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Eastern carpenter bees have a shiny black abdomen, with the only yellow hair present being at the base next to the thorax.
Collin County Adventure Camp is a branch of the YMCA of Metropolitan Dallas and an ACA accredited facility and program. Explore the unique environment of the Black Land Prairie in our Outdoor Education program.
The most visible physical difference (at a glance) between this species and a bumblebee is the abdomen. Eastern carpenter bees have a shiny black abdomen, with the only yellow hair present being at the base next to the thorax, while bumblebees have a very fuzzy abdomen, which in some species has large areas of yellow hair across the middle (this is visible and obvious). The female eastern carpenter bee also has a much broader head than bumblebees. Eastern carpenter bees can be sexed at a glance. Males have a patch of white or yellow cuticle on the face, as opposed to females, whose faces are black. Males are unable to sting, since a bee's stinger is a modified ovipositor (an egg laying organ).