A Large loud female Carpenter Bee is looking for a place to start a nest in wood. They generally avoid treated deck lumber as in this case, but they spend considerable amount of time looking. She does a nice little dance in the process. Only the female can sting, but generally they are very "friendly" bees and tolerate me taking video just a few inches away and often hover near people with no ill will intended, just curious. The problem is they make nests by tunneling into wood, however I have never had them do any damage to houses etc. as their numbers appear small. Often people trap and kill them, but another option is to make or buy houses for them and see if they will adopt them, they are after all native bees and are by nature excellent pollinators.
In America north of Mexico, the subfamily Xylocopinae is composed of two genera, Ceratina (small carpenter bees) and Xylocopa (large carpenter bees). These bees get their common name from their nesting habits: small carpenter bees excavate tunnels in pithy stems of various bushes; large carpenter bees chew nesting galleries in solid wood or in stumps, logs, or dead branches of trees (Hurd and Moure 1963). The large carpenter bees may become economic pests if nesting takes place in structural timbers, fence posts, wooden water tanks, or the like.
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