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Bees in Rhode Island

Types of Bees in Rhode Island

Bees are important pollinators that help local agriculture thrive. Unfortunately, when the insects nest in and around residential and commercial buildings, they can cause problems. The three types of bees in Rhode Island that most people encounter are:

  • Bumble Bees – They have plump, furry bodies with a few wide black and yellow bands. These social insects nest underground or in cool, shaded areas like rodent burrows.
    image of bumble bee on a flower
  • Carpenter Bees – Easily mistaken for bumble bees, this species has dense white or golden hair on their upper bodies with smooth, dark abdomens. Carpenter bees do not form colonies, but they do dig tunnels into unfinished wood to lay their eggs.
    picture of carpenter bee on a flower
  • Honeybees – The smallest of the three common bees in Rhode Island, honeybees have short tan fur with slim stripes on their lower bodies. Colonies create hives and produce beeswax as well as honey.
    honey bee on a flower picture

Problems Caused by Bees in Rhode Island


All three types of bees can nest inside buildings. Carpenter bees tunnel inside unpainted wood, leaving round holes in fence posts, windowsills, doors, roofing eaves, and railings. They’re repeat offenders, too, returning to the same sites and causing more damage every year. Bumble bees and honey bees will also nest in wall voids, attics, garages, and sheds.


Bees will defend their nests against anyone who ventures too close. An attack from a honey bee kills the insect, but the stinger it leaves behind can still release venom. Carpenter bee and bumble bee stingers are smooth, allowing them to strike multiple times. Allergic reactions to stings can range from an itchy, swollen welt to life-threatening anaphylactic shock.


While the insects prefer pollen and nectar, any kind of sweets or sugar can attract them. Open dumpsters and recycling bins full of soda cans next to grocery stores, restaurants, and houses bring bees close to buildings. Using trash containers with secure lids helps deter the pests. Concerned about bees in your Rhode Island home or business? Contact the experts at Waltham Pest Services for help.

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