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Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring #70: Carpenter bees...begone!

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Blog entry by Paul Bucalo posted 05-17-2016 08:38 PM 976 reads 0 times favorited 8 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 69: Working the shop and Paul Sellers' latest book! Part 70 of Woodworking on a Half-Shoestring series Part 71: Odds and Ends around The Dungeon »

This year I decided I had had enough of ‘beeing buzzed’ by female carpenter bees. I have made two traps so far.

The first one shown here I hung near the discard wood pile, having noticed a lot of activity in that area this spring. It will have to be relocated once the wood pile is gone, as the trailer will be parked in the spot behind it. The design was found on Instructables. On the backside (not visible in the photo) is another slanted entrance hole located in the top third area of the face. I used Loctite Pro Construction adhesive on this. Messy stuff.

The second one I finished making just a little while ago. It has been mounted high up against the outside back porch wall. The bees circle the house over and over again, so hopefully this will entice them to be curious enough to be trapped. I decided to use an empty Miracle Whip plastic jar and lid on this one. Any future ones I make will use the plastic containers—easier to handle, larger than the small Mason canning jars I have, and they don’t cost me anything. Titebond III was used in the construction with silicone caulk used to seal the plastic lid to the bottom.

Left and ride sides of the unit have the entrance holes. Back side has a narrow mounting board that is screwed to the porch.

Supposedly I should expect my first capture in about a week. I’ll see how these do before considering a third unit. If only there was a carpenter bee’s equivalent to catnip. Hurry up there, little doggies. I’ve got things to do outside.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA



8 comments so far

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5721 posts in 2827 days


#1 posted 05-18-2016 12:20 AM

Good thing they are only carpenter bees!
In Freemont CA they had a hive of Africanized, very aggressive, bees that killed two dogs and severely injured some people.
Last report they moved the hive, don’t know what they did with the bees.

I have seen all types of bee traps and there is no reason yours shouldn’t work!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#2 posted 05-18-2016 12:37 AM


Good thing they are only carpenter bees!
In Freemont CA they had a hive of Africanized, very aggressive, bees that killed two dogs and severely injured some people.
Last report they moved the hive, don t know what they did with the bees.

Wow. I am thankful not to have encountered Africanized bees. I don’t react well to any bee sting, so I’m sure these would surely do me in in short order.

The female carpenter bees are aggressive, but so far none have actually hurt me. They like to hover around me when I am working outdoors and many times they buzz me like a jet jockey wanting to impress his peers. I read elsewhere that they don’t contribute as much to pollination as other bees, so I don’t feel bad about getting rid of them. In fact, the only time they seem to go near a flower is to recharge for some more aggressive territory management.


I have seen all types of bee traps and there is no reason yours shouldn t work!

- oldnovice

What I gathered from my research is that there aren’t specific dimensions or even shapes that are successful. But I do wonder if I used thick enough wood to keep light from coming in through the entry ports. Time will tell.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 526 days


#3 posted 05-18-2016 06:30 AM

I dunno, I find I like the buzzing. It’s a sign of a healthy ecosystem. And, when we are in a crisis of bees, not ‘as much’ pollination is still significant. You know I am no tree-hugger, but killing ‘em just because they are being bees seems wrong somehow. Now if they were wasps or hornets – really aggressive critters like that – sure, but bees?

Not having a go, just discussing.

That being said, I like the lines and proportions. Functional and kinda pretty. Win.

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#4 posted 05-18-2016 11:28 AM


I dunno, I find I like the buzzing. It s a sign of a healthy ecosystem. And, when we are in a crisis of bees, not as much pollination is still significant. You know I am no tree-hugger, but killing em just because they are being bees seems wrong somehow. Now if they were wasps or hornets – really aggressive critters like that – sure, but bees?

Not having a go, just discussing.

That being said, I like the lines and proportions. Functional and kinda pretty. Win.

- Ted Ewen

I leave all other bees alone, Ted. When I mean buzzing, I don’t mean the sound. I mean like buzzing a flight tower with the intent on seeing how close one can get to the tower, and they do it not out of curiosity, but because of the female’s aggressive nature. They will attack and sting, whereas the makes are benign. These females are trying to make nests or return to last year’s, the one they were born in, which amounts to boring into wood and leaving behind larvae. Once they infest an area generations return to use the same nest. They are destructive, like termites, albeit on a much smaller scale. I mentioned that they don’t provide much in the way of pollination because I put up with other creatures that are too beneficial to destroy.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View Ted Ewen's profile

Ted Ewen

187 posts in 526 days


#5 posted 05-18-2016 11:43 AM

Ah, that’s fair enough. Just channelling my inner hippy I guess ;)

-- Show us a man who never makes a mistake and we will show a man who never makes anything. The capacity for occasional blundering is inseparable from the capacity to bring things to pass.

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#6 posted 05-18-2016 11:48 AM



Ah, that s fair enough. Just channelling my inner hippy I guess ;)

- Ted Ewen

No worries. I believe in live and let live, as long as my space and possessions are not at risk. Never made it to full-fledged Hippy. I think I got as far as initiate level. ;)

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

View oldnovice's profile

oldnovice

5721 posts in 2827 days


#7 posted 05-18-2016 03:51 PM

Paul, Ted, there are many varieties of bees!
In Illinois we had an underground infestation right under the clothes lines. They were hard to remove!

-- "I never met a board I didn't like!"

View Paul Bucalo's profile

Paul Bucalo

619 posts in 819 days


#8 posted 05-18-2016 04:07 PM


Paul, Ted, there are many varieties of bees!
In Illinois we had an underground infestation right under the clothes lines. They were hard to remove!

- oldnovice

Ironically, if the female carpenter bees weren’t so aggressive around humans, they wouldn’t be noticed until the damage was found and repairs contemplated. As it is, people are doing what I did, search the Web to find out what kind they are and gleaning from that information the damage they can do and how to dispose of them. I’m glad there aren’t Africanized bees on my property.

-- -- Paul Bucalo, Norwich NY USA

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