What Do Borer Bees Eat?

what do borer bees eat

Female carpenter bees are solitary insects that utilize their mandibles to bore into wood for nesting and egg-laying purposes, creating tunnels filled with brood cells for brooding as well as food storage spaces for storage purposes.

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Carpenter bees can usually be identified by piles of sawdust around wooden surfaces such as eaves, fences and decks accompanied by the sound of muffled buzzing.



Nectar is a sweet liquid rich in proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, vitamins, and minerals used for fuel by bee larvae and adults alike.

Carpenter bees visit many flowers to collect nectar and pollen, acting as generalist foragers that do not favor certain plants over others.

Carpenter bees’ short mouthparts limit the size of flower petals they can pierce and collect nectar from. On long-tubed flowers like salvias and penstemons, however, carpenter bees cannot access nectar inside their corolla – nectar robbers who cut slits in side petals to collect nectar then pollinate plants through nectar theft.

Once female carpenter bees have amassed enough nectar, they fill their tunnel with bee bread and lay an egg before sealing its end with a mixture of wood pulp and saliva to overwinter in its gallery and emerge again the following spring to construct new nesting tunnels and lay eggs.


People often mistake carpenter bees as wood eaters due to the way they make holes in structures like homes and garages to make nests. While carpenter bees do dig holes into timbers for nest building purposes, members of Xylocopa genus include over five hundred species that feed off plant pollen and nectar instead.

Female wood-boring beetles use their sharp mandibles to excavate precisely round galleries in wood, typically pine, fir, cypress or redwood; though they also make their home in split rail fence posts and structural timbers. Once excavated, these cells are sealed off using partitions of chewed wood that form cells within cells lining their interior walls.

Female carpenter bees create pollen loaves to feed their offspring throughout development, providing energy and protein sources necessary for adulthood. Unfortunately, several threats threaten carpenter bee populations’ wellbeing such as habitat destruction, urbanization and deforestation as well as bloom times shifting away from native flowering plants to non-native ones – such as pollinator habitat disruption or non-native flower blooming plants that might alter nutrition intake.

Bee flies

Bee-like insects belong to the order Diptera and family Bombyliidae. There are over 1,000 species worldwide that resemble bees without biting or stinging; some possess hairy bodies while others have plainer bodies with translucent wings.

Bee flies are easily mistaken for bees due to their long, straw-like tongue, which allows it to reach deep into Primulas and Lungwort flowers for nectar collection. But unlike bees, it doesn’t puncture petals piercing petals; rather it uses its mouthparts to siphon nectar directly from within them while pollen transfer takes place between blossoms – an invaluable pollination service provider!

Bee flies tend to favor flowers with purple, violet, blue or white hues; yellow and pink flowers don’t hold nearly the same appeal for them. Bee flies also appreciate those featuring long nectar tubes such as primroses or lungworts; when not buzzing about between flower blooms they rest comfortably on either bare ground or short turf patches.


Carpenter bees differ from bumble bees in that each female must excavate her own tunnel for egg laying, stocking each gallery end with food masses composed of pollen and regurgitated nectar before sealing off her brood cells with chewed wood pulp walls.

As larvae continue to feed on food mass until ready for pupation, bees undergo an incredible transformation and form wings and adult mouthparts before pupation occurs.

As soon as a mature carpenter bee emerges from its cocoon, they have hardened exoskeletons ready to attack wood again. Treating entrance holes with products containing carbaryl (Sevin), cyfluthrin or resmethrin may help reduce future infestation. Common nest sites for carpenter bees include shingles, siding, decks, doors sills and fence posts – for more extensive infestation problems it might be worth consulting a professional pest control service company for assistance.