As many of you know April and May can be the worst for carpenter bee activity. This is when the new brood of bees is emerging and can make for a high traffic area. Carpenter bees do not eat wood but do feed on plant pollen and nectar; however, they excavate dry, unpainted and weathered wooden objects such as doors, windowsills, roof eaves, railings, decks, untreated poles, fences and wooden lawn furniture to lay eggs. They prefer pine, fir, Cyprus, oak and redwood, especially if the wood is not covered with bark, is unpainted or unfinished.
There are many ways to reduce carpenter bee numbers but using a trap can be effective without spraying chemicals. We are stocking a new trap that should be more effective and easier to use. The way the trap works is the bees are attracted by the half inch holes and enters the box. The bee then follows the light into the jar at the base and is trapped. This new trap has the option of being mounted to a structure or it can be hung. The collection jar is a mason jar which is very handy for relocating bees after being trapped. Simply cap the jar with a mason jar lid and place a new jar on the trap. We find we catch the most bees in April and May when their activity is at its peak.
Tips for carpenter bee trap success.
Mounting or hanging your trap: get it right up against a wooden structure that has the most bee activity. If the trap is off by itself it is unlikely that you will catch any bees.
Baiting the trap: bees will find their way into the trap on their own but if you want to speed up the process try and knock a bee down and get it in the jar alive. The trapped be will release a pheromone that will attract other bees into the trap. Trust us we have seen it work.
Don’t let bees die in the jar: As quickly as a live bee will attract other bees into the trap, dead bees will discourage other bees and lower the effectiveness of the trap until cleaned.