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Thread: Carpenter Bees

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
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    Default Carpenter Bees

    Although I appreciate these carpenter bees because without them I would have no apples (my honeybees are apparently busy elsewhere when the apple tree blossoms), they are destroying my barn, and now starting on the house! There are holes everywhere in the eaves. Has anyone had any luck discouraging carpenter bees from one place and encouraging them to nest in a less destructive place? I don't want to kill them, but it's completely out of hand.
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    1,933

    Default

    I'm trying something like that this year. I'm taking pieces
    of old barn wood and I have a 1/2'' drill bit that makes a nice hole.
    I'm using a 6 inch bit and a 12 inch bit to see if the extra length helps.
    I'm drilling in the end of the lumber staying close to the edge of the wood.
    Then, close to the end, drill up from the bottom with a smaller bit
    to intersect with the long tunnel.
    Then I cap the end of the wood with a piece of wood. When mounted,
    it resembles the start of an existing carpenter bee tunnel. Hole pointing
    down that immediately turns parallel to the grain of the wood. I'm going
    to mount these next to existing tunnels and see if they take. I'll take
    some pictures when I get the chance. 'Dissected' tunnels are 1/2" in
    diameter, with smaller entrances, don't recall the size, but can find
    out if you want to recreate the experiment.

    I used to live in a house infested with them and although I tried, and
    failed, to kill them out, I don't really think they caused structural problems.
    At least thats the way it seemed. I've battled and repaired termite damage
    for years in old houses and structures, but can't say that I've seen carpenter
    bees structurally compromise a building. Not saying that they can't, I just have
    not seen it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
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    Thanks... let me know if it works. I may try something similar. As for entrance hole diameter, I have plenty of my own to measure!

    They may not cause too much structural damage, but they have weakened the barn soffitt boards to the point where the dang starlings can now force their way in to nest. Plus, the woodpeckers drumming on the eaves is disconcerting!
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
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    yea roosting starlings are the worst. I finally excluded them from my garage. I'll probably be finding bird poop here and there the rest of my life. Once they get established in a building, you have to get it to total lock down to keep them out.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Stone Mountain, Georgia
    Posts
    43

    Default goodby carpenter bees

    I took the no pest strips that you can get a good grocery store, hardware store, etc. and cut it up. I then stuck pieces of th pest strip inside of each hole. No more bees. I did lots of other things in the past before I tried this. It worked.

    John Jones
    Atlanta

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
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    Default

    Thanks! Wonder if it would work for starlings...?
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    Carpenter Bees do not make a nest if you have painted the wood
    and maintained the paint job.

    The only trick to stopping them is to fill the holes, and paint.
    Don't thin the paint out, you want a nice thick coat, or several coats.

    Or, as I like to say "Re-Paint, and Thin No More!"

    I had a homeowner call me in a panic about a house near Emelton PA once,
    and her tale of woe was unique and entertaining. She was afraid that they
    were eating into her roof. The house had cedar shingles, and, as luck
    would have it, the spacing between shingles was exactly the
    correctly-sized space for Carpenter Bees.

    Her choices were very limited. Learn to live with hundreds of Carpenter
    Bees, or re-roof the place. They were not harming anything, so I advised
    her to get used to them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Beauvais, France
    Posts
    36

    Default Old barns around me

    I am lucky that I have a lot of old barns (some fallen down) and piles of beams near to my house so they don't bother us too much. Saw the first one of the year yesterday looking for a new nesting place. So, as I am really getting into them, I decided to stick together a page of carpenter bee photos that I have managed to collect + yesterday's video. Hope you like!
    Paul.
    P.S. I believe the brown backed one may be the female version of the one I photographed on the wisteria. Can anyone confirm this as likely?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Erie, PA
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fischer View Post
    "Re-Paint, and Thin No More!"
    *groan!* Somebody smack him!
    “The keeping of bees is like the direction of sunbeams.” -Henry David Thoreau

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