Wood Bees – How Different Are They From Honey Bees?


Wood Bees - How Different Are They From Honey Bees?

Wood bees are commonly known as carpenter bees. They belong to the Xylocopinae family. They get their name from tunnelling into hard natural material like bamboo or dead wood. The only exceptions are species called Proxylocopa who only settle by burrowing in soft soil.

Wood bees take after honey bees but usually have a sparkling, bald midriff. (Honey bees, for the most part, have a bristly mid-region with dark and yellow stripes.) The honey bees additionally have distinctive settling propensities. Honey bees settle into broken spaces like surrendered rat tunnels while wood bees burrow into wood to lay their eggs.

Wood Bees - How Different Are They From Honey Bees?
Wood Bees – How Different Are They From Honey Bees?

How Dangerous Are Wood Bees?

Bees help maintain the ecosystem but carpenter bees could be a nuisance sometimes. Just like termites, carpenter bees can cause havoc within an urban residence. Female wood bees create new passages in wood for egg-laying make old holes bigger for reuse. They can inflict a lot of damage. If infested again and again, a piece of furniture can get completely destroyed. Openings in the wood surface additionally encourage dampness interruption, spoil and rot.

Wood Bees And Honey Bees – The Difference

Numerous species in this colossal family are hard to differentiate. Most species are full black with a yellow tinge on their bodies. Some of them are different in terms of the male genitalia. The males of certain species are completely different from the females. They are often shrouded in greenish-yellow hide.

There is huge confusion over wood bee species especially in the basic names in India. For instance, the basic name for Xylocopa is bhomora. These carpenter bees are ordinarily misattributed to a European animal variety – Xylocopa violacea. These species are usually found in the Northern areas of Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab.

Non-experts usually mistake woodworker honey bees for bumblebees. The easiest way to distinguish most wood bees is to look at their stomach area. Thick hair is what protects their gut. Certain species of male carpenter bees have yellow faces which are not found in honey bees. The females don’t have the uncovered corbicula of honey bees and the rear legs are sometimes furry.

Wood Bees - How Different Are They From Honey Bees?
Wood Bees – How Different Are They From Honey Bees?

One of the other ways to differentiate them is by their wing venation. Their back wings are long and thin while the front wings are much smaller. The size of their eyes separates numerous species. Males have bigger ones than females. There are two types of eastern species in USA – X. micans and Xylocopa virginica.

Biggest Enemies Of Carpenter Bees

Woodpeckers and different types of winged creatures likes shrikes and warm-blooded rodents like ratels eat wood bees. Different predators like savage flies belong to huge types of the family Asilidae. The buzzing sound of the hives draw woodpeckers in. They react immediately to attack the hive.

The best way to control bees is by taking measures before the attack. Aerosol contains chemicals like bifenthrin, cyfluthrin, deltamethrin or lambda cyhalothrin. It completely discourages bees from settling. After spraying the aerosol on the open holes, let it rest. The bees will naturally scatter. The wood decay will be contained.

Insecticides can be used to treat carpenter bees. Spray it on top the affected area. It will remain effective for 3-4 weeks. Reapply after that. Paint also stops wood bees from tunnelling. Stay alert in the spring season. That is when the bees look for new homes.

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