Difference Between Honey Bees and Carpenter Bees?

This is a page about the difference between honey bees and carpenter bees. While they do look similar, there are some distinct traits that can help you tell them apart. Once significant difference is that carpenter bees nest in wood and the male bees do not have stingers, while honey bees are social and build nests together. Carpenter bees tend to be less aggressive as well.


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April 3, 2015

How do I recognize honey bees versus wood bees?

By Ed from Naples, FL


April 4, 20150 found this helpful

Carpenter (Wood?) Bees do not "eat" wood or your house. Instead, they drill holes in house wood, trees, etc., to form a place to lay their eggs. The males are not able to sting, the females can sting but rarely. They are too busy drilling a new egg home.

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April 13, 20151 found this helpful

I just want to make a remark about carpenter bees not/rarely stinging. A few years ago, I was weeding my flower beds when I heard a single buzz go by. A moment later, I was attacked by a swarm of carpenter bees. I was not near a nest and did nothing to provoke them (wear a specific color of clothing, wear perfume, etc).


I was raised with bees; this was a shock. These suckers are mean.

I had a huge medical bill since I did not respond to any of the three shots given for stings, and no, I am not allergic to bee stings, yet I almost died. If you know you are near a nesting area, beware. By the way, they attacked my dog who was outside with me too.

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April 26, 20162 found this helpful

The probably were not carpenter bees. Carpenter bees are not social, meaning they do not get alone with each other nor do they swarm. You may see many in the same area if they all have nests but they tend to chase each other. Males to not have stingers, the females do and you certainly won't find a group of females together with the pms and all. My guess is you probably disturbed a nest of some type of ground hornet and that is what attacked you and your dog

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April 26, 20161 found this helpful

Sounds like a hornet

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