How long do carpenter bees live?
On average about one year. Here is the “expected” life cycle from start to finish.
Eggs are laid late spring to early summer in nests drilled out in dead wood. Nests may contain several eggs. Soon after being laid they’ll hatch and feed on pollen for a month or two before pupating to adults.
In late summer they’ll emerge as adults and spend the remainder of the year hunting for pollen. As fall turns to winter both males and females will hibernate till the following spring. They will use pre existing nests to hibernate and these nests will many times house several bees. Once it’s warm enough the following spring, they’ll emerge from their nests seeking fresh pollen and a mate. Soon after mating males will begin to die and females will both fill pre existing nests with new eggs as well as drill out new nests following their instinctive behavior to expand the local population. Females will live long enough to lay her eggs and maybe even most of the summer but usually not two winters.
As explained in our CARPENTER BEE CONTROL ARTICLE, they’ll commonly use the same nest over and over which is why nests on structures need to be dusted and sealed. Failure to fend them off when you first see activity will usually lead to more and more coming around.
Hope this answers your question!