Do Carpenter Bees Kill Wasps? – Carpenter Bee Prey

Carpenter bees exhibit protective behavior towards their nests. Their primary concern is the intrusion of predatory insects, such as wasps, which may harm their offspring. As a result, carpenter bees can often be found in a specific area, closely monitoring and reacting to any flying or moving organisms.

If humans, pets, or other creatures stand too close to a carpenter bee’s nest, the danger of the carpenter bee dive-bombing to defend the nest increases. Though wasps scent disturbs carpenter bees, this acts like a trigger to help them get away from wasps. 

do carpenter bees kill wasps

But the reverse is the case for wasps as they do not get deterred by the scent of carpenter bees. But do carpenter bees kill wasps? In this short piece, we’ll discuss what happens between these bees and wasps.

Do Carpenter Bees Kill Wasps?

No, carpenter bees do not kill wasps. Instead, some wasp species are specialized in attacking bee nests. When a wasp intends to kill a bee, it will sting it, thereby infecting the prey with toxins. Yellowjackets are a well-known, large family of predatory wasps. 

Hornets are the most common carpenter bee predators. Yellowjackets are carnivorous wasps that murder and dissect most insects. They do this because they are large enough to seize and subdue. Their powerful pincer jaws make it easy for them to catch and gnaw at their prey. Adult wasps eat large amounts of sweet things, such as nectar. But their young eat meat.

So, the adult yellow jackets return to their nest with the meaty parts of their prey to feed their young ones. Thus, it’s easy to see why wasps kill and eat carpenter bees.

Wasps gather up dead bees’ flesh and other insect carcasses very early in the year. They also eat them and give them to their pupae in the nest. The protein aids in the growth of new body tissue. Some species of mature wasps, for example, the bald-faced hornets, will devise a unique method to source sugar. They begin the destruction of carpenter bees by biting off their tops and abdomens.

If you notice carpenter bees fighting another insect it could be them actually fighting other carpenter bees.

Do Carpenter Bees Fight Wasps?

Carpenter bees will fight wasps to try to protect their nests and can be quite courageous in doing so. That being said, since male carpenter bees don’t have stingers or teeth, they aren’t very effective at fighting back against wasps. They will fight back by trying to be intimidating and head-butting wasps, but they can’t cause any serious damage to wasps.

Are Carpenter Bees Afraid Of Hornets?

Yes, carpenter bees are afraid of hornets. Hornets often attempt to kill carpenter bees and use their nests. This means carpenter bees are usually afraid of hornets.

Do Carpenter Bees Keep Wasps Away?

No, carpenter bees won’t keep wasps away. Wasps aren’t afraid of carpenter bees and occasionally wasps will steal carpenter bee’s nests. So wasps have no issue being near carpenter bees.

What’s The Difference Between Carpenter Bee Vs Wasp?

Carpenter bees and wasps do look pretty similar. Both of them aren’t fuzzy and they can be larger in size. That being said, wasps have a visible waist, carpenter bees don’t have a visible waist and their entire body is more circular in shape.

Wasps Prey On Weak Carpenter Bee Nests

Wasps might as well target a bee’s nest if they think the hive is vulnerable enough to be invaded. They begin their attack on the weaker bee communities. Attacking different hives happens continuously until their mission becomes a success. You can actually buy a fake wasps nest to deter carpenter bees from visiting your house since they are afraid of wasps.

Carpenter bees also fight to oppose them, but in situations where the wasps are larger in number, they’ll kill the bees near the entrance to the hive.

It is pretty hard to prevent wasps from invading the carpenter nests. The only way would be to destroy the wasp’s nest.

On rare occasions, the bees could kill wasps if they try to invade their home. Carpenter bees will surround the wasp and flap their wings to increase their temperature. An increased temperature of the bees heats the wasps internal organs until it dies.  

Along with this, carpenter bees will fight other carpenter bees if they feel their territory is being encroached upon.


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