Carpenter Bees are always mistaken for bumble bees, but you can tell them apart by observing their shiny black abdomen. They earned the name “carpenter” bees because of how they lay their eggs. They find a wooden structure in which to chew away a sizeable hole. Once they’ve made their hole, they deposit pollen, food and then their egg. They then seal the hole up with the chewed up wood pulp. These holes they form are called galleries. They lay their eggs in the late spring/ early summer months.
Carpenter bees are not social insects. Each female lays her own eggs separately from other bees. However, if multiple bees just happen to decide that they like the same piece of wood, they can cause major property damage. If you want to approach a carpenter bee, it is important to note the sex. The males usually have white marks on their faces and they do not have stingers, though they will certainly act like they do! They become very territorial and will try to harass any creature that comes near their home. Females are the ones with the stingers, but will not sting humans unless highly agitated or confined.