Author Topic: Carpenter bee damage - wood repair/replacement  (Read 2648 times)

Offline bigbear

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1470
  • Karma: 86
Carpenter bee damage - wood repair/replacement
« on: August 14, 2015, 01:36:08 PM »
I bought a used redwood play ground for my kids.  It was a really good deal, except there is some carpenter bee damage.  I knew about the damage, but didn't realize that at least one of the pieces has an active hive(?). 

In the ones that seem inactive and the wood isn't too damaged, I plan on spraying a foam based insecticide in the holes, then powdering the holes and stuffing it with steel wool.  Then finish off with a wood putty covering and a stain.

For the active holes, I'll either try to kill the bees (same as above) or just replace those pieces.  As mentioned earlier, the play ground is made of redwood.  The catch with redwood is that it's pretty expensive.  Especially for 2 4x6 beams for the swing/monkey bars.  I've checked the local Home Depot, a True Value, and a local wood supply store (maybe an 84 Lumber).  None of them carried, but each could order it.  I guess I could just replace it with pressure treated wood, but was hoping to maintain the look and feel of the redwood appearance.  I suppose staining the treated wood is an option.

Does my approach seem legit? 
How would you handle the damaged wood?
What type of alternative woods would you recommend as a redwood substitute?
Can you share your experience/knowledge/lessons learned of carpenter bees?

Offline kckndrgn

  • Survivalist Mentor
  • *****
  • Posts: 615
  • Karma: 23
    • Ryans Turnings
Re: Carpenter bee damage - wood repair/replacement
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2015, 08:19:19 PM »
My lessons from carpenter bees - they'll go after anything that looks like wood.  So when ever you get done repairing the play set, paint it.

I left PT wood bare on a couple of benches.  They attacked the wood and now the 2x4s need to be replaced, but a painted wood chair has remained untouched by the carpenter bees.

Internet research has said that too, if you leave unpainted wood out, carpenter bees will go after it.

Offline JC2

  • Senior Survivalist
  • ****
  • Posts: 221
  • Karma: 14
    • Harvesting Grace Farm
Re: Carpenter bee damage - wood repair/replacement
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2015, 09:31:47 AM »
I've been battling carpenter bees all spring/summer. I disassembled a cedar picnic table in the early summer, sanded it down, and before i could poly it, those pesky bees made numerous holes. After spraying the holes with a wasp/hornet spray, i mixed sawdust and wood glue together and crammed that down in the hole. Then with a plug cutter i cut some cedar plugs and capped the hole off. Sanded and polyed it with outdoor polyurethane. No problem since. Definitely paint it or poly it, i like the poly as i really enjoy the natural beauty of wood.

Offline bigbear

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1470
  • Karma: 86
Re: Carpenter bee damage - wood repair/replacement
« Reply #3 on: August 17, 2015, 10:41:35 AM »
Thank you both!

Offline r_w

  • Dedicated Contributor
  • ******
  • Posts: 1262
  • Karma: 35
  • On my way
Re: Carpenter bee damage - wood repair/replacement
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2015, 05:51:44 PM »
Poison doesn't work, they don't eat the wood.  They bite and spit to dig the hole.  So don't waste your time putting it near your kids.   Paint or poly are the only prevention. 


Offline David in MN

  • Survival Demonstrator
  • *******
  • Posts: 2086
  • Karma: 158
Re: Carpenter bee damage - wood repair/replacement
« Reply #5 on: August 18, 2015, 04:09:31 PM »
I've never had bee problems but...

I'd recommend a mill rather than a "big box" store for buying redwood. If it grows in your area, all the better. Most mills carry most woods.

Bad news: a 4x6 beam ain't going to be cheap anywhere. And some mills won't cut & plane for you so call ahead. They might not quote you a price on the phone but they will advise availability.

(Staining some pine might not hurt and might outlast your children's needs.)