Difference Between Honey Bees and Carpenter Bees?

Carpenter Bee on a plant.
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.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

April 3, 2015

How do I recognize honey bees versus wood bees?

By Ed from Naples, FL


Bronze Answer Medal for All Time! 220 Answers
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.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Silver Feedback Medal for All Time! 472 Feedbacks
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.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
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

Reply Was this helpful? 2
April 26, 20161 found this helpful

Sounds like a hornet

Reply Was this helpful? 1
May 7, 20160 found this helpful

They say males won't sting and it is extremely rare for females to sting but when I was younger I was stung by a carpenter bee just walking through the yard. A few hours later I started feeling really weak, dizzy and nauseas then I couldn't stop throwing up (violently and non-stop). I was taken to the ER where I was in serious bad shape and almost died.


I have them all in and around my deck and they are very aggressive. They will beat on the screen door (flying into it) trying to get at me if I am standing at the door from inside. Everything you read says they can't or won't sting but I won't take a chance after what happened before when I got stung. I didn't think I was gonna make it!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
May 30, 20160 found this helpful

What you had an encounter with was bumblebees. Google them and you will see that they resemble Carpenter bees, but instead of nesting in wood, they nest in old rodent holes, leaf piles, stone fences, and sometimes aboveground in sheds, or other protected structures with an opening. My brother got a nest in the rumbleseat of a rusty old vintage car he was trying to restore! And they do sting. They are very territorial, and will swarm out if you get near or disturb the nest area.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
June 3, 20160 found this helpful

Wood bees are much bigger and boar holes into wood .

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
April 12, 20170 found this helpful

Carpenter bees look like bumble bees, big ones. Honey bees are small and kind of tan/brown in color.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes

Gold Post Medal for All Time! 523 Posts
October 6, 20180 found this helpful

I sure didn't know bees suffered from Post Menopausal Syndrome.

Live and learn!

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
Answer this Question
Home and Garden Gardening Beneficial InsectsMay 9, 2018
Halloween Ideas!
Thanksgiving Ideas!
Ask a Question
Share a Post
Better LivingBudget & FinanceBusiness and LegalComputersConsumer AdviceCoronavirusCraftsEducationEntertainmentFood and RecipesHealth & BeautyHolidays and PartiesHome and GardenMake Your OwnOrganizingParentingPetsPhotosTravel and RecreationWeddings
Published by ThriftyFun.
Desktop Page | View Mobile
Disclaimer | Privacy Policy | Contact Us
Generated 2022-10-24 17:59:46 in 1 secs. ⛅️️
© 1997-2022 by Cumuli, Inc. All Rights Reserved.