Honey Bee Queen Management Techniques

It’s common procedure for beekeepers to improve their colonies by requeening colonies that aren’t performing well. One of the common desirable features a beekeeper looks for in the queen’s offspring are –  gentleness, good collectors of honey or pollen, illness and pest resistance, lowered swarming, minimal propolis use, effective pollination, or a desired body color.

Marking Queens

International Queen Marking Color Code  

Color –      For Year Ending In –

White (or gray)    1 or 6

Yellow    2 or 7

Red    3 or 8

Green    4 or 9

Blue    5 or 0

Because the queen is the source of all worker honey bees in the honey bee colony, it is important that the beekeeper make sure that the queen is the one originally placed in the honey bee colony. It is nearly impossible to determine that a specific queen has been lost if the queen has not been given a unique identifying mark.   

It is common practice to mark the queen with a small spot of paint on her back (thorax). A color code exists within the beekeeping industry to indicate the year the queen was introduced (see table to right).   

Model car paint may  be used to mark the queen.  The identifying mark ought to be small, so that it doesn’t cover any other part of the queen. A 1/16″ stick, lightly dipped in paint, is a good applicator.    

Usually, queens are marked before being introduced, but they can; however, be marked at any time. Paint ought to be given ample time to dry before the queen is released into the honey bee colony. In truth, queens might  be purchased already marked by the queen producer.   

Some beekeepers also identify queens by clipping the tip of the tip of one forewing. When queens are replaced every two years, the beekeeper clips the left wing(s) on queens introduced in odd years, and the right on queens introduced in even years.    

The clipping practice may also supplement the paint spot technique as a back-up should the queen lose her paint mark. When clipped correctly, the queen won’t be able to fly. However, when clipped too closely, the queen may appear damaged and be superseded.    

Introducing Queen Bees   

If specific requirements are not met, the resident honey bees within a honey bee colony may reject, even kill, a newly introduced queen. Through the years, many procedures for introducing queens have been published. Unfortunately, no specific procedure has been accepted universally as the best for all occasions. Most of the common procedures require an introductory period of about three days.    

During that time, the queen is confined in a cage and is fed by colony honey bees though the wire gauze covering the cage.  The caged queen could  be released by worker honey bees eating a candy entrance plug. This procedure authorizes the queen to emerge into a hive without beekeeper intrusion. However, the beekeeper can release the queen manually when desired.   

Generally, younger house honey bees are more receptive to a new queen than are older, more established foragers. Younger honey bees could  be separated from the older honey bees by turning the honey bee colony entrance to face in the opposite direction. Then a different hive with at least one frame of honey, but without honey bees, is placed facing the original direction.    

As the foragers leave the redirected parent hive, they’ll return to the new hive. After a day, most of the honey bees remaining in the repositioned original hive will be younger honey bees, while the temporary hive will accumulate most of the older ones.  The queen can then be safely introduced into the hive of young honey bees. Afterward, the two colonies are united, and the queen is established.

A good technique for deciding when the cage has been in the hive long enough is to observe when the outside honey bees are clinging tenaciously to the cage, or whether they are able to be brushed off easily. If they adhere to the cage, don’t release the queen. If they are able to be brushed aside with ease, the queen can probably be safely released.

Suggestions for Introducing New Queens

1. Be absolutely certain the honey bee colony is queenless and that any developing queen cells have been destroyed.

2. Allow the honey bee colony to stay queenless for a day or so.

3. If possible, allow the queen to be caged within the honey bee colony for about two days.

4.  To release the queen, place the cage between the frames with the screen side down and with the candy plug exposed near the vicinity of young honey bees and brood. Allow the honey bees approximately two days to release the queen. Remove the cage as soon as possible to prevent burr comb from being produced in the space around the queen’s cage.

5. If the queen is to be manually released, watch the surrounding honey bees to determine if they’re clinging tightly to the cage in which the queen is confined. If they’re showing assertive behavior, do not release the queen until the surrounding workers act passively toward the caged queen.

6. After releasing the new queen manually, watch the surrounding workers to see when they react hostilely to the new queen as she explores the comb on which she was released.

7. If possible, do not open the hive again until the queen has had time to develop a brood nest of her own (about days).

Introducing queens into hives is never foolproof; but, usually, a good technique and cautious handling will be successful. Environmental conditions, changing seasons, food availability, and beekeeper competence can affect the queen introduction’s outcome.

Laying Workers

When a colony is without a queen and her pheromones for awhile, some of the workers create the capability of laying unfertilized eggs. Because laying worker colonies are challenging to requeen, and most of the honey bees are old, beekeepers frequently decide to combine the honey bee colony with another queenright colony.

Nonetheless, if requeening of laying worker colonies is attempted, one should follow normal requeening techniques. Adding a frame of uncapped brood along with a caged mated queen increases the chances of acceptance by the honey bee colony.

Laying workers are indistinguishable from normal workers. Laying workers fly and forage freely unlike a normal queen that spends most of her life confined to the honey bee colony. Commonly, there are several laying workers within the hive, but on occasion, a laying working may briefly overtake all her worker rivals and carry herself in a queenly manner. Such workers are called “false queens” but are still incapable of producing fertile (worker) eggs.

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Ground-Nesting Bees and Wasps

In most situations it is best not to eliminate ground-nesting bees and wasps since they are valuable in agricultural production by either pollinating many different plants or serving as useful predators in controlling harmful pests. Nonetheless, when nests are located in areas such as yards, gardens, flower beds or playgrounds, control could  be justified to prevent the chance of being stung.

Bumble Bees

Bumble bees are stout-bodied, robust shaped insects with black or gray hairs variously tinged with yellow, orange or red.

Adults have three submarginal (closed) cells in the front wings and the hind wings lack a jugal lobe. Moreover, there are spurs at tips of the hind tibiae and the belly is typically hairy.

There are three castes, ranging in size from 1/3 to 1-3/8 inches long, consisting of big overwintering queens, smaller males and much smaller workers (undeveloped females). Both the queens and workers can inflict a painful sting.

Only new queens, produced and mated in the fall, overwinter in loose bark, hollow trees or other dry protected places. They come out of hibernation in May, typically nest in old nests of field mice, holes in the ground, old stumps, abandoned mattresses, old bales of straw or hay in barns, cornhusks in corncribs, along foundations, etc.

Colonies are annual, lasting only one summer. There are generally less than 200 individuals in a colony and nests are generally found in open grasslands.  The queen establishes the nest site by lining an existing cavity with dry grass or moss. She gathers a mass of pollen and moistens this with nectar to produce a stored food called “bee bread.”

The first brood of spring numbers 5 to 20, all workers, who enlarge the nest, gather food and feed the larvae.  The queen continues to lay eggs throughout the summer and by late summer, reproductive males and females are produced.

These mate during flight and fertilized females move to overwintering sites. Remaining males and workers in the honey bee colony die with frost or the first hard freeze.

Nests could be detected by the presence of many males flying about the entrance. Stinging workers, on occasion called “dive bombers,” can respond quickly when their territory is invaded. Easily irritated, workers will aggressively pursue an intruder attempting to escape.

Bumble bees are extremely important pollinators of certain types of clover such as red clover due to their long tongues. Favored flowers are sunflowers, thistles, nettles, roses, partridge peas and certain clovers.

Sweat Bees and Mining Bees

These bees (females) dig 1/4 to 1/2 inch diameter, cylindrical tunnels in loose soil in shady areas where the vegetation is sparse. Halictid bees, called “sweat bees,” measure 3/16 to 5/6-inch long and are colored black with yellow, red or metallic markings.

They frequently alight on sweaty hands and inflict a sting which is somewhat painful lasting for a half hour or more. These bees are common at flowers, accumulating pollen and nectar to feed their young. Nests occur in cavities in weeds or shrubs, or in the ground.

One species of sweat bee is small, shining black, 1/8-inch long with short white hair underneath, brown tipped legs and nests in ironweed.

Andrenid bees, as Halictid bees, are solitary, short-tongued and nest in burrows in the ground, sometimes in big numbers, nesting close together where vegetation is sparse. They are gregarious and nest in groups. There’s one female per nest.

Digger Bees

Aside from that known as flower-loving bees, these robust bees normally go unnoticed as they feed by gathering nectar and pollen from many flowers in gardens and meadows. When solitary nests are built in certain areas, they become a nuisance to homeowners.

Covered densely with yellow and black hairs, these digger bees resemble carpenter bees. Wings are clear but smokey at the tip.  The forewings have a small spot on the leading edge with the hind wings having a jugal lobe at the wing base.

Sand and clay banks lacking ground cover are attractive nest sites.  The nest entrance is hidden by a down-slanted chimney composed of mud. Inner-branching mud-lined tunnels extend from this chimney partitioned into brood cells each containing one egg.

Adult bees place honey and pollen in each cell to provide food for the developing larva after egg hatch. Larvae overwinter in the brood cell, pupate and adults emerge in late spring.

Planting ground cover on embankments may discourage nest building.

Leafcutting Bees

Adults resemble Honey Bees, but are ordinarily darker in color (black, dark blue, purple or green covered with white, yellow, reddish or brown hair) and have shiny blue-black bodies.

These bees have two submarginal (closed cells in the front wings) and females have many long, stout hairs beneath the abdomen, forming a pollen basket ordinarily loaded with pollen. Unlike social Honey Bees, they’re solitary (no colonies formed) with a female nesting in the ground, in logs, in hollow stems, twigs or wood siding.

They cut out oval or circular (dime size) areas, particularly from leaf margins of rose, redbud, ash and other ornamental shrubs and trees. These cut out plant leaf discs are used to fashion thimble-like cells within the nest. an egg is laid in each cell after it’s provisioned with pollen and nectar.

Each cell is sealed over with pieces of leaves cut round and slightly larger than the cell diameter, authorizing a tight fit to result. These bees do not defend their nest territory aggressively and are not a stinging hazard to humans. However, they could scare people .

Digger or Threadwaisted Wasps

Both the blue digger and golden digger wasp are beneficial, appearing in the morning and flying over the lawn all day, then leaving in early evening.

Digger wasps are solitary wasps with each female working alone to produce her offspring in lieu of having the help of a few workers as in social chambers or cells.

These chambers are provisioned with food for the offspring. After the eggs are laid in or on the “provision,” the offspring are on their own to live and grow to adults that emerge the following summer.

The blue digger about 3/4-inch long is shiny metallic blue on both the wings and body. This slim wasp provisions its nests with grasshoppers and crickets.

Aside from that, the inch-long golden digger wasp with shiny gold markings on the face and stomach uses grasshoppers and crickets as stored food for their offspring. Often, wasps can be seen flying about a foot or less above the ground. Others could  be perched on shrubs and trees.

Due to their big size, they’re assumed to be extremely dangerous. Actually, they are not aggressive but curious and investigate persons and pets near their burrows. Stings are quite rare. One can walk safely through them as they hover over the lawn.

Ground-Nesting Bees and Wasp Control

If ground-nesting bees and wasps may be ignored and their tunnels tolerated, do so since they are valuable in agricultural production and helpful by controlling pests in nature.

When nests are in locations undesirable and stinging is a great possibility, control is justified. During the day, carefully watch where the nest entrances are located.

After dark, tunnels and the surrounding area can be treated with dusts of carbaryl (Sevin), bendiocarb (Ficam D) or diazinon when the nest is in the ground. Use pyrethrins, permethrin, resmethrin or propoxur (Baygon) when the nest is in the side of a building.

Other lawn and garden insecticide sprays can also be used, but dusts have the benefit of not soaking into the soil. Those who are allergic to bee stings, should contact a qualified, specialist pest control operator to perform the control job. Always peruse the label and follow directions and safety precautions.

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European Hornet Control Measures

European hornets, when not in direct competition with humans for space and resources, are very beneficial by destroying harmful insect pests. Do not control these hornets unless necessary. They’re mainly a forest species, having few contacts with humans and present a minimal stinging hazard.

European Hornets –  Nest Destruction

The best control measure is to destroy the nest. Be certain to work in pairs, wear protective clothing (with bee veil if possible) to cover the body and do the treatment after dark when most hornets are inside the nest. Use a flashlight (red cellophane over lens) while the other person applies the pesticide. Nests may  be difficult to locate and out of reach high into a tree or structure.

There are literally hundreds of products labeled for wasp and hornet control. Use special wasp and hornet pressurized jet sprays containing synergized pyrethrins, resmethrin or carbamates and quickly volatilizing organic solvents. Sprays are emitted in a long, narrow stream 15 to 20 feet.

If the nest is hidden in a wall void, puff carbaryl (Sevin), pyrethrins (Drione), bendiocarb (Ficam) or deltamethrin (Delta Dust) powder or dust into the wall hole that is used as an entrance. Workers in time will carry the dust back to the queen, giving good kill. When hornet activity has ceased, remove and destroy the nest.

When the nest is a considerable distance from the entrance, spraying the opening may have little immediate effect. Don’t ever plug the wall entrance after treatment as hornets may chew out another entrance into the house.

European Hornets –  Baits

Poisoned meat baits, which could work well with some yellowjackets, are not effective against European hornets, which prey almost exclusively on live insects. For the occasional indoor hornet, simply collect with a vacuum cleaner or kill with a fly swatter.

Normally it is best to use the services of a qualified specialist pest control operator who has the experience, equipment, training and pesticides to do the job correctly and efficiently.

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European Hornets

The European hornet is among the biggest of hornets.  Even though beneficial since it feeds on  insects including grasshoppers, caterpillars, flies and even yellowjackets, the European hornet has the ability to fly at night and also sting repeatedly in defense of its nest entrance.

On occasion it builds its nest too close to dwellings, hunts in human-use areas, becomes attracted to lights, strips bark from ornamental plants, eats tree fruits, and raids domestic Honey Bee hives.

The best way to Identify European Hornets

European hornets are large, up to 1-1/4 inches long with the head and thorax (middle part) red-brown.  The belly (rear part) is black with yellow markings. In certain cases they are confused with the baldfaced hornet, which has a black head, thorax and abdomen with white markings.

European Hornets –  Life Cycle and Habits

European hornets ordinarily are a woodland species which builds its nests in hollow trees. Sometimes, nests are found in attics, hollow walls, bird houses, barns, and abandoned bee hives in unprotected places. Nests are covered with a thick, brown envelope (paper-like) composed of coarse, decayed wood fibers which are quite fragile. These nests may have more than one entrance.

A mature colony will contain 1,500 to 3,000 cells in six to nine combs.  The lower two to four combs contain queen cells. There usually are 200 to 400 workers during the summit population.  The life cycle is similar to yellowjackets, with overwintering queens preparing nesting sites in the spring (usually in May). Queens make the nest and lay some eggs.

At this time, as the first generation is growing, the queen cares for the larvae by hunting food and enlarging the nest. After larvae reach adulthood, they take over housekeeping, nest expansion, hunting, and caring for the new larvae.  The queen lays eggs for the remainder of the year.

As the nest is growing bigger and number of workers through the summertime and early fall, production of sexually active males and females begins to build up in July. Mating occurs and inseminated queens overwinter within safeguarded places until next early spring. Following a heavy freeze in November, the nesting person die out.

During the summer, these hornets can fly at night and are often attracted to light. They in certain cases fly into the beam of a flashlight (bumping into the cover glass) or appear at porch party lights, lantern lights at campsites, etc. Occasionally, some fly against windows, causing humans to believe they are attempting to get inside to attack them.

Workers girdle twigs and branches of numerous trees and shrubs including lilac, birch, ash, horse chestnut, dogwood, syringa, dahlia, rhododendron and boxwood. These plants are sometime killed. Much of girdling is done for sap collection, not fiber.

Various other prroperty owner complaints involve nesting too close to human-occupied buildings; presence around picnic grounds and back yards; feeding on ripe or near-ripe fruit such as apples, puncturing a hole and hollowing out the fruit; and raiding domestic Honey Bee hives. Notwithstanding, they are not as assertive as yellowjacket wasps.

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Cicada Killer Wasp –  Control Measures

Occasionally, homeowners, especially in southern and southwestern Ohio become flustered in trying to eliminate nuisance, massive populations from lawns. Cicada Killer Wasps usually arrive the last week in July and are gone by the second week of August.

Wasps may become unbearable causing homeowners not to use their backyard during the day due to these wasps flying (skimming) around the lawn, shrubs and trees searching for cicadas.

One woman mentioned that she and her husband had killed over 50 wasps with tennis rackets, used five pounds of carbaryl (Sevin) dust in the nest entrances, and employed a pest control operator a few times with little noticeable decrease in outdoor populations. They mow their grass in the evening (after 8 – 00 PM), and keep their kids indoors much of the time until the Cicada Killer Wasp season is over.

Usually it is not necessary to control cicada killer wasps unless their presence is a nuisance. Occasionally these wasps may be troublesome in high traffic home and commercial areas like berms around swimming pools, near planters at door entrances, flower beds, golf course greens and tees, and other unwanted areas.

On occasion they may fly erratically near people , causing fear. Males may actually defend their territory by dive bombing people ‘s heads and shoulders!

Cicada Killer Wasp –  Insecticides

Many insecticides are labeled for wasp control. If control is necessary, locate the nests during the daylight hours. Treat after dark or before dawn when female wasps are in their nests and it is cool, ideally less than 60 deg F. During darkness, use a flashlight covered with red cellophane for lighting. Wear protective clothing. Males roost on plants near burrow sites, and are best controlled by capturing in an insect net during the day.

One can apply bendiocarb (Ficam), carbaryl (Sevin), or diazinon dust onto each nest entrance when the infestation isn’t too widespread. Never disturb the burrow as the female must walk through the dust in order to get a difficult dose of the insecticide. If the entire lawn is involved (10 to 20 or more burrows), a spray with the same insecticides may  be more practical.

Repeat treatments may  be needed for two to three weeks if new wasps move into the area. At close range, adults can be killed with a wasp aerosol of synergized pyrethrins or resmethrin as they light on foliage or enter the nest burrow.

The professional, qualified pest control operator should be used in particular when one is sensitive to possible stings. Other materials labeled for wasp control include acephate (Orthene), allethrin, amorphous silica gel (Drione), chlorpyrifos (Dursban), cyfluthrin (Tempo), cypermethrin (Demon, Cynoff), fenvalerate, permethrin, propoxur and resmethrin. Before using any insecticide, always peruse the label directions to confirm current listing of pests, and follow safety precautions.

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Cicada Killer Wasps

Although female Cicada Killer Wasps rarely sting unless disturbed, homeowners may become alarmed or scared because of their very large size (almost two inches) and foraging habits in unwanted areas. These solitary wasps may become a nuisance when they dig holes in lawns, sand base volleyball courts, flower beds, gardens, and golf course sand traps, kicking out a six to eight inch diameter horseshoe-shaped pile of dirt (mound) around the nest entrance.

Males have in particular aggressive territorial behavior, but have no sting. Females are challenging to provoke, can sting, but rarely do.  The female wasps aren’t aggressive and control is rarely needed except in unwanted places. Adults appear in mid to late summer (July and August) causing special concern to individuals with young children.

How you can Identify Cicada Killer Wasps

The adult cicada killer is a very large (1-1/8 to 1-5/8 inches long), robust wasp with a black body marked with yellow across the thorax (middle part) and on the first three abdominal (rear part) segments.  The head and thorax are rusty red and the wings russet yellow (brownish). Legs are yellowish. Coloration may resemble yellowjacket wasps. Life Cycle and Habits

Solitary wasps (such as a cicada killer) are very different than the social wasps (hornets, yellowjackets and paper wasps). Cicada killer females use their sting to paralyze their prey (cicadas) rather than to defend their nests.  The female wasps are non-aggressive and rarely sting unless touched, caught in clothing, disturbed by lawn equipment, etc. Though males aggressively defend nesting sites, they have no sting. Adults feed on flower nectar and sap exudates.

These wasps are widely seen in late summer skimming around the lawn, shrubs and trees searching for cicadas. Cicadas are captured, paralyzed by a sting and used for food to rear their young. After stinging a big cicada, the female wasp drags it up a tree, straddles it and takes off toward the burrow, partly gliding.

When trees aren’t available, the cicada (prey) is dragged to the burrow on the ground. Cicadas are very big insects, at times called “locusts.” They sing loudly (noisily) in trees during late summer.

Overwintering occurs as a mature larva within a leathery, brown cocoon in an earthen cell. Pupation occurs in the spring lasting 25 to 30 days. Adult wasps emerge about the first week in July in Ohio. Emergence continues throughout the summer months.

Adults live about 60 to 75 days (mid-July to mid-September) while they dig new nesting holes (burrows) in full sun where vegetation is sparse in light, well-drained soils. Eggs are deposited in late July through August. Eggs hatch in one to two days and larvae complete their development in 4 to 14 days. There’s only one generation per year.

Cicada Killer Wasp –  Burrows and Nests

There might  be many person flying over a lawn, but each female digs her own burrow six to ten inches deep and one-half inch wide. (They don’t nest together.) the soil is dislodged by her mouth and loose particles are kicked back as a dog would dig.

The excess soil thrown out of the burrow forms a U-shaped mound at the entrance, causing unsightly mounds of earth on the turf.

This ground-burrowing wasp may  be found in sandy soils to loose clay in bare or grass covered banks, berms, hills as well as raised sidewalks, driveways and patio slabs. Some may nest in planters, window boxes, flower beds, under shrubs, ground cover, etc.

Nests ordinarily are made in the full sun where vegetation is sparse, in particular in well-drained soils. Occasionally they establish in golf course sand traps. (A very gravelly or bare area is preferred.)

Cicada Killer Wasps may tunnel as much as six inches deep and another six inches horizontally. At the end of the burrow are ordinarily three to four cells where one to two cicadas are placed in each cell with one egg. When all the cells are filled, secondary tunnels are constructed and provisioned. A single burrow may eventually have 10 to 20 cells.

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Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees at times become a annoyance outdoors whenever they fly rather erratically (hover) round the heads of individuals , creating worry. Property owners complain not only about the hostile characteristics, but about the round holes bored into wood trim around eaves and also gables of houses, facia boards, porch ceilings, outdoor wooden furniture, decking, hand rails, fence posts, phone poles, siding, shingles, dead  limbs and other weathered wood.

Initial destruction might be minor, yet new tunnels may well  be excavated as well as old ones made bigger, causing considerable  damage. Moreover, the yellow, coarse sawdust from borings beneath the entry hole hold the waste materials, leaving aesthetically displeasing staining.

How to Identify Carpenter Bees

Carpenter bees look like bumble bees. They’re commonly large, 3/4 to 1 inch long, heavy-bodied, blue-black to black colored with a greenish or even purple metallic shine.

The thorax will be covered by vibrant yellowish, orange or white-colored hairs along with the abdomen, specifically on the top side, is black, shiny and bare without hairs. It is the males, with white markings upon its head, that fly about aggressively, nevertheless they’re harmless because they don’t have a stinger. Females possess black heads, are generally docile and rarely sting.

They’ve a heavy brush of hairs on the hind legs whereas bumble bees have big pollen baskets as well as numerous, yellow hairs on the belly. Larvae are saclike, white and legless with brown, globular heads that bear small mouthparts.  The pupal stage is passed in a silent cocoon.

Carpenter Bees –  Life Cycle and Habits

Both female and male carpenter bees spend winter as adults inside their old nest tunnels. Adults emerge in the spring (April through early May) and mate.

Females provision their tunnels or galleries with bee bread (a mixture of pollen and regurgitated nectar), lay an egg on top of the mass and shut the cell with chewed wood pulp. She excavates the gallery by using her mandibles (mouthparts) at the rate of one inch in six days.

The gallery has a clean-cut round entrance hole with sharp edges 3/8 to 1/2 inch wide (dime-sized) on the lateral wood surface.

The gallery continues inward for one to two inches, and then turns sharply at a 90 degree right angle running  the same direction as the wood grain for four to six inches or up to 10 feet long, when used by quite a few bees. Damage from a pair of Carpenter bees can be minor, yet when used by lots of Carpenter bees over several years, destruction could be extensive.

Each female may have six to eight sealed brood cells in a linear row in one gallery as she backs outward. Larvae develop on the pollen/nectar food mass provided, with the life cycle completed in 30 to 40 days.

New adults chew through the cell partitions and emerge in late August. They collect and store pollen in the existing galleries, return to the tunnels to hibernate and mate the following spring.  The previous year’s adults die. They are not social insects and there is one generation per year.

Carpenter Bees –  Control Measures

Infestations are generally first detected by finding big amounts of sawdust droppings on the ground below the area being drilled or by observing bees going in and out of the round, circular holes in the wood affected. These bees attack all species of dried, seasoned wood, preferring softwoods like cedar, redwood, cypress, pine and fir.

Nail holes, exposed saw cuts and unpainted wood are attractive nesting sites. They could refurbish an existing tunnel instead of boring a new one or new tunnels could  be constructed near old ones with infestations persisting for a few years.

Carpenter Bees –  Prevention

Keep all exposed wood surfaces well painted (oil base or polyurethane) to reduce attack. Wood stains won’t prevent damage. Aluminum, asbestos, asphalt, vinyl siding and similar non-wood materials won’t be damaged. If feasible, get rid of and replace damaged wood with  pressure-treated wood in order to dissuade nest construction.

Carpenter Bees –  Insecticides

In the daytime, find tunnel entrances and at night, on a cool evening while carpenter bees tend to be much less active, treat directly into the nest entrance and on the wide part of adjacent wood surface. You should not plug the entrance since  bees need to be permitted to pass freely to distribute the insecticide inside the holes.

If tunnels are plugged before bees are killed, they might chew new openings elsewhere. Dust applications are ordinarily more residual and effective than sprays due to the nature of the gallery construction. Even newly emerged bees will contact the dust when leaving the opening.

Following treatment, some wait until adult activity ceases or until autumn before sealing the hole with caulking compound or wood putty. This procedure reduces wood deterioration and possible future infestation. Make certain to wear protective clothing to avoid any stings during treatment.

Dusts include bendiocarb (Ficam), boric acid (Perma-Dust), carbaryl (Sevin) or pyrethrins (Microcare). Other pesticides, either with some formulations restricted or restricted to be applied only by a licensed pesticide operator or applicator, include bendiocarb   pyrethrins (Ficam Plus), bifenthrin (Biflex), chlorpyrifos (Duration, Dursban, Empire, Engage, Tenure), cyfluthrin (Optem, Tempo), cypermethrin (Cynoff, Cyper-Active, Demon), deltamethrin (Suspend), fenvalerate (Tribute), permethrin (Astro, Dragnet, Flee, Prelude, Torpedo) and tralomethrin (Saga).

Property owners are able to use liquid sprays of carbaryl, diazinon, propoxur (Baygon), pyrethrins and resmethrin. Always peruse the label and follow directions and safety precautions.

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