Bee Damage (Why Bee Traps)
OK Guys, I’ve been showing you my Traps & how to build them for years, but I never showed you any of the worse damage they’ve gotten away with on my Log Home.
It’s high time I do just that:
First I’ll refresh you on what the little smart-asses do. They drill holes in wood to lay their eggs inside the wood. They don’t eat the wood, so no sense trying to poison them. So when your house is 100% WOOD it’ll be like a Super Party for them.
So they usually drill in about 3/4” deep, then make a right angle turn inside the cell structure of the wood, and follow the direction of the grain within the cell structure. This is why they don’t bother my Logs—Every Log is from the center of one Tree, and since it is the heart of the tree, the bee can’t drill there, because the cell structure is tight & too small for them.
They like the wood from boards, like the 2” thick X 12” wide Fascia boards on my house, because those boards are from the outer parts of the Tree.
So they drill holes 1/2” in Diameter, and if you don’t get to them, they’ll keep going within the cell walls, and find places to drop off some eggs along the way. Those eggs will Winter there, warm & dry. (Well Dry anyway!). Then along comes Mister Destruction. Mister Woodpecker just loves the Larva that The Carpenter Bees left in the wood, so He gets to pecking, to tear open the wood & eat the Larva. Remember the Cartoons with "Woody Woodpecker" in them?? Well I no longer laugh at those cartoons, and I understand when the guy blows his house apart with a shotgun, while trying to get that Pecking Menace!!!
So in the beginning, I was dealing with them in the prescribed method, which was to squirt some white powder into the hole. Then after waiting 48 hours, so they can all get the powder on them, I’d plug the holes shut with either a dowel or wood filler. Then I ran into problems, like the bees would push the filler back out of the holes over night. So I added a trick by putting a Drywall screw into the hole before the wood filler. This would keep them from pushing the filler out, and play hell with the Woodpecker’s beak if he still decides to tear up some of my wood!!!
So I needed other methods of eliminating these critters. I was batting them around with a badminton racket. That was good for the ones I could reach, but I turned to Bear Jr’s old BB gun for some of the others hovering around at up to 22’ in the air.
Then I got a bright idea, and took a couple cut-off pieces of construction lumber (2 X 12s), and drill a bunch of 1/2” holes in them, about halfway, and left them sit out a few days, with the holes on the bottom sides. It didn’t take long for some Bees to move in & make the right turn & continue drilling. So I waited until all the holes were active, and just after dark I put tape over the holes & roasted them all in a nice woodfire.
This was all Time consuming, and I didn’t have an endless supply of throwaway Lumber pieces, so I made my Traps. First they were like little wren houses, with bee holes in the sides. However these had room in them for wasps to build nests in them, so I changed my traps into solid wood blocks with bee holes in them. These work Awesome, and you can see them & how to build them BELOW!!
Link to Bee Traps (Step by Step)
Upgraded Carpenter Bee Traps
Thanks for looking,
Here is a picture of what happens when they get out of hand. This was more than 20’ up, and the method of overhang makes it very hard to get there. Most of the holes got there before I had traps made. Then as you can see the Peckers started tearing it all up. So Bear Jr put a bunch of Drywall screws in the holes & filled everything with “PC Woody”, which seems to be harder than wood. All we have to do is get some stain on it, before it gets it’s next coat of Woodguard in about 3 or 4 more years.
After Fixing (needs stain & Woodguard):
Here’s one where the Idiot Bee thought the wood was thicker, and drilled right through my 3/4” thick soffit. Then a Piliated Woodpecker came along and widened the hole, and it looked like he was planning on making it an entry hole to living in my attic. So we cut out a whole section from lookout to lookout & replaced it with a piece I had saved when the house was being built.