Scientific Name

Xylocopa virginica

Common Name

Carpenter Bee

Fun Fact

Only the female Carpenter Bee can sting.

Do you have carpenter bees Columbus Ohio?

She excavates the gallery at the rate of about one inch in six days. In the tunnel she creates a series of small cells where she will lay her eggs at the same time she also creates food for the larvae, which consists of regurgitated nectar and pollen. She then lays her eggs in the cells on top of the food mass, and plugs or closes the cells off with a mixture of chewed wood pulp. She can lay up to 10 of these cells in a row, and soon after she will die.

Once the eggs have hatched, the larva have grown to full adults, they will stay in the gallery for several weeks and later chew through the plugs their mother had created and venture out in late August. They will then collect and store pollen in the existing galleries, but they will also spend much of their time huddled together inside their nest. These new adults will then hibernate until they emerge the following spring, and the process begins all over again.


Carpenter Bees are large and robust, measuring about ¾ to 1 inch in length. They are black with a metallic sheen. The female carpenter bee has an all black head where as the males have white markings on theirs. The thorax of the Carpenter Bee is covered with bright yellow, orange, or white hairs, and the upper side of the abdomen is black, glossy, and bare.