Carpenter bees are often confused with bumble bees but there are definitely some distinguishing features that can help you tell a carpenter bee from a bumble bee.
Carpenter bees are typically 1/2" to 1" long.
- Carpenter bees have six legs
- Carpenter bees have two sets of wings
- Carpenter Bees have three body segments: head, thorax and abdomen
- Male carpenter bees do not (cannot) sting. Female carpenter bees are able to sting but must be extremely agitated before they will do so.
- Carpenter bees have a fuzzy yellow and black front end
- Carpenter bees have a dark shiny, hairless back end
- Male carpenter bees have a white or cream colored dot on the head
Another way to identify carpenter bees (vs bumblebees) is to look at the damage they cause. For information and images of carpenter bee damage, see our carpenter bee inspection guide
There are several species of carpenter bees in the US and they can be found in most areas.