There are two fat, furry bees that can come into your Franklin yard. They are the bumble bee and the carpenter bee. Both are helpful for pollination but one can present a threat to your property. Let's talk about the commonalities and differences between these two insects and see what we can learn that will help us guard against the threats they can pose.
It is important to know which bee you're dealing with because they don't present the same threats. Fortunately, it is easy to tell the difference between a carpenter bee and a bumble bee in Middle Tennessee. The carpenter bees we see most are eastern carpenter bees or xylocopa virginica, which has the yellow and black coloration of a bumble bee. But, while the eastern carpenter bee and all species of bumble bee have black and yellowish hairs, the yellowish hairs on a carpenter bee do not extend to the abdomen. Its abdomen is entirely black. This difference can be seen from several feet away.
These are solitary insects. They rarely sting and they do not group together to protect their nest. But that is where the good news ends. Carpenter bees bore circular tunnels into wood and are prone to reuse and expand existing tunnels. Over time, they can do a lot of damage to your home. If you see these bees buzzing around under your deck, exterior wooden stairs, and other wooden structures, you may have a carpenter bee infestation.
When one of these insects comes into your yard, you don't have too much to worry about. Bumble bees are not aggressive. But you can have trouble with them if they create a nest in your yard. These are social insects that will defend their nests and attack you. And, unlike honey bees, they do not have a barb on their stinger. That means they can sting you multiple times. Look for bumble bee activity around ground holes, tree cavities, stumps, brush piles, trash piles, hollow logs, etc.
What To Do About Carpenter Bees and Bumble Bees
Carpenter bees get inside wood. That makes it difficult for homeowners to properly deal with them. This can lead to ongoing damage. It is best to have someone with pest control experience address this problem. As for bumble bees—well, they're not usually a problem but, if nests are a concern for you, routine visits from a licensed professional can help to prevent nests from taking root. If you need assistance and you are in our Franklin service area, reach out to us. We're here to help.