redwood. Bumblebees typically build their nests low to the ground in holes that they find, like abandoned rodent tunnels or piles of foliage.
  3. How they operate: Both bees tend to be found near where they nest – you might find a carpenter bee or two flying around your roof, deck, or window trim, but bumblebees usually bunch together in flower beds.

One tricky part of carpenter bee vs bumblebee discernment is that both bees are pollinators, and feed on the nectar of flowers. You might find either of these species in a flower bed, but look out for their appearance and behavior to figure out which kind they are.

Do Carpenter Bees Sting?

Many people know that bumblebees sting to protect their nests because they have experienced it firsthand. Carpenter bees are also capable of stinging people, but they do it much less often. This is because they move alone or in small numbers, so they don’t have a huge network of companions to defend, like the bumblebee, which oftentimes comes from a nest of hundreds of others. In fact, only female carpenter bees have stingers, and they reserve their usage for dire situations, usually when being attacked or when they’re stepped on.

How Do You Get Rid of Carpenter Bees?

Luckily, if carpenter bees do decide to make a home out of your house, the damage that they will do is largely superficial, and won’t cause as much structural deterioration as termites or carpenter ants. However, if their population grows beyond your control, or you fear that they might be compromising the structure of your house, the safest bet is to contact your local pest control company. Reach out today, and our specialists will come to assess the damage and put a plan in place for your bees’ removal.

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