John Bokma MexIT
freelance Perl programmer

Comments: The tame carpenter bee


When Esme and I were close to the bottom of the canyon near Chavarillo I spotted a big insect. It looked like an oversized bee with beautiful blue metallic wings. Later I learned that it was indeed a bee, a carpenter bee.

Read the rest of The tame carpenter bee.


I can't believe the size of that BEE. WOW.

Posted by LB at 23:55 GMT on 10 May 2007

I've lived in my house 35 years, for 30 of these years Carpenter Bees have lived beside my driveway. I stacked maulberry logs beside the drive to dry (the tree in my back yard had to be cut down), before winter came the bees had moved in. They have not ever attacked the wood (painted) trim on my house. In these years I have been bitten once - before daylight I picked up a "black lump" on my hummingbird feeder. It was a lost Carpenter Bee who did not appreciate being pinched - he/she bite me on the finger. The sting lasted 10 minutes and was gone. They always warn when I have walked into their space. With our wild bees and honey bees dying out I am thankful for these big gentle black bees.

Posted by Jeanne at 23:59 GMT on 10 June 2007

I found your picture when I was looking for info on large black bee that I saw on my fruit tree. Thank you.

Posted by Marian.em at 20:34 GMT on 7 April 2008

I wondered what these big black things were when I was being freaked out by them in Yosemite valley this past spring. I also saw a whole nest of them burrowing into the wood above a ranger's station. I'm glad to find out that they are gentle and non-aggressive, although I still don't care for them "buzzing" me! These are beautiful photos.

Posted by Knoelle at 18:58 GMT on 24 June 2008

The carpenter bees have been putting holes in the wood on my back porch for at least 3 years and I don't know what to do...more and more every year. This year it has gotten to where there are about over 30 bees this spring. and it is right at my sliding glass door. We can not sit on our beautiful backporcause of the bees. They make tapping noises all the time on the windows. I think if this keeps up within' 1-2 more years my outside fan will fall along with the roof. It is my moms house and she won't let me take the porch down.

Posted by Melissa at 16:03 GMT on 10 March 2009

My husband was bit by this bee after trying to get it out of our house in Casa Grande, AZ on March 28th. He tried to kill it, but stunned it only and then bit him while wrapped up in paper towels. The finger hurt for a couple of hours. Never have seen or heard about this bee before.

Posted by itsu at 17:20 GMT on 7 April 2009

@itsu: a more safe way to capture a (carpenter) bee is to carefully place a plastic cup - preferably transparent, so you can see what you're doing - over the animal, and next carefully shove a piece of ridgid paper underneath the cup.

This way you can move the cup containing the animal outside and release it while nobody gets hurt.

If you're afraid that the animal attacks when you remove the cover, just let the covered cup outside - not in the full sun - and wait a while for the animal to settle. You could push the cover away with a long stick, broom, etc.

Posted by John Bokma at 19:59 GMT on 16 April 2009

the carpenter bees here in Phoenix, Az are HUGE. The body looks bigger than the one in your hand and the wings are not blue metallic that I have seen. I would not want to be bitten by one. I was bitten by a Western Bumble bee in California, about 3 inches from my arm pit. We were out in the wilds, with no doctor and the benadryl didn't help much. I was one sick girl-puppy.

Posted by Jama at 17:42 GMT on 24 July 2009

Nice photos. I love carpenter bees. We live in Hawaii and they pollinate our lilikoi (passionfruit) right outside our lanai door. They are very curious and frequently take a tour inside. They do like to buzz, but are totally non-aggressive. I always keep an eye on them, as occasionally they will get "lost" in the window and then I have to catch them (the cup/paper works great) and take them outside so they don't die inside. They are incredibly useful little creatures and pollinate lots of fruits & flowers here.

Posted by Geckohale at 11:21 GMT on 1 September 2011

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