When is carpenter bee season?
Carpenter bees emerge in the spring, and start looking for a spot to build their nests, so you’ll trap more bees, if you put your trap(s) out while they’re still looking for nesting sites. Here in Tennessee, carpenter bees emerge in April/May, and die off in July. You season may vary slightly, based on where you live.
That’s not to say that you can’t trap carpenter bees in the summer because you absolutely can. If you’re still seeing active carpenter bees, you still have a chance to trap them. You’re just going to have to work a little harder to make it happen. By this point, they will have well established nests, so you’ll need to be doubly sure that you’ve destroyed their nests. Otherwise they won’t have any reason to go looking for a new nesting spot. They’ll have turned their attention to egg laying.
With a little extra vigilance, we have successfully trapped carpenter bees in the final weeks of the season.
If you’re no longer seeing carpenter bees, they’ve probably gone dormant for the year. Just hang your traps, and treat and fill the holes as prescribed above, and you’ll be ready for them next year.
Do I need to bait the jar with anything?
Nope. The wood and carpenter-bee sized holes are bait enough. But do leave carpenter bees in the jar once you trap them. They’ll help you attract more carpenter bees. If the jar gets so full that you have to empty it, be sure to leave a few bees behind as bait.
Will the carpenter bee traps capture other bees and wasps?
Not usually. Without the addition of another form of bait, these traps will really only be interesting to the carpenter bees. You may occasionally catch a wasp that has crawled inside the trap to feast on the carpenter bees, but that’s pretty much it. And that’s what’s so great about these traps – they allow you to address your carpenter bee problem without harming other pollinators.
Do carpenter bees sting?
Very rarely. They’re solitary bees, so they’ll only sting, if they feel incredibly threatened. You’d just about have to squish one to get stung. And only the females are capable of stinging. The males may fly towards you in an aggressive manner, if you get near their nest, but they can’t do anything to harm you. They’re all buzz and no sting.