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Carpenter bees robbing/attacking?


Are these carpenter bees attacking or robbing my hive? They seem too big to be drones. I added some sticks to restrict the size of the entrance. I am tempted to put my queen excluder on the bottom so they can’t get in.


Not sure if the carpenter bees will go all the way in the hive, or if they are just being curious. I also have some carpenter bees around my property, and although their hovering up close & personal habits can be disconcerting, it only occurs during their nesting period when _you_are the one getting too close. However, they are similar to the honey bee in that they are not aggressive as a rule, and only the females can sting, in an emergency.

I was a bit concerned about them chasing my bees - until I saw there was a nest hole in a fence post very near the hive. I think there was a short skirmish to establish appropriate boundaries, since their territory must’ve overlapped.


The large bee in the center is a drone.


Thanks @Michael_Bush. My prior package drones were not nearly this big. These black ones are twice as big as the workers. They sound different when they fly. I couldn’t tell for sure if they were fighting or not. These are buckfast bees, maybe they have bigger drones?

I was also concerned about robbing because I left the marshmellows in the hive that came with the package. I removed them yesterday as the bees do not seem interested in them.


I’ve seem some small and some enormous drones. Since you don’t have any foundation to standardize the size and since transition comb is often an odd size, you sometimes end up with very “alien” looking drones.