[NAFEX] Carpenter bees as pollinators

Ginda Fisher list at ginda.us
Sun Apr 25 21:29:08 EDT 2010

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Richard Harrison <rharrison922 at yahoo.com>
> Date: April 25, 2010 8:13:03 PM EDT
> To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Carpenter bees as pollinators
> Reply-To: North American Fruit Explorers <nafex at lists.ibiblio.org>
> Ginda,
>     But bumblebees can sting the %@#&* out of you!  I had one attack me on my lawn mower once and he "buzzed" on the back of my thumbnail. I could FEEL the heat of his stinger. That was terrifying. I don't find carpenter bees nearly as terrifying, personally.
>                                                                            Richard

On Apr 25, 2010, at 9:15 PM, Jwlehman at aol.com wrote:

> In a message dated 4/25/2010 7:47:16 PM Eastern Daylight Time, list at ginda.us writes:
>> They will dig holes in your house. You may not mind sacrificing one board of trim to the bees, but lots of people would, and if you have nests of them around, they might start a new nest and get into structural wood.  (And even if that's not very likely, homeowners will worry about it.)
> I've . . .  never been attacked or stung. NEVER. Actually they seem quite docile. In past years I've killed, by swatting, as many as 20 a day. 
> But watch out for the little bumblebees that nest in hay and grass. Those are mean little SOBs and will sting if you just get close.

I didn't mean to say they are aggressive.  I have no idea if they are aggressive.  They just look really scary - I spent an afternoon cooped up inside a friend's house because the friend wouldn't go outside because he was afraid the carpenter bees would sting someone.

I've had better luck with bumblebees than some of you.  I get bumblebees working my raspberry blossoms while I pick the earlier berries, and we work within inches of each other, and have never had a problem.  They don't sting me, I don't hurt them.  AND, I've never had a friend so frightened of bumblebees that I couldn't go outside.  Also, bumblebees don't damage wood, so you can say "they are completely harmless if you leave them alone" and it's true.  I couldn't make that argument to my friends re the carpenter bees, because those bees had already done some minor damage to the house.

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