Carpenter bees are pollinators and friends

To the Editor:

I’m writing in defense of carpenter bees (Xylocopa), important pollinators and friends!

Last month’s article about killing them was like a punch in a sore spot for me. Twenty dead carpenter bee friends! Please don’t kill them next year. Here’s why.

I’ve discovered the value of co-existing with carpenter bees that don’t tolerate any wasps or hornets nesting within their territory. I’ve had a few significantly bad hornet sting experiences.

Now I have no wasps or hornet nests on my house, barn and decking — and no need for sprays. What a great way to go “organic.” Hooray!

If a carpenter bee finds timbers on my house or decking suitable for nesting and I leave them alone — voila! — no hornet or wasp nests! Carpenter bees patrol their nest sites vigorously and chase away hornets and any other flying bugs all day long.

It’s easy to put up small pieces of old 2x4 or 2x6 for nesting space wherever I want these bee friends.

They do have an intimidating way of flying right up to one’s face and doing a recognition scan. I’ve learned they clearly distinguish between people. A stranger gets a thorough look over. But they are non-aggressive to people and don’t sting.

Please also realize that a pollinator crisis exists, and protect any pollinator including carpenter bees.

Pam Harder

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