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Do Carpenter Bees Eat Wood?

About Carpenter Bees

Contrary to popular belief, carpenter bees do not eat wood! On the front of the female’s head is a set of large mandibles. With these she is able to vibrate against the grain of the wood and carve out a tunnel. After the female removes a bit of wood fiber, she pushes it out of the tunnel. Traces of wood shavings that look much like sawdust around the tunnel or directly below it are a telltale sign of a carpenter bee nest.  

Carpenter Bee Nest

So what do carpenter bees actually eat? Like all other bees, they eat nectar and pollen.  Because of their impressive mandibles, carpenter bees are able to drink nectar from the underside of flowers. This method is efficient for them, but makes them less effective pollinators, earning them the nickname of Nectar Robbers.



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