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Show Me a Carpenter Bee

About Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees can come in a variety of colors depending upon where you live. Even though there are a variety of carpenter bees there are a handful of characteristics to identify a carpenter bee.

Show Me A Carpenter Bee: Carpenter Bee Anatomy

The diagram above shows the following defining physical characteristics of a carpenter bee:

  • Length: Typically 1 inch long
  • Legs: 4 fuzzy black legs
  • Mandibles: Used for digging through wood
  • Abdomen: Hard, black and shiny
  • Thorax: Mid-section of the body with a fuzzy texture
  • Antenna: How the bee senses or smells things

The shiny hard abdomen is the most distinguishing physical trait of the carpenter bee regardless of the variety in your area. Because of their large size, it is easy to see the abdomen without getting too close. The thorax of the carpenter bee will display the colors on the fuzzy, small hairs. The most common colors are yellow, white, black and brown.

Female carpenter bees do sting, so please use caution when inspecting areas with possible carpenter bee infestation!

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Article Comments

  • Bob on

    the trap works really great within 2 hours there were 2 in the trap, thnx

  • Customer Support on

    @Karl – Sorry to hear your mailbox has been significantly damaged by carpenter bees! We can certainly understand the uncertainty of even trying to add a trap. Do you happen to have any other items within 15 feet of the mailbox where you could add/hang a trap? This would help lure them away from your mailbox as the traps are effective within 15 feet. We do recommend trying to plug the holes as best as possible, but it does sound like that may be difficult. ~Customer Support

  • Karl on

    The horizontal arms of my cedar mailbox post out at the street is beginning to look more like Swiss cheese than a cedar post. I just learned reading your FAQs the females can sting. I was (wrongly) under the impression Carpenters were all posturing but not harmful to humans, which was why I’ve left the Carpenters well enough alone before. Not sure how I could utilize a trap now since there may be multiple nests. (It would look more like a wood plug post than a mailbox post!). Plus, it’s a stand-alone post without anything else around where I could mount a trap.

  • Customer Support on

    @Julie – If it is a carpenter bee (sounds like there is a chance it could be) it may nest. It is a carpenter bee nesting season in a lot of parts of the country right now! ~ Customer Suppoer

  • Julie on

    Just watched big black colour bee going through gap in my shed door I opened door and it’s walking around the floor will it nest

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