What Do Carpenter Bees Like to Eat?

what do carpenter bees like to eat

The Carpenter Bee (Xylocopa varipuncta) is a wood-boring species that can cause significant damage to wooden structures on your property. These solitary bees feed on nectar, pollen and other plant materials found on your land as an herbivore diet.

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Female beetles create circular entry holes of about half an inch diameter in soft wood such as cypress and pine, or into unpainted and unstained wood siding on buildings, usually into softwood species such as cypress or pine.



Carpenter bees collect nectar rich with carbohydrates for energy-giving and egg storage purposes. Carpenter bee females use it to construct cells to house their eggs.

Carpenter bees, like other bees, depend on pollen from plants for nutrition. Pollen grains collected on their bodies is known as their “crop”, then regurgitated at their nests.

These bees utilize an innovative form of pollination known as “buzz pollination.” When visiting flowers, buzz pollination involves vibration of their thoracic muscles like tuning forks to generate sound waves which shake pollen out from flower stamens into soundwaves which then pollinate tomatoes, eggplants, and other vegetable crops.

Sealing holes and cracks to keep bees out is often effective; if these bees have already found shelter inside your home however, keeping them away may prove more challenging.


Carpenter bees are drawn to flowers that produce nectar for nourishment and energy as part of their work of pollinating plants. Carpenter bees thrive off this sweet liquid source which provides nutrition as they continue their work of pollinating.

Carpenter bees collect pollen as they forage for nectar-laden flowers, which contains minerals, proteins and carbohydrates. Carpenter bees carry this pollen on their legs until it can be stored safely away in a pollen basket called corbicula.

Carpenter bees can obtain essential nutrition by drinking sugar water. This practice can supplement their natural food sources during times when there aren’t many readily available resources for sustenance.

Many people misperceive carpenter bees (Xylocopa varipuncta) as wood eaters; this misconception led them to call this species by its common name of carpenter bees (Xylocopa varipuncta). But these insects use their impressive mandibles instead to bore holes into hardwoods for nesting purposes rather than eating the wood itself; in fact, their tunneling activity leaves behind piles of sawdust as evidence of tunneling activity.

Insect Eggs

Once warmer weather stimulates nature’s creatures to emerge from winter hibernation, carpenter bees are among the first to make an appearance. Eager for nectar from flower blooms, they quickly seek them out to feed on.

Their short mouthparts allow them to “steal” nectar from flowers without pollinating them; buzz pollination allows them to increase fruit production by as much as 75% on plants like tomatoes, blueberries, and eggplants.

They stock their tunnels with bee bread, an edible combination of pollen and nectar harvested from flowers to feed to their larvae. Although related to bumblebees, Xylocopa varipuncta stands out due to its hairless abdomens – easily distinguishable from their fuzzy cousins – making identification easy. Carpenter bees lack stingers like other bee species but males may remain around nest entrances to deter intruders from entering nests or chase away potential intruders away.


If you have ever noticed piles of sawdust gathered under precisely circular holes drilled into wooden surfaces around your home, these may be signs of carpenter bee activity. Contrary to popular belief, these large native bees do not consume wood; the tunnels they drill are simply nests for their young.

Carpenter bees like other bee species feed on nectar and pollen for sustenance, drawing their sustenance from flower petals containing sweet nectar-laden nectar as a food source. Pollen produced by flowers plays an essential part in reproduction; carpenter bees collect it by buzz pollination: buzzing onto flowers while using their powerful thoracic muscles like tuning forks to vibrate against its interior petals to dislodge pollen grains from within them.

Carpenter bees often turn to nectar sources when nectar becomes scarce; when this fails, however, they may resort to eating ripened fruit or sugar water from hummingbird feeders for sustenance. Although this occurs rarely, this scenario should still be taken seriously.