Large bees growing 1/2 to 1 inch long and have a shiny, hairless abdomen. Females are typically black with metallic reflections and males are a tan color. They have hairs on the hind legs. Females have mandibles used to excavate wood.
After mating in the spring, the male and female return to old tunnels or create new, perfectly round holes 1/2 inch in diameter and a minimum 1-inch deep into softwood. A mixture of pollen and nectar is then regurgitated into the chamber and the egg is laid. Six to eight chambers are constructed and sealed off so that the egg can hatch, the larva can feed on the mixture and then pupate emerging in August in its adult form. Carpenter bees feed than return to their tunnels for the winter.
Adult carpenter bees die a few weeks after laying eggs.
Must be extremely provoked if they do sting.
Commonly located near dead oleander, yucca stalks, wood piles or untreated wood structures in residential homes.