Carpenter Bee Trap | Tutorial

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Introduction: Carpenter Bee Trap | Tutorial

About: I am an obsessed DIYer, Woodworker, and home flipper. I am not a professional or have any training, so I just pick the project I want to tackle and figure it out step by step. I picked up my first project at…

Welcome to the carpenter bee trap tutorial!

The funny/sad thing about this one is that the mason jar I have here was originally holding locally sourced honey... and now I'm using it to trap bees. Okay, maybe not funny - just sad!

But this is necessary - my workshop has been overrun and I tried spraying vinegar and leaving out sliced cucumber and none of that worked originally.

If you want to watch the full video or check out more content like this, please check out my YouTube and consider subscribing!

Let's get into it!

Supplies

Mason Jar

4x4 Piece of Wood - about 10"

Screws

Wire for Hanging

Sugar (optional)

Step 1: Drill Main Hole

To begin, drill out a 1/2 inch hole down the center.

This will only need to be about 4 to 5 inches. Just a rough estimate - none of this has to be perfect.

Step 2: Drill Entrance Holes

About 1 inch from the bottom of the wood, drill more 1/2 inch holes BUT this time drill them at an angle that meets towards the end of the main hole.

This is actually much easier than it sounds - I landed all of my holes without error on the first try.

Do this step on all 4 sides of the 4x4 so there are multiple entrances for the bees.

Step 3: Prepare Mason Jar

Next, you'll want to get your mason jar.

This next step is optional but I decided to add some sugar to my trap (I'm not even sure if carpenters are really into this kind of thing but they're bees right?). Now I say this is optional because the design of the trap alone is known to attract carpenter bees, and adding the liquid adds a death sentence to the bees.

If you decide to not use any sugar/liquid, you can trap the bees and release them somewhere else.

Step 4: Fasten Mason Jar

Place the lid at the bottom of the trap and drill out a 1/2 hole on top of where your hole was already made in the wood.

Then screw on the lid (I used 4 screws here).

And now you can turn this trap upside down and screw on the mason jar.

If you decide to hang this trap, simply drill a small hole through the top portion of this 4x4 and get a coat hanger or some wire to fasten it around a tree branch. I personally just set mine in a window flower pot.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Safety

And that's all there is to it. Enjoy your peaceful backyard once again and take control!

If you like this project, please consider subscribing to my YouTube channel - you'll be able to catch a lot more videos similar to this.

http://www.youtube.com/c/kellyconcepts?sub_confirmation=1.

Thank you so much!

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    20 Comments

    0
    seawarrior181
    seawarrior181

    8 months ago

    What is it that actually "traps" the bees? Can't they simply come out the way they went in? Just curious.

    2
    Garage_Shop_Crafter
    Garage_Shop_Crafter

    9 months ago on Step 5

    I made a similar trap not too long ago and it's been very effective. As a little note: the awesome thing about this trap is that it targets a specific bee that can be destructive (carpenter) but will not attract honey bees that are generally considered more helpful for flowers/gardens in the area. Adding sugar to the trap, however, will attract honey bees while not making the trap any more effective at catching carpenter bees. Just wanted to throw that out there. As far as making the trap more effective for carpenter bees... well for some odd reason these bees are attracted to the smell of injured/dying/dead carpenter bees. So if you leave the bee in there after it is dead, the trap will pull in more bees.

    0
    LinnetNC
    LinnetNC

    Reply 8 months ago

    When we moved into our house 10 years ago there was a fair amount of visible damage from carpenter bees - especially by the back door out onto our deck and underneath where the gutters hang. I don't have much issue with them other than the damage they cause to the wood and the fact that the males are very territorial - it makes it tough to go in and out of the house at times. The males are mostly bullies, they sting/bite when aggravated and can be waved away most of the time. The females on the other hand are nasty critters - they can be extremely aggressive and stings/bites are very painful.
    I did research on how to deal with them and found that the best thing to do it keep the wood in good repair - such as painted and no bare wood showing. We reduced the population almost immediately once we repainted/resealed anything that needed it. We repaired the existing damage by filling each hole with latex caulk in the fall when the bees are dormant and painting over the cured caulk.
    We do a walk around every fall and take care of any new vulnerable spots. Now we find maybe 2 every year. Much easier to deal with than the dozens we first had to do.
    There's pesticides that can be effective, but you still have to caulk and paint/seal the holes after you put in the pesticides, so why bother.
    Now bees stay away from the house and attack the privacy fence at the rear of the property which is actually closer to my vegetable garden. Win in my book!

    2
    ValleR1
    ValleR1

    Reply 8 months ago

    Entomologist here. I'm not going to tell anyone to refrain from trapping insects that are damaging their property, but it's actually the native species bees like carpenter bees that are more beneficial to ecosystems. The European honey bee, Apis mellifera, is not native and is actually detrimental to the native bees that it competes with outside of Europe.

    0
    shalnachywyt
    shalnachywyt

    Reply 8 months ago

    Thanks!

    1
    Kelly Concepts
    Kelly Concepts

    Reply 9 months ago

    Very great input about the sugar aspect of it. I do not want to "collect" honey bees so this coming Spring, I will leave the soda and honey out of the trap. Thank you!

    0
    Gastonone
    Gastonone

    8 months ago

    Better leave insects alone and try to live together

    0
    ladeewolf54
    ladeewolf54

    8 months ago

    I know these are important pollinators, my front porch is riddled with their holes. As for stinging, if provoked, they sting painfully. I was stung by one a year ago. It was worse than any honeybee. Someone else did the provoking, but I got the sting. I may try this trap.

    0
    maintann
    maintann

    8 months ago

    "normal" bees belong to a particular hive & normally wont go to another so unlike possums, spiders etc releasing them elsewhere doesn't do them any good. If your problem is with honey bees (cant comment about others), find the nest & either get a local beekeeper to remove it or spray plenty of real vanilla essence around it. For some reason bees hate it & will usually leave.

    10
    Libby61
    Libby61

    9 months ago

    Carpenter bees are also very important pollinators. In fact carpenter bees are better pollinators in many instances.

    2
    spark master
    spark master

    Reply 8 months ago

    They are really good at pollinating tomatoes. My neighbor made 2 homes for bees, stacked cuts of NON TREATED LUMBER with a hole bored in each one. They fly all around but never sting, they are really creepy and scary looking, they are huge.

    If you are going to do a catch and release, don't use treated lumber, they will eat it and they will die.

    10
    Libby61
    Libby61

    9 months ago

    Why not install some bee houses for the carpenter bees to use? We need pollinators. Carpenter bees are important pollinators.

    0
    shalnachywyt
    shalnachywyt

    Reply 8 months ago

    "Carpenter bees (borer bees) get their common name from their habit of boring into wood. Carpenter bees do not eat wood but cause damage to structures by drilling circular holes to create tunnels inside wood. Unlike other common bees, such as honeybees and bumble bees that live in colonies, carpenter bees are not social insects and build individual nests into trees outdoors or into the frames, eaves or sides of buildings." (from: https://www.pestworld.org/pest-guide/stinging-inse...
    Carpenter bees have chewed holes in the treated posts in my deck. I do not need that. There are at least 25 trees on my property where they can nest. Do they nest there? No. Instead they make a "bee-line" to my deck. They fly around and divebomb you when you least expect it. I don't want them anywhere near my house.

    0
    htrzrbrn106
    htrzrbrn106

    8 months ago

    Are the entry holes angled up or down? These critters are eating into the wood rafters of my small barn.

    0
    grimmer.wald
    grimmer.wald

    8 months ago on Introduction

    Why not set them free somewhere else or build a dedicated timber structure they can use? We have several small bee houses in the garden and the bees stay away from our sheds and garages. Bees are very important, don't be so quick to suggest killing them.

    0
    DidierD7
    DidierD7

    8 months ago

    the bee you filmed at 0:25 is not a carpenter bee, it is an osmia. Each of these solitary bees pollinate a hundred times more than a honey bee. All kinds of bees are protected because they are in decline. If you love fruits and vegetables, it's a bad idea to kill them because the real value of bees is pollination, not honey! They provide 30% of the world's food for free.

    5
    Stevens Workshop
    Stevens Workshop

    8 months ago

    Is there a particular issue with carpenter bee?
    Do you release the caught bees somewhere away from your property?

    1
    kc cabinite
    kc cabinite

    9 months ago

    I made 2 of these for my out-building that seemed to attract a lot of carpenter bees. Works great!