Carpenter Bees get their name from their habit of boring into wood to make galleries for the rearing of young. These are worldwide in distribution with 7 species occurring in the United States. Adult body length ½-1”, robust in form, resembling bumble bees, but with the top surface of abdomen largely bare and shining.
Carpenter Bees are not social insects and do not live in nests or colonies. Females of the carpenter bee will nest in a wide range of woods but prefer weathered and unpainted wood. Carpenter bees rarely attack painted wood.
Male carpenter bees tend to be territorial and often become aggressive when humans approach, sometimes hovering a short distance in front of the face or buzzing one’s head. Since males have no stinger, these actions are merely shown. However, the female does have a potent sting which is rarely used.