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Carpenter Bees Hibernation: Where Do They Go In The Winter?




Where Do Carpenter Bees Go During Winter

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Have you ever noticed that the density of carpenter bees increases during the summertime? As the winter emerges, carpenter bees disappear suddenly. Have you ever thought about where do they go in the winter?

What is the reason behind the sudden disappearance of carpenter bees? Where did they emerge during winter? Your every question will be answered in this single blog post.

First, let’s try to understand when carpenter bees are most active and when they start going away.




When Are Carpenter Bees Most Active?

Carpenter bees are most active from late spring to the summer. Mainly they are active during the warmer months. When temperatures are in their favor, they come out from their hibernation to create a new nest.

They are most active from late March to July. During this period, the temperature starts to rise and reaches the maximum. So, female carpenters start boring holes for reproduction.

During warmer months carpenter bees go through a busy period. They spend most of their time through reproduction, raising broods, pollination, expanding nests, etc.



What Month Do Carpenter Bees Go Away?

As soon as the temperature starts reducing their activity starts declining. With the reduction of length of the day carpenter bees start becoming inactive. So, they start moving to a more safe place.

In most countries, carpenter bees start going away from the fall. That is from early October. The exact duration may vary for different geographic locations.

In the United States, carpenter bees start going away from late September to October. 




Where Do Carpenter Bees Go In The Winter?

As soon as the winter emerges carpenter bees hibernate. The winter arrived and already carpenter bees emerged to a safer location.

Carpenter bees hibernate to survive the winter starting from the fall. So, when winter has arrived carpenter bees are not seen around.

So, where do they go in the winter? Carpenter bees usually go to a warmer location to hide themselves and survive the winter. Their suitable location to survive the winter can be any of the following.

  • Wooden materials.
  • Inside house walls.
  • Tree cavity.
  • Deeper holes in the ground.
  • To warmer locations, etc.

It is quite often seen woodpeckers start digging house walls during winter. This is because carpenter bees are there. Carpenter bees are woodpecker’s favorite meal. This is why they start boring the house wall to eat the carpenter bee.

Where do carpenter bees hide during winter


Carpenter bees have to survive the winter. Before winter the old generation starts dying and the new generation leads their colony.

Usually, the carpenter bee colony is very small. Even a single female carpenter can start building a nest individually.

From the fall they start preparing for the winter. So, they move to a warmer location or in a safe location where they can protect themselves from cold. This is why carpenter bees are not seen often during winter.

It is also a fact to be considered that during winter carpenter bees choose warmer locations to live. It could be inside your house too. So, they can damage wooden materials inside your house. This is why you should try to get rid of them without killing them.



Are Carpenter Bees Active In The Winter?

No, carpenter bees are not active in the winter. They remain in a safe and secure nest during the entire winter.

They usually stop reproducing during winter. Focus on keeping themselves warm and work hard to survive the winter.

Almost all the season they spend in hibernation. They cluster together to keep themselves warm. Usually, the older generation dies before the winter emerges. The new generation starts preparing themselves for the next season.

They hide in a safe and warm location with enough food. Moreover, during winter flowers are scarce. Though bees can eat various things when there is no flower, they are less likely to go outside.

They have storage of food in their nest to survive the winter. So, they become inactive and spend the entire winter to keep themselves warm.




Can Carpenter Bees Survive Cold?

In most cases, carpenter bees become able to survive the cold. To survive the cold carpenter bees stop reproducing from the Fall. They have food storage for winter and they emerge to a safer location during fall. By doing so the new generation of the carpenter bee colony was able to survive the cold.

They keep themselves in their shelter to fight against the cold. They spend the entire winter inside their nest.

During spring, as soon as the temperature rises, carpenter bees start coming out from hibernation.

The female carpenter starts boring holes in wood cavities, tree cavities, or ground cavities. From the late spring to early summer the female carpenter starts laying eggs in the nest cavity. So, a new colony is produced and the new colony starts pollination and other activities.

As soon as the fall arrives this newly developed colony starts preparation for the winter. That is the new carpenter bee colony follows their ancestors. 




Frequently Asked Questions


Where do carpenter bees go at night?

During night carpenter bees can’t pollinate. So, they go to their nests and stay there for the entire night. Usually, they live in a wood cavity, tree cavity, or similar type of cavity.

Do carpenter bees sting you?

Carpenter bees are not aggressive, unlike honey bees. Don’t try to kick or smash carpenter bee nests. Because they are not aggressive it doesn’t mean they are defenseless. For defensive purposes, they can sting multiple times.

Are carpenter bees harmful?

Carpenter bees can be harmful if they start boring your household wooden materials. If they are in your garden, they won’t harm you. Carpenter bees are gentle and don’t show excessive defensive approaches like honey bees. So, they can be harmful if they are inside your home. Otherwise, they are harmless.




Final Thoughts & Helpful Resources

Carpenter bees are mainly active during warmer months. They start hibernating from the fall to the early winter. Carpenter bees hide themselves in a warmer location in the winter.

This is why we don’t see carpenter bees around during the winter. But they can come inside your home and start boring wood. So, you have to be careful about the facts. Take necessary steps to prevent carpenter bees from boring woods.

Following are the resources and links that might be helpful for you.

  1. G. Anzenberger, “How Do Carpenter Bees Recognize the Entrance of their Nests?: An Experimental Investigation in a Natural Habitat.” Read the paper here.
  2. Check this to know how to get rid of blackjack bees (Carpenter bees naturally).
  3. H. Somanathan, P. Saryan, and G. S. Balamurali, “Foraging strategies and physiological adaptations in large carpenter bees.” Read the paper here.
  4.  Do you want to know the surprising fact: Can bees see during the night? Read here.


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