Zionsville Times Sentinel

Commentary

May 21, 2014

Carpenter, honey bees have different 'MOs'

The Extension Office has received several calls from people reporting large bees resembling bumble bees near their homes. In some cases they have been behaving aggressively, flying at people. These are probably not bumble bees but carpenter bees, also sometimes called wood bees.

Carpenter bees are not dangerous in the same way as bumble bees. While they often behave aggressively, including "dive bombing" at people, they rarely sting. In fact, the bees that usually behave the most aggressively toward people are males that do not possess stingers. The female will sting but usually only if handled or stepped on.

Carpenter bees are solitary insects, so they do not establish large colonies such as bumble bees do. Also, they nest in wood, while bumble bees typically establish their nests in the ground.

While the threat of being stung is much less than for many other bees and wasps, carpenter bees are still a pest. They do not actually eat wood, but carpenter bees establish their nests by boring round holes about one-half inch in diameter where they lay their eggs. If not controlled, over time this boring and subsequent tunneling activity can weaken structures. One sign of carpenter bees is small piles of sawdust beneath the holes.

See Wednesday's Times Sentinel for the full story.

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Commentary
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  • They've been known to pick a song or two Someone I know — I don't even remember who — used to have a "You may be a Redneck if ..." daily calendar. One day it read: You may be a Redneck if your mother has a Lynyrd Skynyrd T-shirt.

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  • Expiring term heightens urgency of lawmaker’s mission State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January. The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrants from paying in-state tuition to attend state colleges and universities.

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    July 16, 2014

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    July 16, 2014

  • Extension Service celebrates turning 100 On May 8, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the federal Smith-Lever Act, which established the Cooperative Extension Service as a nonformal educational program designed to help people use research-based knowledge to improve their lives. In recognition of 2014 being the centennial year of the Extension Service, Purdue Extension – Boone County will commemorate the milestone with activities and displays at this year’s Boone County Fair.

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