Lumberjock Bee Trap

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Project by CueballRosendaul posted 06-13-2014 04:58 PM 30407 views 19 times favorited 6 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I don’t mind carpenters hanging around my shop drinking my beer, but when they start chewing holes in my deck, I get annoyed. To prevent Carpenter Bees from digging holes in my new screened in porch made primarily of cedar, I found a few references online to this type of trap. The concept is simple, they buzz around looking for a spot to drill a hole and will prefer to have a hole already started to save them some chewing time. We can trick them into crawling in the hole in this box, where they follow the light down to the bottle and into the jar. They can’t get back out because their flapping wings won’t fit back through the opening, and it’s too slippery to grip anything.

The key to the trap is that the hole needs to be under an overhang, up at a slight angle, and have a diameter between 3/8” and ½”. I made one that’s half an inch for the fat ones. I used a pickle jar because the lid was large enough to cut the hole for the pop bottle top and still have diameter for a couple small screws to hold it in place. They prefer corners and overhangs, so place it accordingly around your deck or wooden overhangs.

The one mistake I made in this design (which was totally off the top of my head using available scrap) is that I didn’t slope the roof to allow rainwater runoff. The jar collected a little water the first time it rained, so I just caulked the joints around the roof.

Here’s a short YouTube Video of the trap in action. I catch 3-5 bees a day. I wanted to catch these bees without risk of poisoning my honey,mason, and bumbles.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

6 comments so far

View AndrewT's profile


16 posts in 3089 days

#1 posted 06-13-2014 11:53 PM

boy do I need one of these.. Awesome idea!

-- If we could just get everyone to close their eyes and visualize world peace for an hour, imagine how serene and quiet it would be until the looting started.

View bowtie's profile


990 posts in 3633 days

#2 posted 06-14-2014 11:50 AM

Please see my post for a sketch to build your own.

” Carpenter Bee Trap With ROUGH Sketches “

-- bowtie,.....jus passin thru....

View marter1229's profile


437 posts in 4797 days

#3 posted 06-14-2014 01:47 PM

What a great idea!

-- It's all fun, Terry******N. Idaho

View cajunpen's profile


14578 posts in 5352 days

#4 posted 06-14-2014 07:17 PM

Clever idea.

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View RobGilliam's profile


2 posts in 2719 days

#5 posted 06-25-2014 04:49 AM

I can tell you that similar carpenter bee traps DO work. I live in a large log home that also has a 8 to 16 foot wide deck around the entire house so we have LOTS of wood exposed to them and I’ve used similar traps in several places. We have to empty the bottles used in our traps regularly since they fill up pretty quickly.

They don’t get all of the bees, but every few hundred helps!


View CueballRosendaul's profile


484 posts in 3427 days

#6 posted 06-25-2014 10:58 PM

Rob, absolutely necessary in a log house or if you have an old barn on the property. Mine has caught about a dozen and that seems to be about the end of it. I may get a few more stragglers through the summer, but I think I nipped it in the bud.

-- Matt CueBall Rosendaul. I don't think I've ever had a cup of coffee that didn't have cat hair or sawdust in it.

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