Should I Kill Carpenter Bees?

Q: I believe carpenter bees are very important pollinators so I allow them in my yard. Even though they drill holes in wood I think it’s bad to kill them. 

A: In my opinion, the reputation of carpenter bees as plant pollinators is not proven. They are so large that they can make a hole in the side of flowers to sip the nectar without entering the flower to contact and transport the pollen. I am sure that some percentage of pollination is performed by them in nature but many people consider the holes carpenter bees drill in wood to outweigh their value as pollinators. If you’d rather not kill the adults directly, keep an eye out for holes and plug them with caulk when spotted.

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