Why Do Carpenter Bees Hover in One Spot?

by Derrick | Last Updated: April 28, 2022

It’s common for carpenter bees to hover over specific areas, but many people don’t know why this is. Luckily, they won’t harm you unless you get near one and it stings you, but why do they hover in one spot?

Carpenter bees hover in one spot because they are protecting their nests. They try to give off an intimidating appearance to any outside insects or animals by hovering around. They might also hover in one spot when they’re searching for a female to mate with. 

The rest of this article will discuss why carpenter bees hover in one spot in much greater detail. Be sure to keep reading to learn more!

Why Do Carpenter Bees Hover Near Their Nests?

Carpenter bees hover over their nests when they want to protect their families from any outside dangers, and it’s the most common reason you’ll see them hovering around a specific area. If you notice bees hovering around, you may want to investigate to see if there’s a nest nearby.

However, if you find a nest, you should leave it alone because the bees may get scared and defensive if you get too close to it. As a result, they might sting you, and you certainly want to avoid that! 

But it’s important to note that male carpenter bees can’t sting; only the females can. And luckily, carpenter bees don’t sting as much as other types of insects and bees.

Carpenter bees are necessary to have around because they’re excellent pollinators, and their population is declining along with other types of bees. As long as the bees hovering around their nests aren’t causing you any trouble, there’s no need to do anything about it. 

But, you might want to look for a nest out of curiosity. If that’s the case, it’s likely to be a wooden nest because that’s what carpenter bees prefer. You should look around for any pieces of untreated wood with holes; that’s probably where the bees are staying. 

This could include wooden panels on a roof or other parts of a home, outdoor furniture, or trees. Remember that carpenter bees prefer unfinished and unpainted wood, so if you have any wood around the outside of your home, it’s best to treat it to avoid any infestations.

Hovering for a Mate

In many cases, a carpenter bee will be hovering in one spot because he’s protecting the nest. However, the bee may be looking for a mate, so he’s hovering around until he finds one.

This is because carpenter bees only have two primary purposes:

  • To mate
  • To protect the nest

The carpenter bee can attract suitable female mates by hovering around and looking intimidating. Although the male carpenter bee may seem scary or dangerous, he is generally not harmless to humans. This is mainly because humans know to keep some distance, but it’s also because he can’t sting.

Finding a Carpenter Bee Nest

As you now know, if you see a carpenter bee hovering over a specific spot, there is likely a nest nearby. If you happen to find the nest after searching for it, you should keep some distance unless you know how to handle bees carefully.

The reason it’s best to keep your distance is that although male bees can’t sting, females can, and they will if they feel threatened. Always avoid poking fingers into the holes in the wooden nests, as this will provoke the female bee to sting and attack you. 

You probably wouldn’t be too thrilled if someone broke into your home and made you feel threatened, so you certainly shouldn’t invoke that fear in a bee. But if the nest is in a piece of furniture or something you need, you may need to intervene.

Intervening When You Find a Carpenter Bee Nest

If the nest is in a place that doesn’t bother you, you should leave it alone. But if the nest is in a structure that you care about or need, it’s vital to intervene as soon as possible.

Some people may think the bees will eventually leave and never come back, but carpenter bees like to return to the same nest again and again, as they see it as their home. 

Fortunately, there are some ways to get rid of carpenter bees without harming or killing them, including:

  • Citrus oil: Carpenter bees don’t like anything with a citrus smell, so they’ll likely leave if you apply some around the nest.
  • Loud noise: Carpenter bees also hate loud noise, so ensuring there’s always loud noise around the nest will encourage them to leave. Using a speaker with a heavy base should do the trick.
  • Make a new nest: If you want to move the carpenter bees from near your home to somewhere else, you could place a carpenter bee nest nearby. To do this, all you need is some untreated and unpainted wood with holes. Or, you could buy a nest.

When trying to remove carpenter bees from a nest , you should make sure you get every one of them. Sometimes, some female carpenter bees will burrow themselves deep within the nest and can be hard to see or reach. 

After successfully repelling the carpenter bees away, you should treat the wood right away with paint or sealer to prevent any further nesting. It’s also always a good idea to fill any holes the bees made because if any other bees see the holes, they might be attracted to them.


Carpenter bees hover in the one spot when they’re protecting their nest. They do this to chase off any insects that try to come near, but they’re mostly harmless. Another reason carpenter bees hover in one place is if they’re looking for a female mating partner.

If you see hovering carpenter bees, there’s likely a nest nearby. You should search for the nest but only intervene if necessary. Use things like citrus oil or loud noise to repel the bees safely.

Treat wood with a sealer or paint to prevent carpenter bees from making a nest.