Carpenter bee

Carpenter Bee

Carpenter Bees-Zylocopa Virginica

Color-Blue-black, green or purple metallic sheen on abdomen; look like typical bumblebees but often lack yellow stripes.

Legs-Six    /  Shape-Oval    /   Size-1 inch    /  Antennae-Yes  /    Flying-Yes

Region- Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Carpenter bees are active in Canada.  Resembling bumblebees, they are different in that the top of their abdomen is hairless, often shiny, black, and has no yellow stripe and they are solitary insects.  Males are noticeably aggressive in behavior and have a white spot on their face, luckily they do not possess stingers so are harmless; females do have stingers but are mainly docile. The carpenter bee bores into dried, seasoned and untreated wood surfaces, preferring softwoods such as cedar, pine and fir.  In the Calgary area they nest in nail holes and unpainted wood thus are commonly found in porch and shed ceilings, railings, overhead trim, wooden patio furniture, fence posts, wooden shingles, siding, window sills and doors.  You will see sawdust piles and defecation stains near perfectly round tunnels in wood.  Besides the annoyance of their constant buzzing, they can damage wood through their nest building.