Carpenter Bee vs Bumblebee – Signs

Amidst the confusion between black bees in your yard, you must have tried to compare carpenter bee vs. bumblebee.

But first, have a look at the quick guide below before we get into more details. 

How to get rid of bumble bees naturally

1. Fill all the holes, rodent, or animal burrows near your house to deter bumble bees from creating nests.

2. Close all holes that point to the outside of your home.

Carpenter Bee vs. Bumblebee: Difference?


  • Have a black, bare, and glittery upper abdomen with some hair at their lower and middle abdomen.
  • A yellow midsection with a black dot in the center.
  • Smaller body size, territorial and aggressive (mainly male)
  • Are mainly black, but some have yellow marks on their head.
  • Have mandibles at the front of their head used for wood drilling.
  • Poor in pollination.


  • Have fuzzy or soft hair (pile) that covers their whole body.
  • Its body has aposematic coloration (yellow and black patterns).
  • Have “bumbling” flight patterns,
  • Have a proboscis for pollen and nectar gathering.
  • Are fatter than carpenter bees.
  • Good pollinators
  • Furry abdominal section with 1-4 yellow stripes
  • Larger body size and non-aggressive


Compare carpenter bee vs. Bumblebee


Carpenter bees

Carpenter bees are black and large bees and come during the end of spring and start of summer. The name “carpenter bees,” also known as “wood bees,” was created due to the bees’ practice of wood-boring to create nests for their young ones.

There exist many species of carpenter bees. However, Xylocopa Virginia (L.) is the most common species, yellow and black in color and an inch long. Further, carpenter bees are described as solitary bees. Every female tunnel into the wood to create its nest.

Male carpenter bees: Do not sting

The male carpenter bees hover around the house, searching for mates and good paces to create their nests. Also, they are very aggressive and hover around people moving near their nests.

However, since they have no stingers, male carpenter bees are harmless. Notably, females have black face while males have yellow faces.

Female carpenter bees: have stingers.

On the other hand, female carpenter bees have stingers and are quite harmful. However, the females are less aggressive and will only attack in self-defense when molested. Also, the females have dense black hairs blush in the hind legs.


The whole body of bumblebees is covered with hairs. It is also critical to note that the female bumblebees’ body has yellow hair patches on their upper abdomen. Further, bumblebees socially live in underground nests.

Female bumblebees cannot sting continuously. Further, they will only attack you or your animal’s attack when disturbed. Despite that, the stings can be painful; it is not dangerous unless it is around the neck or head or for people who have an allergic reaction to bee venom.

The bumblebee is in the genus Bombus. There are more than 250 species and mainly live in higher altitudes. It has a round body covered in a pile (long branched setae) of soft hair.


Carpenter Bees

The following conditions will indicate the possible presence of carpenter bees.

– Sawdust piles under perfectly drilled and circular holes in the house.

– Large, yellow, black, and shiny bees that hover over your head in the home.

– Moldy, yellow, or fan-shaped stains on the sides of a structure.


Bumblebees mainly nest below the ground (in or under refuse dumps, debris, or soil). Mi9anly, the bees acquire their food from flowers. Despite that, they also create honey; they store it in a minimal amount and thus not commercially viable.

Bumblebees are helpful pollinators to some plant species but not as effective as the honey bees for commercial plant pollination.

Nesting habits

Although carpenter bee vs. bumblebee has similar appearances, they have different nesting habits.

For example, bumblebees prefer nesting in the ground while the carpenter bees tend to tunnel in wood to lay eggs there. They prefer weathered, bare of unpainted softwoods, particularly cypress and redwood.

Except for the new queens in the colony, all the other bumblebee colonies perish at the end of fall. The remaining queens thus ensure continuity of the species by laying eggs in spring.

Control carpenter bee and bumblebee

Carpenter Bee

Do you have wood, particularly softwood, that is not painted or without stains? If yes, carpenter bees could be well attracted to your premises.

To prevent carpenter bees from attacking your structures, ensure to stain, paint or treat the wood. Since the bees love softwoods, always use hardwood to build your structures to prevent them from creating their nests.

Further, examine if any wood had been attacked previously attacked by the carpenter bees as they are highly likely to be struck.

Even though wood preservatives and stains are considered less effective in preventing carpenter bees, they offer some repellency levels. Also, close the garages to prevent the carpenter bees from creating nests.

You can use liquid sprays having synthetic pyrethroid, chlorpyrifos (Dursban), and carbaryl (Sevin) on wood to prevent an attack from the carpenter bees. Ensure to repeat the treatment process after two weeks.

Also, you can use insecticidal dust to treat wood tunnel openings. After treatment, approximately one week later, close the entrance hole using a wooden piece of wood.

How to get rid of bumblebees

Bumble Bee can be described as beneficial insects. However, they can be dangerous, depending on where their nests are located. To control bumblebees, you should use both chemical and non-chemical control methods.

Chemical treatment

Since timing is important for the control of bumblebees, note the bumblebee nest’s location when it is still day time. At night or early evening, or early morning before dawn, treat the nest with the appropriate insecticides to maximize effectiveness.

Treating the nests during day time can reach very few bees as most are active and busy outside the nest. Remember to wear protective clothing such as a bee veil.  You can use D-Force HPX or D-Force HPX to kill the bees. Also, you can apply D Fence Dust around or inside the nest.

Use insecticides containing resmethrin or pyrethrins to knock- down the bumblebees. Also, you can use the dust of sprays that contain carbaryl (Sevin®). After treatment, close the bumblebee hole with soil.  

Recent Posts