Are you ready to learn how to make a carpenter bee trap? I am here to tell you that we have had a problem this year. The dreaded carpenter bees have been at work around the farm. My husband made a trap and I thought I would share it here with y’all. You can use any scrap 4 x 4 you have to make a carpenter bee trap for your home. This is a simple project and it uses a mason jar! That is basically my kind of DIY project. Follow along with our carpenter bee trap plans below then start making your own version.
Don’t want to trap the carpenter bees? We have also found that this paper bag solution helps to deter them from eating our wood!
Supplies to make a wood bee trap:
- 4×4 cut to length (You can use a scrap 4 x 4 that is about 7 inches long for this project or purchase a new one if you don’t have any in your woodpile.)
- 15/16 inch drill bit
- 3/4 inch drill bit
- Pint-sized mason jar with lid
- Hook for hanging
Want to buy a boring bee trap instead of making one?
So, you may know how to make a carpenter bee trap, but you may not WANT to make one. You can buy one instead! Try the Amazon widget below to buy a bore bee trap and give it a try around your home.
How to Make a Carpenter Bee Trap:
To begin, you will need to drill a hole in the center of your 4×4. We used a 15/16 inch drill bit, however, you can use one that is 1 inch or a little under. Drill your hole about 5 inches deep.
TIP: Wrap masking tape around your drill bit at the 5-inch mark. Then you know to stop drilling when the tape reaches the wood.
Mark up about 2 1/2 inches from the end that you just drilled the hole into. Then drill holes in the center of each side as shown below. Keep your drill at about a 45-degree angle. Drill until you reach the 5-inch deep hole that you put in the bottom. Here you will want to use about a 3/4 inch drill bit. Repeat this same procedure on all four sides.
Now, if you have not already, you can cut off your 4 x 4 at around 7 inches long using a saw. Then just add some type of hook to the top for hanging.
Add a larger hole to the center of your mason jar lid. You can use a large drill bit for this just be sure to clamp down the lid well. Then screw the lid onto the bottom of your trap. Be sure to align the hole in the lid with the hole in the bore bee trap.
Finally, you just want to screw the mason jar onto the bottom of the trap.
Now, you know how to make a carpenter bee trap. And this one is ready to hang and catch those carpenter bees. Want to see the entire process in a story? Just click to watch the slides below!
We gave ours a few weeks and I can definitely say it is working now! Be sure to use these carpenter bee trap plans to make a wood bee trap or two for around your home.
Love this DIY boring bee trap and want more ideas? Try the links below as well!
- Our Best Screened-in Porch Ideas
- How to Make Mosquito Repellent Candles
- DIY Scrap Wood Projects You Can Make
- How to Kill Weeds Not Flowers
- Shrinky Dink Butterfly Mobile
Want to print these carpenter bee trap plans? Try the printable card below!
- 1 4×4 cut to length You can use a scrap 4 x 4 that is about 7 inches long for this project or purchase a new one if you don't have any in your woodpile.
- 15/16 inch drill bit
- 3/4 inch drill bit
- Pint-sized mason jar with lid
- Hook for hanging
- To begin, you will need to drill a hole in the center of your 4×4. We used a 15/16 inch drill bit, however, you can use one that is 1 inch or a little under. Drill your hole about 5 inches deep.
- TIP: Wrap masking tape around your drill bit at the 5-inch mark. Then you know to stop drilling when the tape reaches the wood.
- Mark up about 2 1/2 inches from the end that you just drilled the hole into. Then drill holes in the center of each side as shown below. Keep your drill at about a 45-degree angle. Drill until you reach the 5-inch deep hole that you put in the bottom. Here you will want to use about a 3/4 inch drill bit. Repeat this same procedure on all four sides.
- Now, if you have not already, you can cut off your 4 x 4 at around 7 inches long using a saw. Then just add some type of hook to the top for hanging.
- Add a larger hole to the center of your mason jar lid. You can use a large drill bit for this just be sure to clamp down the lid well. Then screw the lid onto the bottom of your trap. Be sure to align the hole in the lid with the hole in the bore bee trap.
- Finally, you just want to screw the mason jar onto the bottom of the trap.
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What keeps the bee from simply flying back out the hole?
Actually I am not sure….but it works!
Does it matter if the 4×4 is treated
I would think either treated or untreated would work.
You should research the value of carpenter bees and other ways to deter them before advising other people to kill them. This post is I’ll advised and anyone with half a brain knows better than to kill native bees.
They’re destroying my building,So what do you suggest I do.
After the bee goes inside it will try to come back out but the angle of the hole will keep it from seeing light. It will go down into the bottle because of the light. There it will die.
They can’t see the hole st the top of the jar. I make these but I use clear plastic drink bottles. Hot glue the lid in a recessed hole, allow to set.
It’s important to leave the bee’s in the jar or bottle until the end of the year. It draws others into it.
What do you use to attract the bees to your trap?
When the bee enters and follows the small hole it drops down a shaft into the jar. Bees find their way by sunlight so when it enters the jar it tries to go toward the light coming through the wall of the jar. Visit http://www.carpenter-bee-trap.com for full details regarding carpenter bee traps, eliminating carpenter bees and preventing carpenter bee damage.
Does it have to be a glass jar or can it be a plastic mayo jar?
Any clear container will work!
I look forward to trying this trap out. I look forward even more so to see the results. It has been a wonderful springtime here in upstate SC, but the carpenter bees are going postal on our deck both in the front and the back. I cannot wait to be rid of these nuisance bees. Wish us luck.
Good luck! They are definitely working for us!
Why do you want to trap these guys in the first place? We have people raising them here to save the planet.
these are not honey bees they are carpenter bees. You can look them up to find out the difference
We made two of these, used treated and non treated and it did not work.
They spend their days defending their territory and drilling holes into your woodwork. Don’t see how eliminating them will save rhe planet.
no but would save your deck maybe expensive repairs on your house.
Honeybees are a farmed animal, like cows. They’re not at risk. However, there are thousands of species of native bees, like carpenter bees, and they each fill different niches in their ecosystem, some pollinating specific plants. With less habitat, native bees are the ones in trouble – and some are getting listed as endangered/at risk etc. Carpenter bees are mostly harmless, so it is disappointing to see people actively killing them.
This really works!! We had ours hanging up for 3 days with no luck. On the forth, my husband killed one with a fly squatter, and put it in the jar. We now have caught 8 in 2 days!! I don’t know if it was a coincidence or not, but it doesn’t matter!!
If you aren’t handy the traps by Best Bee Brothers really work! And their customer support is very friendly if you have questions.
I know Carpenter Bees are destructive, and I’m no tree-hugger, but I don’t kill bees (wasps and yellow jackets, yes) I have been told that even Carpenter Bees pollinate as they bzzzzz from flower to flower.
P.S. I trap indoor spiders in jars and toss them outside…soooo hopeless.
I suppose you let termites eat your house as well?
Carpenter bees don’t fly to flowers. That is a bumble bee. Bumble bees will sting– carpenter bees will not. They will eat your house down. I saw a log cabin my friend owned it had so many holes in it He burned it down and built a new one.
So maybe treat the wood on your house before killing native pollinators. Without bees pollinating your food, you’ll have bigger issues than your friends deteriorating cabin due to lack of maintenance.
Hole in lid too small for bee to fly out !
Well my husband just finished our first carpenter bee trap. Ready to try it out! Was super easy to build …Thanks for sharing
I made this according to instructions. I watched a carpenter bee enter one hole then out another hole in the other side.
Hmmm…we always have ones that get trapped in the jar and have used this for 3 years now.
Try drilling the holes slightly off-set. They go towards the light, hence the clear jar. Once in they can’t see the light in the hole.
Not sure if my first question went through. I was wondering if you put anything in the jar to attract the bee’s?
No. Nothing goes in the jar!
I was wondering does it have to be a clear ibottle that catches the bees are can it be a light color bottle
I have only used a clear one so not sure.
I am making this! We have so many and they are eating our deck. Thanks for the tutorial!
You might want to check under your deck, if you’ve got them hovering around it, chances are these are hatchings from last year. Also beware if you see woodpeckers in the area. They will knockout huge chunks of wood going after the bees and larvae. The larvae will chew out the side of the board as they are laid last to first, I built a trap last year but it was too late… had to tear it down
We have a carpenter bee problem at our cabin but I understand they are pollinators similar to honeybees which are endangered. I have read that spraying the affected surfaces with certain essential oils will cause them to move on so i’ll try that first but if it doesn’t work we’ll try this trap. Seems to make sense. We actually bought a salt gun to knock them down, hopefully drive them away! It isn’t totally effective but kinda a hoot! (It doesn’t kill them, just addles them.)
When there’s nothing left on this planet but people, we will then, finally, get what we all deserve.
Perhaps you could put your energy into just deterring them from doing whatever it is that you find so unacceptable, rather than trying to eliminate them. People do suck.
catch in bottle, remove to wooded area, release.
WOW I have not saw so many people argue over bees. I say do what you need to do leave others alone. Quit arguing! Love you all. Jo
Clever idea, however we need all the bees we can keep. They are essential to our well being. They are not our enemies. If you leave them alone, they will leave you alone.
Not true. They will not leave you alone. And they will not stop destroying your wood.
I am all for saving the bees but this particular species are pests. We “left them alone” and they fashioned a nest in our window sill… eventually tunneling their way into our living room which was quite unsettling to say the least. So IMO, they are definitely NOT harmless and we will be making several of these traps to protect our home from these pests.
Humans are the pests. You are obvoiusly in their territory.
Just out of curiosity, after you catch them couldn’t you like take them out in the woods and free them?
I’ve got several destroying my porch. Don’t necessarily want to kill them but would like to relocate them elsewhere.
ANYONE WHO FARMS OR GARDENS SHOULD NEVER KILL A BEE. UNLESS MAYBE A HORNET OR A WASP.ONE THING I DO IS FIND SOME SCRAP 4X4’S AT BUILDING SIGHTS OR ANYWHERE YOU CAN. PUT A AD IN YOUR LOCAL FREE PAPER FOR 4X4 SCRAP. JUST THINK FOR AWHILE , AND YOU WILL FIND SOME. YOU WILL BE SAVING THE BEES AND GIVING THEM THERE OWN HOME AND NOT YOURS.JUST SET THEM UP AROUND YOUR PLACE AWAY FROM YOUR HOUSE. YOU WILL BE SAVING THE BEES YOUR HOUSE,NATIVE PLANTS AND MORE.
We have several scrap piles of wood around our house, however this did not deter the carpenter bees… they still decided our window sill was the most suitable place for their nest. They tunneled their way INTO OUR LIVING ROOM last summer- extremely disturbing. Save your sanity and recycle some materials you already have on hand to make these awesome DIY traps.