My father-in-law did many different jobs in his lifetime. At the heart of almost all of them was something to do with farming. Even today he has a sizable vegetable garden so he can still “farm”.
On of the last things he did before he retired was honey farming. At its height he had almost 700 bee hives scattered across several counties. Harvesting honey was a labour of love for him.
Today as we were visiting my father (physical distancing in effect) we sat outside and enjoyed the beautiful day. The first day of June and many polinators – bees – where out doing their job.
Sitting under a very large gazebo we also noticed what looked like a lot of bumble bees. But upon closer inspection we noticed that they were Carpenter bees.
There were a lot of them and they seemed to really like the wooden gazebo. These bees do not have stingers, but can be fairly aggressive and of course love to build their nests in wood.
You could almost consider them a flying termite. They can be very destructive if not held in check. I remember a few years back when refinishing my front porch I came across one that had borrowed into one of the posts.
The amount of sawdust that it made was quite the sight to behold. Of course as I replaced all the posts, the bee was not too amused that I took the old one out – destroying it’s home – and put a new one in.
So on your next walk, look for these guys. The way to distinguish them from a bumble bee is carpenter bees have smooth black abdomens while bumble bees have fuzzy ones.