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carpenter bee

When Is Carpenter Bee Season in Florida?

Florida's warm seasons bring carpenter bees out in force, buzzing into action with their unique carpentry skills.

These solo bees don’t eat wood like termites but drill neat holes in wooden decks, eaves, and garden chairs to nest. Over time, their love for weathered wood can weaken structures.

If you notice these busy buzzers or their smooth tunnels, it's time to learn how to keep your backyard bee-friendly without damage. Stay tuned for more on managing these intriguing insects and making the most of Florida's carpenter bee season!

Key Takeaways

  • Carpenter bees in Florida are most active from late winter to summer, with peak activities occurring from May through August.
  • Their activity levels are influenced by temperature, with the highest activity at 70°F to 80°F, and daylight hours, which increase with longer days in spring and decrease in fall.
  • Wet conditions and high humidity can reduce carpenter bee activity, as these bees prefer dry conditions for nesting and foraging.
  • Signs of a carpenter bee infestation may include round holes in wood, accumulations of sawdust, and visible bee activity around these areas.
  • Effective control methods can include insecticide dust, citrus spray, and sealing entry points, but professional pest control services should handle persistent infestations.

Peak Activity Times for Carpenter Bees in Florida

Seasonal Patterns

In Florida, carpenter bees (Xylocopa spp.) become noticeably active during the late winter to early spring as temperatures rise. This activity continues and often ramps up, leading into the summer months.

Here's a closer look at what you can expect in terms of monthly carpenter bee activity:




Overwintering period


Mating and nest-building


Peak of larval development and foraging


Larvae mature, and new adults emerge


Reduced activity, preparation for overwintering

Life Cycle Timeline

carpenter bee life cycle

The carpenter bee’s life cycle in Florida unfolds over several vital periods.

  1. Emergence: Typically starting in March, adults emerge from their winter nests.

  2. Nesting: They commence building nests or expanding existing ones, which continues into April.

  3. Mating: After the nests are built, mating occurs, and females lay eggs.

  4. Larval Stage: Eggs progress to larvae, with the larval stage spanning late spring into summer, notably peaking in the warmth of late summer in North Florida.

  5. Maturation: Larvae mature into adult bees by late summer or early fall.

  6. Overwintering: As temperatures drop, these adults prepare nests for overwintering, which they will emerge from the following spring.

Factors Influencing Carpenter Bee Activity

Species of carpenter bees are active across Florida. Their activity levels are directly affected by environmental factors such as temperature, daylight hours, and weather patterns.

Daylight Hours

Carpenter bees, such as the Southern Carpenter Bee, adjust their foraging and nesting behavior with the lengthening and shortening daylight throughout the year.

Here's a quick rundown of their routines:

  • These native bees start foraging shortly after sunrise when the temperature begins to warm.
  • Evening activities tend to wrap up before sunset as temperatures drop.


Temperature plays a crucial role in the activity levels of carpenter bees, with the most activity seen when temperatures range from 70°F to 80°F.

These solitary bees, like the Eastern Carpenter Bee, prefer warm weather and become more active as the temperature increases.

Here’s an insight into the variation of monthly carpenter bee activity levels in Florida:


Activity Level




Moderate to High






Low to Moderate

Rain and Humidity

Wet conditions and high humidity can adversely affect the activity of carpenter bee species like the Southern Carpenter Bee.

Here's how they react to different weather patterns:

  1. Rain discourages foraging activity, pushing bees to seek shelter.

  2. Extended spells of rain can delay the construction of new carpenter bee nests.

  3. High humidity and warm temperatures can benefit foraging, but overly humid conditions may lead to less activity.

  4. Carpenter bees demonstrate resilience by waiting for unfavorable conditions to resume normal activities.

Regional Variations within Florida

Carpenter bee activity in Florida shows distinct patterns based on regional climates and geography.

Northern vs. Southern Florida

Here’s how different factors influence the behavior and nesting habits of the carpenter bees:


Northern Florida

Southern Florida


Cooler and more variable; shorter bee activity seasons

Warmer and more stable; longer bee activity seasons

Bee Behavior

Activity starts later in spring; shorter foraging periods

Activity starts earlier; extended foraging opportunities


Prefer old wood and wooden structures; slightly less activity due to shorter seasons

More consistent nesting due to favorable year-round conditions

What Are the Signs of Carpenter Bee Infestations

Recognizing a carpenter bee infestation is essential to preventing structural damage to wood surfaces around homes and gardens in Florida.

Identifying Carpenter Bees

Unlike small carpenter bees, large carpenter bees can easily be mistaken for wasps or giant bees, such as honeybees.

However, distinct physical traits set these pollinators apart, which are crucial for accurate identification:

  • Size: Typically about 12 to 25 mm in length.
  • Thorax: Covered in hair, often yellow or white, making them look similar to bumblebees.
  • Antennae: Relatively long and segmented, noticeable upon closer inspection.
  • Coloration: Generally black, but may have yellow, white, or blue reflections
  • Male Carpenter Bees: They are recognized by a white or yellow patch on their faces but do not have stingers.
  • Female Carpenter Bees: They are equipped with a stinger and strong mandibles and are responsible for wood-boring to create nesting sites.

Knowing the Signs of Infestation

As you assess your property for potential carpenter bee activity, look for these unmistakable signs that could indicate an infestation:



Round Holes

Smooth, circular openings in wood

Sawdust Piles

Accumulations of wood shavings

Bee Activity

Hovering or burrowing behavior

Chewed Wood Pulp

Bits of wood removed from nesting sites

Damaged Wood Surfaces

Weathered or hollow-sounding wood areas

How to Prevent and Control Carpenter Bees

With carpenter bees frequenting Florida, you need strategic prevention and control methods to protect your wooden structures.

Prevention Techniques

To keep carpenter bees at bay and protect your property, consider implementing these effective prevention techniques as homeowners:

  • Paint or varnish wooden surfaces: A fresh coat of paint or varnish can deter carpenter bees, as they prefer bare wood.
  • Seal gaps and cracks: Inspect eaves, railings, fence posts, and other wood structures for small openings where bees might establish new nests, and seal them with caulk.
  • Install physical barriers: Secure fine wire mesh over potential nest sites.
  • Use noise or vibration: A non-chemical approach is to set up vibrations or noise-making devices to discourage bees from settling in certain areas.

Control Methods

When prevention isn't enough, here are some effective control methods to keep the carpenter bee population in check:

DIY Solution


Insecticide Dust

Apply this dust into the nest openings when bees are inactive at night.

Citrus Spray

Boil citrus peels in water and spray the solution on affected areas as a natural repellent.

Boric Acid

A mixture of boric acid and sugar water can act as bait and poison for bees that ingest it.

Noise Devices

Set up sound emitters to disrupt bee activity and drive them away.

Professional Carpenter Bee Solutions

When dealing with carpenter bees in Florida, you can use several professional services to manage these wood-boring insects effectively.

Here's a rundown of available services depending on the company:

  • Inspection
  • Chemical Treatments
  • Preventive Coatings
  • Exclusion
  • Bait and Trap Systems
  • Maintenance Plans
  • Borate Treatments
  • Repairs and Wood Replacement

When to Consider Calling in the Pest Control Experts

If you notice an abundance of wooden shavings beneath eaves or a noticeable increase in bee activity around your property, it might be a sign of carpenter bees setting up shop.

These busy bees carve out tunnels in wood to lay their eggs—quite the crafty behavior! And those are not a DIY moment. Let professional pest control companies (like us, here at Native Pest Management) do the job!

We have the right tools and know-how to handle the situation without turning your sweet home into a battlefield.