Black bumble bees, also called carpenter bees, are common here in Phoenix, so you may find them on your property from time to time. Because of their similarities to other bee species, they are often confused with others, like bumble bees and honey bees. Here’s what you need to know about black bumble bees and how to identify them.
Types of Bees
If you think you might have a bee problem on your property, the first step is to determine what types of bees you are dealing with. Here’s a look at some of the most common and their identifying features.
Honey bees are the type that you are probably most familiar with. These small bees typically have black and yellow stripes around their bodies. They are best-suited for pollinating open flowers and live in large colonies. Honey bee stings can be painful, sometimes causing allergic reactions, but they generally won’t sting unless provoked.
Like honey bees, bumble bees also have black and yellow stripes, but these bees tend to be larger in size. Their bodies are mostly covered with fur, and they gather pollen and nectar. Bumble bee colonies are usually smaller, comprising as few as 50 bees. They make their colonies underground to avoid heat and direct sunlight, which are common in our Phoenix climate.
Carpenter bees are similar in size and stature to bumble bees, though they don’t have as much fur and are mostly black in color. This is how they got the common name of black bumble bees, though they are not technically bumble bees. Unlike the other bee types, though, black bumble bees do not focus their efforts on pollenating. Instead, they burrow nests in wood to lay their eggs.
Black bumble bees do not live in colonies, rather, they pair off, with each couple living alone. Female carpenter bees are largely responsible for building the nest. In a series of tunnels, she’ll lay eggs. The male guards the nest and gathers nectar to provide food for their babies when they emerge the next spring.
The Danger of Black Bumble Bees
Because they live such solitary lifestyles, carpenter bees generally do not sting. While the females are capable of stinging, they require a lot of provocation to get them to do so. In general, they are not dangerous to people. That doesn’t mean that you want them hanging around your Phoenix property though.
Carpenter bees can cause significant damage to your home. As they burrow into the wood in your home’s structure to nest, they create networks of tunnels. This weakens the wood, making it more likely to crack or break, possibly requiring costly repairs. Not only that, but structural damage can lower the potential selling price for your home if you decide to sell in the future.
The following spring, you’ll also likely have a lot more black bumble bees to deal with once the eggs hatch. This is a problem that is best dealt with quickly to avoid an infestation in the future. The more carpenter bees nearby, the greater the potential for significant damage to the structure of your home.
We’ll Help You Get Rid of Bees on Your Phoenix Property
If you suspect that carpenter bees, bumble bees or honey bees have taken up residence on your property, our team can remove them. Our team members are highly trained and skilled in removing black bumble bees and more. We’ll get the bees off your property so that they no longer pose a threat to you and your loved ones, as well as your home itself.
Reach out to the Budget Brothers Termite & Pest Elimination team today to learn more about our bee removal services. We’ll be happy to set you up with a pest inspection to identify any potential bee or other pest problems.