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Advice for carpenter bees  RSS feed

 
gardener
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I'm building a log cabin. The materials kit is being delivered next week, and I have some concern over providing a buffet for the healthy carpenter bee population that I have observed on my farm. The outhouse I built and put on the land six weeks ago already has half a dozen holes in it from carpenter bee drilling. We will be treating the timbers with a borax solution after the house is assembled which will take about 3 weeks or a month, but I need some advice on what I can do in the meantime. I thought about placing some scrap lumber in various places away from the homesite in hope to attract them and lure them away from where I'm building, but it got me thinking that maybe I'll just be baiting more carpenter bees from neighboring land to come over for the abundant nesting habitat.

Interestingly, there are two old dilapidated cabins on the land, one about 100-120 years old made from sawmill lumber, and the other approximately 150-200 years old made from hand hewn timbers with dovetail corners, that don't have any carpenter bee holes in them. It's got me wondering what carpenter bees prefer and why they choose some wood over others. The old cabins are made of oak and poplar, and there was some beadboard in one room that appears to be pine.

Any ideas?
 
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Putting scrap wood around isn't going to help your situation, its going to encourage a breeding ground for the bees.
I would recommend that you get some carpenter bee traps and dispose of accordingly. you can find these for $20.
or build your own if you have the time.
 
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I wonder if the original timber is denser cause it's old growth?
 
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Wondering where you are James?   I am just moving on to my property in McNairy county TN.  I find all your posts of like-interests/questions to mine.  

Had Carpenter bees bad in spring 2018, when I was in Wayne county.  They went after old wood, new wood, soft wood, hard woods, painted.....not treated.  Never caught a one in the traps.

 
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Carpenter bees do not appear to have any preferences for wood species. The only way I have found to be rid of the buggers is to caulk their hole at night or smash them if I catch them in the act of boring their new home.
I have had to deal with these creatures in several different locations, each with different species of wood being used and painted, unpainted, borax treated, no matter to the carpenter bees.
I talked to some professors and they told me the best thing to do was to fill the hole with some type of caulk to kill both the bee and the egg or I'd just have more of them to deal with.
I did find (by accident) that WD-40 sprayed directly on them will knock them out of the air so you can crush them.

I don't normally treat any pollinators with extreme measures but these guys have nearly killed me twice, so I will take them out before they have the opportunity to get me.
Redhawk
 
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When I was a kid,  my grandfather would gather up the neighborhood kids, arm us with old tennis raquets.  I still keep one right outside the barn.
 
James Freyr
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Hey Becky, I'm over west of the river also.

Here's a follow up on the carpenter bees. It seemed to me that they have a cycle, and when my log cabin went up, I really had little trouble with them. They had made Swiss cheese out of my outhouse before construction started and I'm guessing the ones in the vicinity had made their nests and we're done for the season. I did see a few buzzing about but they pretty much left the cabin alone. It will be interesting to see what happens this coming spring.
 
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James Freyr wrote:
Any ideas?



When I first saw your post in the forum home page list, I got a real chuckle.  I suspected I knew what you meant i.e."Advice on dealing with carpenter bees"prior to clicking on it, but the first picture that came into my overly active mind was a classroom full of carpenter bees being "advised" by a carpenter bee school marm buzzing around with a pointer.  Sorry for wasting all of your time, but I couldn't not post it.
 
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Yes I live in a log home, Yes, I have a plethora of carpenter bees on the homestead using my home as their nursery. I have more of an issue with the woodpeckers! They enlarge the bee tunnel entrances for an afternoon feast. The damage goes from a 1/4 inch hole to  2-3 inches
 
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