Q: Each spring I battle with carpenter bees in my log home. However, starting each July, I see somewhat smaller bees, lighter in color, entering the circular holes left by the carpenter bees. They don’t seem to be worsening the damage. Are these helpful or harmful pests?
A: According to Todd Hurt, Extension agent in Cherokee county, you have a giant resin bee. It’s called “giant” only because it is larger than other leafcutter bees. This insect is a relatively new arrival on our shores. It was first reported only a decade ago but has spread sporadically across the South. It is not agressive and does not create holes in wood – it only inhabits them. Todd reports that one beekeeper observed a resin bee removing carpenter bee larvae to inhabit the hole. We may finally have an ally in the fight against the carpenter bees that swarm each spring! See GIANT RESIN BEES!for more details.