Wanted: Decks and porches in Raleigh, NC, with lots of carpenter bees living in them
Why: NCSU researchers are conducting an experiment to identify whether carpenter bees prefer or avoid certain kinds of wood, as well as the rate at which they cause structural damage. The goal is to provide better advice to homeowners about bee-resistant construction materials and the costs and benefits of their use.
Why you: We need your help to gain access to existing carpenter bee populations, and to keep an eye out for any interesting bee activity.
What: We have hand-crafted 20 small benches, each with 10 kinds of wood in the seat. We are asking volunteers to place benches on “infested” decks and porches and help us track bee colonization in the different kinds of wood over time. (Benches measure about 4’ long x 20” wide x 18” tall.)
Where: Raleigh, NC
When: Starting in spring 2019. We anticipate that benches will remain in place about five years, to allow bees plenty of time to move in. We’ll discuss potential changes if bee colonization is unexpectedly fast or slow.
What we’ll do: If you volunteer your deck/porch as a potential study site, we’ll ask some questions about current infestation and your potential commitment to make sure we’ll be able to complete the study there. If everything looks good, we’ll deliver a bench in spring 2019, and visit approximately twice per year to document bee activity in the bench. We’ll bring any colonized bench boards back to the lab to measure the nests inside using x-rays, then return them to their home bench.
What you’ll do: Help us identify a location on your deck/porch where the bench can stay for a few years! Then, sit back, watch your bees, and report observations of nesting activity in and around the bench.