This bee is a bumble bee look-alike that has a shiny, all-black abdomen, whereas the bumble bee's abdomen is fuzzy, black and yellow. Unlike bumble bees, carpenter bees are solitary.
Females chew ½-inch diameter holes in wood and bore tunnels that run several inches into the wood. Inside, eggs are laid and the resulting larvae develop on a mixture of pollen and nectar.
Males guard the nest by buzzing intruders, but their defense is a bluff: male bees cannot sting.