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I noticed there are some holes in the wooden columns of my house's porch, once a while I see bees in and out of those holes (shouldn't they be living in a hive?).

Do you think this might pose a problem to the columns, should I do something about it?

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  • Do the bees you see have shiny black rear ends? Are they rather large? Those would be carpenter bees, which live a more solitary life (as do various other cavity-nesting bees, such as mason bees, which are far smaller than carpenter bees or oneybees, on average.) – Ecnerwal Jul 2 at 21:24
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    I usually don’t mess with carpenter or mason bees they really don’t damage and are beneficial , wasps , hornets, yellow jackets I will kill at all costs but carpenters, mason and honey I let live and I carry eppi pens in all my vehicles or on my boat so I don’t like bees but these are not aggressive. – Ed Beal Jul 2 at 22:07
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Whack the pole with a hammer a few times and see if you can stir the bees up enough to fly out. stick a piece of wire down there to get an idea of how big an opening there is and maybe spook them out. Last resort, spray some insecticide down there and then block up the hole with some caulk. I don't think a few would be a major problem to the columns but you don't need a major nest around your immediate living area.

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    If there were a lot of bees maybe but I would bet mason or carpenter bees and these guys are good we have blocks drilled for them out back and watch for bald faced hornets trying to build over their blocks, I kill the hornets at night. – Ed Beal Jul 2 at 22:11
  • As long as the carpenter bees are there they defend it, but after they vacate for whatever reason, you have a problem.The hole they leave behind becomes an access point for other more harmful insects. – JRaef Jul 3 at 5:14
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As JACK and Ed Beal said they are probably carpenter bees which are benign enough. However, I take it you're more concerned with the structural issues they may cause. If you're like me, I look at that little hole and picture a multi-story compound in there. You can usually tell how big the cavity is by how much sawdust they push out but then you need to be paying attention to it to know.
Since it'e a structural support I would follow JACK's advice with a spray of insecticide and some caulk. The other option is to put out a few wooden blocks with holes drilled in them as Ed Beal has done and a "Free Housing" sign. Maybe they'll move.

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