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Bees, part II


Tonight I breathed a slight sigh of relief as I finally discovered what's
been eating my deck. 

Since the discovery of small piles of sawdust and large holes seemingly
drilled into the wood decking last year, I wondered if I had purchased
cedar infested with Asian longhorned beetles, but calls and emails to
the state extension office went unanswered.  I figured the damage was
already done, so I dropped it and went on with my life.

Two days ago I noticed another pile of sawdust by some of my plant 
shelving.  I knew that the wood couldn't have been infested before since
this was pressure-treated AC2 lumber, so whatever was eating had to
be doing it from the outside in.

Today I struck paydirt.  A treated 2x4x8 leaning against the house 
had a large pile of sawdust at the base, so I picked up the board 
and examined it.  Sure enough, there was a 1/4" hole, neatly 'drilled',
just like I'd seen last year.  I put my ear against it and could hear
movement.

I quickly ran inside to retrieve a glass jar and a glass of water.  I
slowly poured water into the hole until it was full, let it sit for
a minute, then turned the board sideways to drain it.  I repeated this
again and, sure enough, my nemesis emerged!

I quickly put my glass jar over the hole just in time to see another 
one come out.  What were they?  What was eating me out of house and 
home?

They looked just like bumblebees.  That's right.  Fuzzy, black and
yellow-striped bees that we all like to see pollinating our plants.
I checked on Google and it looks like there's also a 'carpenter bee'
that will eat wood, and it sounds like my bare cedar deck is a prime
target.

   http://www.uky.edu/Ag/Entomology/entfacts/struct/ef611.htm

Now I have to figure out what to do with them.  I don't want to kill them
and I don't want to use insecticides, but I also don't want my deck 
collapsing beneath my feet.

Chris

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