Carpenter Bee Removal & Bumblebee Rescue in Orange County
Carpenter bees look like solid-colored bumblebees. They are either black or yellow-ish brown. Orange County carpenter bees are often mistaken for bumblebees, as they are the same size and shape. They are, however, no more closely related to bumblebees than to any other bee. They can be distinguished from bumblebees in that they have a shiny abdomen while bumblebees are entirely furry, and bumblebees are yellow and black while carpenter bees tend to be a solid colour (around here usually either all black if female or yellow-tan if male).
Orange County Carpenter bees bore holes into soft wood to make their nest. This can include structural beams of your home or old trees. However, they usually only select wood that is rotting because of its soft workability. They probably will not choose your structure unless it is already compromised due to age or termites (but we can’t guarantee they won’t!!). Technically carpenter bees are solitary insects, but a few related individuals will sometimes co-habitate the same tunnels.
Orange County Carpenter bees tend to make a very loud buzzing noise while in flight. We often get calls from people who are spooked by this. The loud noise is not a sign of aggression, and they are extremely unlikely to sting. The males have no stinger and females will not sting unless very directly provoked.
Bee Busters can provide eradication services if these Orange County carpenter bees have taken up residence somewhere on your property. The best way to prevent these problems is to remove wood that would be ideal for their nesting. If they are simply visiting your garden just remember they will most likely ignore your presence completely.
Carpenter bee species native to Southern California are Xylocopa orpifex, Xylocopa varipuncta, and Xylocopa californica.
Bumblebees are the much bigger bees covered in black and yellow fur that you see pollinating plants. Like honeybees, they are extremely unlikely to sting while foraging and will only do so if provoked. Like all bees, however, they will be proactive about defending their nest. Bumblebees can sting repeatedly and their stings are very painful.
Bumblebees live in nests in the ground and can number in the dozens up to a few hundred individuals. At the onset of winter all adult female bumblebees typically go into hibernation, and at the end of summer all set out to establish new colonies of their own. As such all female bumblebees are potential queens, and there’s no physiological difference between a bumblebee queen and worker.
Bumblebees are important providers of “buzz pollination.” This is pollination by shaking the bajeezes out of a flower, shaking pollen loose. Several important crops such as potatoes and tomatoes rely on buzz pollination.
Bumblebees are native to this area, unlike honeybees, yellow jackets and wasps. Unfortunately, our local native bumblebee species, Bombus sonorus, is an endangered species. As such, if you call us about a bumblebee nest, we will rescue them live and rehabilitate them in an appropriate location if at all possible.
Some other interesting facts about bumblebees:
- Bumblebees leave little note-to-selfs on the flowers they visit – they leave a scent marker on various flowers to indicate if they are unproductive, productive, take awhile before they can be revisited, or are hard to get pollen out of.
- The fur on bumblebees builds up a static charge as they fly. Flowers won’t have a charge since they’re usually well grounded. This causes pollen to be electromagnetically attracted to bumblebees.