Bumble bees nest in the equivalent of old mouse/rodent nests, can be found in the ground or in buildings, and are dark black round-bodied bees. Workers range in size from ½ inch to about an inch. They are found in mulch piles, leaf litter, mulch beds, buildings’ attic/basement/walls/insulation. Nests are constructed from wax in somewhat disorganized fashion and resemble a ball of clumped together wax cells.
Carpenter bees are round-bodied black bees about an inch in length. Females bore ½ inch diameter holes in wood and tunnel 10+ feet in length of wood. Males have noticeable white face and claim a flying territory which they defend against other carpenter bees so that they will be seen flying and chasing each other in the area that the females are working. Most active in early Spring.
Macenary bees look like small honey bees. Each female has her own nest area, but numerous females will nest in the same vicinity. They are attracted to foundation areas, mortar cracks, and weep holes in brick structures. Infestations occur in the spring and usually disappear by mid-summer. They are harmless pollinating bees that do not cause any structural damage.
Honey bees are ½ inch to ¾ inch round-bodied bees. A colony will build up to a population of 50,000-60,000. When there is excess population, usually in spring, a colony will subdivide and a swarm of several thousand or more bees will leave, temporarily land on something while they search out a permanent location. A normal habitat for the honey bee is a hollow tree but they frequently invade hollow spaces in walls, above dormer ceilings, or between floor joists. Honey bees become a permanent fixture where they lodge over winter as a large mass of active live bees.
Honey Bee colony established in wall
What type of bee might be invading your home? Explore the photos and descriptions below to find out.
Mining bees are similar in size and color to macenary bees, but females group their nests in the ground and make what looks like an ant hill for each individual’s tunnel. They prefer an area that has sparse grass or mulch beds. An attractive area may attract several hundred or more individual insects. They are also a harmless pollinating bee that appears in the spring and disappears later in the summer.