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Hi everyone. I am a fourth year beekeeper with many reads on the forum here, but not many posts.
My problem concerns Carpenter Bees invading my home on a yearly basis, and what to about it, without killing my honeybees.
We live on an 18 acre rural property with a log home that sits about 20 yards in front of our 7 acre of woods (which is where our bees are located)
Our bees sit about 75 yards from our home in the aforementioned woods.
When we bought the home, it had sat empty for a year, as the former owner became deceased, and it was tied up in probate before it could be sold.

During that year that it was empty (and I suspect even before that) the Carpenter Bees started attacking the cedar soffit and fascia boards around the gable ends of the home, under the gutters, and above the garage doors. In addition to that, I have found that the Carpenter Bee larvae is something that the woodpeckers love to attack THROUGH the cedar wood itself, lending further damage.

I have tried various traps with some success, but it continues to be a cyclical destructive problem. When this problem surfaced several years ago, we were not beekeepers yet. I have a personal friend that is a professional exterminator, and prior to having bees, he sprayed here a couple of times and cured the problem....for a year or two. I am thinking about having him spray here again soon (the Carpenter Bees come on strong in May) and plan to cover all vegetation around the perimeter of the house with tarps or drop cloth where any spray likely will settle. I DEFINITELY don't want any of this "overspray" carried back to the hives, or to at least minimize it. Having the benefit of my exterminator being a personal friend, he can spray on a day when the wind is as calm as possible, or if there is even a slight breeze, he can do it when the hives are upwind due to wind direction.

Yes, I could move my hives further away to another corner of the property, but how far is far enough ? The bees will still come up around the house in the yard to hit all of the dandelions, so i'm not sure moving them will help much.

We definitely love our bees, but our home comes first when it come to protecting it from costly destruction.

Anyone else that has had a similar experience, I would love to hear from, as well as any of you with ideas for a solution.
 

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5 ,8 ,10 frame, and long Lang
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how long is the spray "active" could screen the bees for 48 hours or whatever.
Can you move the bees to a different place for a week?
My be a PITA but safe is better than sorry.

Close them move them , your options may not be many

GG
 

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pushing steel wool into the holes you can reach first thing in the morning or last thing in the afternoon...

get a badminton or tennis raquet and have some fun...

have your friend come and spray, i do and it's never been an issue with my bees...
 

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He will almost certainly be using a synthetic pyrethroid, which is quite long lasting, if you think it may get onto plants bees are foraging, just have him do it at a time of year when they are not foraging those plants.

Having said that, any professional pest control guy should have the skills to apply the spray without getting an undue amount on the plants, I suspect your fears may be unfounded. Bees forage a huge area not just the plants around your home.

Other possibility is apply some kind of clear sealant to the cedar that the carpenter bees don't want to chew through.
 

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I read your question with interest as we have a small problem with Carpenter Bees around the house. I followed the link provided by Wildbranch2007, then proceeded to Google Carpenter Bee Trap Plan. There's a bunch of plans out there. The easiest I found used a 7" piece of 4x4.
CarpenterBeeTrap.jpg
  • Cut two 45 degree angles on the top, to make the 'roof'
  • Turn upside down and drill a 7/8" hole, straight 'up' the very center, 4" deep
  • Mark the center on each of the four sides, two inches up from the bottom.
  • On all four sides, drill with a 1/2" bit up, at a 45 degree angle, at the mark made above.
  • All four of these holes will intercept the 7/8" hole drilled up from the bottom
  • Take any jar and lid. Drill a 7/8" hole in the center of the lid and screw to the bottom of the trap, aligning the hole in the lid with the hole you drilled, very straight, up the center, from the bottom
  • Place a staple or hook-eye in the top for hanging
  • Screw the jar onto the lid
Theory is the bees will climb up the holes to check them out, then down the center hole, see the light at the end and crawl out into the jar to die. I've already made two and just hung one up. I'm fed up with the Carpenter Bees buzzing my head! :shhhh:

John
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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Use the aforementioned carpenter bee traps and fill any holes you find with Elmer's wood putty which is non toxic to the bees and dries quickly. To find holes, search for little piles of sawdust and look up.
 

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30 years ago I was taking care of an all cedar exterior home. The fascia boards were attacked every year by carpenter bees. The exterminator I used blew some type of white powder into each entry hole. It killed the developing larvae and the laying queen in the tunnel she carved, as she walked through it. I never heard of spraying an overall area like you mention. Maybe the powder isn't allowed anymore?
 

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You'd spray the overall area cos only treating holes already there, is shutting the gate, after the horse got out.

The plan would be to prevent new holes.
 

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many years ago you could buy paint that had some kind of chemical in it that would kill the bees, alas as we go greener they made that illegal to do.
 

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I suspect the powder was either Sevin (carbaryl), which is still available or Chlorodane which was very effective and a bit nasty (which is why it was banned in 1988).

NY14804 said:
30 years ago I was taking care of an all cedar exterior home. The fascia boards were attacked every year by carpenter bees. The exterminator I used blew some type of white powder into each entry hole.
 

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I suspect the powder was either Sevin (carbaryl), which is still available or Chlorodane which was very effective and a bit nasty (which is why it was banned in 1988).
since it was mixed with the paint I would think they would have to have used something less toxic especially if you spray it. I helped paint a house where they added one of the mint oils to it to stop them, never did ask how it worked.
 

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I suspect the powder was either Sevin (carbaryl), which is still available or Chlorodane which was very effective and a bit nasty (which is why it was banned in 1988).
This, probably.

Carpenter bees are notoriously hard to control. The best method is to make the wood unappealing to them by either painting w/ a high gloss paint or putting a high gloss finish on the wood stain. This is what I do to keep them off my wood structures. Have a grape arbor they have not touched over the 6 yrs it has been built right next to my old deck that they are all over each year (and all my garden/chicken run fence posts). And I have fun w/ the tennis racket too.

Also have a post beam barn on our farm property in PA that I but a high gloss finish on and have only ever seen one carpenter bee try to attack. Though I am not sure they are as dense up there as down here but the neighbors say they are a problem--they are really bad here in MD. If you want to go this route I'd fill all the holes w/ cotton and seal, then paint over. could dust w/ Sevin dust or permethrin dust first to kill any larvae.
 

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Sounds like lots of good ideas; I wonder if Bee Gone or any other products like that would work. Also I like Mikes idea of offering them a “house”.
 
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