Do Carpenter Bees Sting? Are Carpenter Bees Aggressive To Humans?

We have a variety of bees with unique attributes. Among the different species, one that is easy to recognize is Carpenter bees. That’s because they hover around and love creating tunnels in wood. 

But how do carpenter bees defend themselves? Do carpenter bees sting? And how do they react when provoked? 

To get answers to those questions, let’s start by looking into carpenter bee biology and understanding what they look like.

Do Carpenter Bees Sting?

Only female carpenter bees can sting. If a carpenter bee moves towards you, darting and flying aggressively, it is probably a male. That’s because they want to scare you away from their territory and not necessarily to harm you. Consider it to be their defense mechanism. So it’s common to find them dive-bombing something they deem as a threat. It goes without saying, carpenter bees don’t have teeth like some people believe.

But one thing to keep in mind is that the male carpenter bees do not have a stinger, meaning they do not sting. Their aggressive behavior only stems from their responsibility to safeguard the nest from other flying insects. They’ll also do so when mating with the female bees. Recognize the differences between male and female carpenter bees.

When it comes to stingers, it is the female bees that have those. And the stingers are laden with venom. Yet, female carpenter bees are not aggressive but will only attack  when provoked or if they feel threatened by your presence.

Are Carpenter Bee Stings Dangerous?

For most people, carpenter bee stings are not overly dangerous. They might be painful for a short period of time and you might see some redness and swelling, but unless you have an allergic reaction you won’t see any serious or longterm effects.

If you start to notice severe swelling around the sting-site, as well as other parts of your body, nauseous, headaches or feeling dizzy, then contact a medical professional.

If you are worried about carpenter bee stings, you should consider using a natural solution such as a citrus spray to repel carpenter bees!

Do Carpenter Bee Stings Hurt?

Carpenter bee stings can be painful, especially as it happens. That being said the pain typically doesn’t last longer than a day or two and will subside rather quickly.

Carpenter bee stings are similar in-terms of pain to a bumblebee sting, but are generally less likely to sting than other types of bees since only female carpenter bees have stingers.

What To Do If You Get Stung By A Carpenter Bee?

If you got stung by a carpenter bee, what should you do? 

When stung, there is an immediate and sharp pain you feel, also accompanied by a burning sensation around the area where you got stung. But since carpenter bees do not lose their stinger after attacking, there is no need to bother with removing a stinger from your skin. You only have to start treating the area at once.

  • Clean the area you were stung in order to prevent infection. Soap and warm water should be used to rinse the skin around the sting.
  • Use a cold compress, a cold washcloth, or a cold gel pack on your skin to calm the swollen area
  • Where the pain persists, over-the-counter pain meds can help. You can also apply a cream that contains an antihistamine like Benadryl which reduces swelling.

In all, seek medical attention if your attempt to remedy the stinging sensation on your own proves unsuccessful. 

About The Author:

David Floyd has 20 years of experience working as a pest control technician as well as running his own pest control company. His main goal is to provide accurate and helpful DIY tips to keep your home pest-free and how to identify different types of household pests!