Rowan Museum’s Utzman-Chambers House becomes site of bee hive, carpenter bee infestation

Published 12:15 am Thursday, April 8, 2021

The Utzman-Chambers House, operated by Rowan Museum, seems to be a magnet for bees.

Just a few steps away from the house, a hive of bees has made its home a gap in a decades old tree. The museum also has been plagued for many years by a carpenter bee infestation in the porch rails of the house. While the first group gathers honey, the latter group has caused damage by burrowing into wood and making tunnels where they lay eggs and winter over.

Mostly, Rowan Museum leaves the bee hive alone because hobbyists and bee enthusiasts have determined the tree to be a good location. Volunteers for Rowan Museum, however, have been hard at work trying to find a solution for the carpenter bees.

Solutions have included mounting glass jar traps on the porches, which caught some of the bees. Other solutions have involved stuffing holes in wood with aluminum foil, swinging at them with tennis rackets, planting marigolds that are said to deter bees and hanging fake hornet nests made from grocery bags.

None of the solutions seem to have worked so far.