Carpenter Bees

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by fullysprinklered, Mar 10, 2018.

  1. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
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    Georgia
    Is it just a problem in the Southeast, or do other areas have problems with them as well?
     
  2. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    I've had a nest of carpenter bees in a cathedralized ceiling in a leaky dormer in Massachusetts. Fixing the roof leak + pesticides took care of them. The exact species may be different than in your area, but they did a real number on a section of shiplap roof decking.
     
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  4. dj2

    dj2 In the Trades

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    The most severe situations are when the bees build a colony on your property. I've had this inside a wall cavity and inside hollow block fence, and in both instances bee removal companies took care of them.

    Then there are seasonal blossoms of fruit trees. Right now I have orange trees blossoming and the bees are there in a frenzy. Just let them do their job and nobody will get hurt.
     
  5. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

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    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
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    Georgia
    Not sure we're talking about the same species, but it looks like the local variety is up and running at my place today, now that it's warmed up.

    The local bee looks just like a bumble bee. It's a husky black fellow. They drill a very precision hole in the siding and trim of a house and seem to prefer cedar wood, unlike many other insects.

    I think the hole-chewing bee is the female. She bores the hole while the young studs swarm around outside. The young studs seem to be in combat with each other while the female eats the house. She comes out and the winner of the love combat meets the female briefly in a mating grip and she flies back into the hole with a fertilized egg to plant.

    I could be wrong. Never that good at relationships myself.

    The bee is very tough and hard to kill, manually.

    Been at war with them since the early nineties. I've tried tennis rackets, badminton rackets, fly swatters, sticks, razor strops, and other devices.
    I even tried shooting them with 22 rat shot in my Remington Sportmaster. I killed more of them by stabbing them against the house with the rifle than by shooting them. Wild Bill Hickock, I'm not. Gave my rifles to my son.

    Two wives and three houses later, I had a swarm of carpenter bees to deal with again. I did a lot of research. Oil of cloves, habanero sauce, cheap vodka and a drop of Dawn detergent, all mixed up and sprayed all over the house. I didn't go that far, but I did reach back and retry something with the rat shot. (shot shell)

    Current wife inherited a Ruger Single-Six 22 revolver from her late husband. Had some Remington rat shot left over from years ago, so I gave that a try. Looked promising even thought I can't hit the side of a barn with a shotgun.

    The quantum leap took place when I got a box of CCI rat shot from WalMart. By this time I was in good practice and getting a 1 in 3 kill ratio. The CCI has 50% more shot and seemed to reach out a little further. I started getting 1 kill in 2 shots. Box of fifty means 25 dead bees. A good solid hit means the bee totally disappears, so it could actually be better, don't know. Kill zone is 10-15 feet out. These are LR rounds, but a magnum round should kick the body count up astronomically. Can't find any, though I've actually seen one.

    The wife doesn't want me to be shooting on her end of the house where her desk is, so I'm limited to going out on the deck off the kitchen and shooting them there. There's a small deck there and I set up and wait for victims there with my back against the deck rail and gun raised and cocked waiting for them to go into a hover.

    Last year I probably shot down two hundred bees plus a hundred others kills by other means. My helper got into it and knock back a few himself.

    Have a customer who deals firearms as a hobby. Sold me a Heritage Rough Rider single action 22/mag22 at a reasonable price. Killed a bee with my first shot. Lousy shooter meets dumb bee. I'll take it.
     
  6. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    It's definitely a different species. The carpenter bees in my area are a bit smaller than a the typical Italian honeybee, (perhaps more difficult target practice prey?) They're not too aggressive (unlike some of the wood boring wasps), but they can do a fair amount of damage in a single season.
     
  7. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Occupation:
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    Brought home a few 20-packs of rat shot this afternoon. Fired thirty rounds and killed maybe four bees. Looks like I'm having to start all over. Maybe they fly faster early in the season? Anyway, Wild Bill Hickok is rolling over in his grave. Sorry, Bill. Plenty of time left, though.

    By the way, I posted all this in the remodeling section because I also own a Mossberg twelve gauge pump shotgun. Bringing out the Mossberg might be just cause for some extensive remodeling if it ever came to that on account of the bee crisis.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2018
  8. Dana

    Dana In the trades

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    Jan 14, 2009
    Location:
    01609
    Most people doing a full gut of the interior opt for tools like these, on a cost basis:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    It's a lot cheaper than a case of 12 gauge rounds, but perhaps not quite as much fun. :)
     
  9. fullysprinklered

    fullysprinklered In the Trades

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Occupation:
    self-employed plumber-electrician doing residentia
    Location:
    Georgia
    Used a prybar like that doing die work, swapping out or setting up dies on punch presses, years ago.

    Not at all interested in swinging a sledge hammer at this stage of the game. At 5-8" I maxed out at 9#.
     
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