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Sunday, April 26, 2009

CARPENTER BEE Populations swells as homeowners search for ways to GET RID OF CARPENTER BEES

You might have heard them called Bumble Bees - but these are Carpenter Bees, they have that name for a reason. "They are wood burrowers, I call them Termites on steroids because they can be quite destructive," says Howard McGinnis, Beekeeper. And when Carpenter Bees leave there mark, it's hard to miss.

"This one here looks like someone just drilled it, it's so perfectly round with a drill bit," says Kailua resident Dave Morris. Beekeepers say the hole is the female's breeding ground. "They are destructive they will tear your house up," says McGinnis. And once there's one - there will always be more.

"If this were to fill up and there was no more room, they might come down here," says McGinnis. I've done a house in Mililani that had 50 bees, 30 holes, 50 bees." In the past year, the number of Carpenter Bees reported are increasing. McGinnis says that's due to lack of competition in the wild. Hawaii's Honey Bee population has been crashing due to the vicious Varroa Mite. So as as they die back - the Carpenter bees flourish.

"Ususally what happens, is we end up with the sacrificial house in the neighborhood and they're the one with all the carpenter bees in it," says McGinnis. "At times when I'm in the house you can actually here them buzzing outside," says Morris. McGinnis says while they can be a nuisance, Carpenter Bees may be the only hope right now at helping to keep plants pollinated.

"They are noticing them more, there are more of them I think they are filing the voids from the Honey Bees," says McGinnis. That's why if you do notice Carpenter Bees buzzing around your home, McGinnis says try not to kill them. But if they have started to burrow then the best way to get rid of them is to plug up their holes.

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