Life Cycle of a Carpenter Bee

Robert James
Pest Control Technician

life cycle of carpenter bee

These big and solitary creatures are known to be unsocial insects. Their name was derived from their fascinating nesting habits. They build their nests particularly in frame buildings as well as in trees and female dig holes within the wood where which to lay her eggs. The majority part of the top of their abdomen has no hair and its shiny black in color.

There are only one wide species of carpenter bees known as Xylocopa virginica which is found mainly in Pennsylvania, therefore in case you notice the presence of fat bees floating most especially near the eaves of your home or even drilling in the wood, that is a sign that you have carpenter bees in your house.

Another thing with this kind of bees is that the male bee is not able to sting and when they notice that some other flying insects have ventured into their terrain.

Complete Life Cycle of a Carpenter Bee

Egg stage

Just the same as all bees, carpenter bees begin their life cycle as an egg. The mother has too much work before these eggs are laid. She creates ½ inch den within a wooden object with her mandibles, furthermore digging the wood for another two inches before making a right angle turn as well as building a tunnel that is around 4 and 6 inches long. That is the tunnel which she will lay her eggs.

Larva stage

This is called the larval stage. Once the egg hatch, a larva appears. This larva is very secure profound within the tunnel which its mother dug, furthermore conserved inside its brood cell, and it lives off the food which was put there with it. This source of food is referred to as bee bread also a combination of regurgitated nectar and pollen.

Pupa stage

This is a phase where it transforms from lava to adult bee. Throughout this dormant stage, the young bees are entirely helpless. Although because of its elaborate nest, it's more secure that other several creatures that go through a transformation. Different from others like butterflies and moths, the carpenter bee larva does not have to construct a cocoon. Instead, it makes its changes when still inside the brood cell.

Adult stage

Approximately seven weeks once first being laid as an egg, the adult bee comes out. The immature bee breaks its way out of the blood cell, what's more leaving its nest to face the outside world. After the colder month approaches, it will rather go back inside to its old nest or gets another abandoned one in which to keep cover.


Interestingly carpenter bees don't eat wood. They just dig the tunnels to find where to live along with chambers in which to raise their young ones. These bees frequently attack objects which are not painted for example roof eaves, doors, telephone poles, shingles, wooden lawn furniture's, railings as well as windowsills.

Similar to other insects, carpenter bees undergoes four stages of the life cycle, which are egg, larva, pupa and adult as well. The complete change from egg towards adult takes approximately seven weeks.

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You can also read this special article "How to Make Carpenter Bee Trap"

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