Do Carpenter Bees Sting?

There's no need to fear these generally harmless insects

Do carpenter bees sting?
Carpenter bees can be aggressive. Do they sting?. Getty Images/Moment Open/Brian E. Kushner

Carpenter bees can be aggressive, and nobody likes getting stung by a bee. But before you reach for a can of bug spray, you should know that it's very unlikely you'll be stung by one.

Males Don't Sting

Male carpenter bees, which are the ones with all the bluster, do not sting at all. Males don't even have a sting (or stinger, as most people tend to call it), so try as they might, they can't hurt you. All the male carpenter bee can do is bump into you.

Females Do

Female carpenter bees do have a sting and are capable of stinging you. A female will defend herself if she feels threatened, but she's not threatened that easily. If you're swatting at her with a newspaper or waving your hands frantically to scare her off, then yes, you might get stung. But stay calm and leave her alone, and she'll do the same.

Beneficial Pollinators

Carpenter bees are beneficial pollinators that do more good than harm. They do occasionally nest in places people don't want them to live, such as decks or porches, so you may need to take control measures at times.