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Eastern Carpenter Bee

About Carpenter Bees

Carpenter Bees Found Across Canada

Hello to our northern neighbors in beautiful Canada! Best Bee Brothers now delivers to you! The same large carpenter bees that pester homeowners in the eastern US also range into Canada.

The scientific name for this eastern carpenter bee is Xylocopa virginica (X. virginica). This species of carpenter bee is found only in the eastern portion of North America.1 Their large shape greatly resembles that of a bumble bees, but their shiny black abdomen is the key to telling them apart.

X. virginica is a solitary bee, like all carpenter bees. The male and female form a unit and together they create and protect their nests. X. virginica prefers soft pine wood and cedar, both commonly found in this area of world.

Eastern Carpenter Bee | Best Bee Brothers

The female carpenter bee is the nest builder, and the male carpenter bee is the nest protector. Some nests will be social nests, in which two or three females work together to build the nest and then lay their eggs, while their male mates protect. The female carpenter bees do not eat the wood they drill through, but rather collect some of the shavings to make partitions in the tunnels to protect their eggs.

The life cycle of the eastern carpenter bee begins in the spring and lasts until winter. At the end of the egg-laying phase, the females will die in their nest. The males will continue to protect the nest until they too crawl into the tunnel and die. The young carpenter bees will emerge in the spring and begin the cycle anew.


  1. Eastern carpenter bee. (2019, March 28). Retrieved May 28, 2019, from

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Article Comments

  • Customer Support on

    @Kathleen – This is not a known habit of the carpenter bee. Since Carpenter Bees are territorial, it may be possible they are interacting with other bees but we don’t think they are robbing the honey bees of their honey. Very interesting! ~Customer Support

  • Jason Broderick on

    I believe i saw an eastern carpenter bee, in a swarm of honey bees, crawling inside and out of a hollow in a large tree a few days ago in southern Ontario. Would carpenter bees robbing from the honey bees or the other way around? There didnt look to be a struggle but a ton of flying in and out of the hole and very busy!!

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