There are thousands of different species of bees, and when people think of bees they quite often think of…honey! That being said, every species of bee have different ecological functions, and not all species of bees actually produce honey.
Carpenter bees are known for their ability to drill holes in wood to create their nests. Although this is an amazing feat, it’s also troublesome for homeowners. But putting all that aside, do carpenter bees produce honey?
Do Carpenter Bees Produce Honey?
No, carpenter bees do not make or produce honey. There are over 700 species of carpenter bee around the world, and none of them produce honey. Carpenter bees are huge pollinators but they do not produce honey. This boils down mainly to carpenter bees being more solitary insects rather than bumblebees who live in large colonies of hundreds or thousands of other bees.
Because carpenter bees aren’t social insects, there isn’t a need or a use to produce honey, and that’s the main driving factor for carpenter bees not making honey.
How Do Other Bees Produce Honey?
Producing honey is a very difficult and labor intensive process for other species of bees. The basic process involves collecting nectar from flowers and using this nectar to produce honey through a series of enzyme activity, water evaporation as well as regurgitation by individual bees.
Since each individual bee can only make just a slight amount of honey (about half a teaspoon in its lifetime), to make meaningful amounts of honey it involves the work of hundreds if not thousands of individual bees. This is why honey production is only possible by social or colony bees rather than solitary bees like carpenter bees.
Bees produce honey by collecting nectar from flowers, ingesting the nectar into a special area of their body called the “honey stomach”. From their the enzymes inside the bee’s honey stomach will break down the nectar into a form slightly closer to honey. From their this is returned to the hive where it is regurgitated and then the process is continued by other bees in the colony. After this process if completed multiple times, then the nectar is fully turned into honey, and is placed in the honeycombs of the hive!
To ensure the honey lasts and doesn’t spoil, the bees will actually work to dry out the honey by flapping their wings until the moisture levels are low enough that the honey won’t ferment.
Final Thoughts On Carpenter Bees and Honey:
As you’ve just learned from this guide, carpenter bees don’t produce honey. Honey is produced by quite a few different types of bees, but they have to be done by social bees, rather than solitary bees like carpenter bees.
Since carpenter bees live in nests with only a few other bees, they don’t have the “bee-power” or the need to create honey, so they don’t.