Carpenter bees are similar in size and appearance to bumble bees, but with the top surface of the abdomen being black,almost entirely hairless, and shiny. Males have a white face, whereas the female’s face is black. Carpenter bees are often seen hovering near decks, eaves, and gables of homes. Homeowners may become alarmed by this activity because male carpenter bees patrol these areas and will fly near people. They defend territories and may be aggressive, but they are unable to sting, so their aggression is just a show. Female carpenter bees do not actively defend nesting sites and are usually not aggressive, but females can sting if they are handled. Carpenter bees are normally considered to be beneficial insects since they pollinate a wide variety of plant species. However, when making tunnels in the wood of human structures, they are considered to be economic pests.