Q: I’ve noticed a large insect flying into holes already bored by carpenter bees. They are one inch long or longer and have a large head, burnt orange thorax, and black abdomen. The eyes are big and easy to see. They are apparently using the holes and then sealing them up.
A: The giant resin bee is native to Asia but was discovered in the U.S. in 1994. As you’ve seen, they use crevices and carpenter bee holes to form cells made from resin and small pieces of wood. They pack individual cells with pollen and deposit an egg. When it hatches, the larva feeds on the pollen and emerges in mid-summer. Although female bees can sting, they are non-aggressive unless you pick one up and squeeze it. The males do not have stingers. Since they don’t damage wood and rarely sting I think you should leave them alone and enjoy another of Nature’s interesting creatures.