Bees that nest in the Ground – Should You get rid of them

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Written By Joanna Bailey

Joanna Bailey is a beekeeping consultant based in Florida, dedicated to promoting sustainable beekeeping practices and educating others on the importance of bees in our ecosystem. With years of experience in the field, she is a trusted advisor to beekeepers of all levels.

As a homeowner, you may have come across bees that nest in the ground on your property. These bees, also known as ground-nesting bees, are a common sight in gardens and lawns. While they may seem like a nuisance, it’s important to understand that these pollinators play a vital role in the ecosystem.

In this article, I’ll be discussing the benefits and risks of having ground-nesting bees on your land and whether or not you should remove them. I’ll also be providing tips on how to coexist with these bees and minimize any potential hazards. So, whether you’re a bee enthusiast or just want to keep your property safe, read on to find out more about ground-nesting bees.

Should we worry about ground bees? Are they dangerous?

Where they begin digging their nests underground, they leave little two-inch mounds of soil. But, please don’t mistake wasps or bumblebees for ground bees even if they also have underground nests.

Yes, most solitary ground bees are aggressive, as is the case with most species. While the female does possess a stinger, she will not sting anybody unless they are aggressive. The male is devoid of a stinger and typically hangs around the nest entrance.

Thus, they are not high threats to human beings but play a very crucial role in offering ecological services including pollination.

It’s worth noting that ground bees are important pollinators, so if you notice them in your yard, you’ll be making some significant choices for your local ecosystem. Sticky wads of pollen that the young insect feed on are among the items found in ground burrows, which provide everything the following generation of ground bees need to survive.

Ground bees include digger bees, mining bees, and sweat bees. In terms of providing the critical, required function of pollination, these insects are extremely beneficial.

Keeping in mind the ecological importance of ground bees, it is generally preferred to leave them alone.

They appear to vanish after the spring mating season and have a time period of activity that is limited. They seldom interfere with your outside activities. However, in some cases, these bees are a real threat to many people. The nesting phenomenon is becoming more and more common in gardens, farms, and even in homes every year. They can live throughout the US; however, California has been affected by these pests the most due to their aggressive nature for nesting ground nests that nest.

Ground bees, on the other hand, may be controlled with non-toxic techniques if you want to evict them. In general, the ground bee prefers to nest on loose, dry soil.

Are there any natural ways to get rid of ground bees?

They pose little to no risk to homeowners because they rarely have stingers and aren’t typically aggressive. There are, however, ways to persuade them to relocate or discourage them from nesting in your yard if they are inflicting significant harm to the environment.

1 – Plant plenty of grass

Excavating bare patches of earth encourages bees to the tunnel because it is easier. You may examine your yard to locate where ground-nesting bees are: in the bald patches. Bees may be kept from digging by planting more grass or other types of thick ground cover.

2 – Regular yard watering

To dig their nests, several ground bees require dry sandy soil. Then, start running a sprinkler in that general area to discourage ground-nesting bees if you see a lot of burrows in your yard and you want them to stop hanging out. They won’t necessarily leave this season, but you’ll know that they aren’t coming back next year if they do.

3 – Wait and be patient

If you’re patient, you may simply wait out the insects by combining this approach with other techniques, such as cleaning up rocks and planting more grass. Ground-nesting bees may only be active for two to four weeks in most areas, so if you’re patient, it’s worth a try. However, after only a few weeks, the number of active bees will have decreased dramatically.

4 – Remove piles of bricks and rocks

While rock gardens are lovely and maybe a prominent attention-grabbing feature in your yard, certain ground-nesting bees will utilize secure rock masses instead of burrows if the earth is too hard to dig. Nesting places for ground bees may also be eliminated by removing rocks and brick piles.

5 – Plant deterrent shrubs and plants

To make it difficult for bees to burrow, begin by ensuring your lawn contains a healthy amount of grass and is healthy in nature. You can also surround your lawn with basil, peppermint, eucalyptus, wormwood, geraniums, marigolds, and pitcher plants.

Ground bees live in colonies under the ground. Their nests may be found beneath logs, roots, and rocks of nearby plants and trees. A ground bee hive is usually created by two worker females that establish a new colony with their eggs on the soil as they initially emerge from the pupae stage inside it. The queen lays her own egg so she won’t take over another female’s nest if there are no other queens nearby to mate with, or even when she needs more workers for pollination.

Final Words

There you have it! Our brief overview of bees that nest in the ground. Without further ado, if you’re looking to learn more about this fascinating topic, be sure to check out our website for more articles and information! In the meantime, let us know what you feel by leaving a comment down below and let us know what you think!

Related FAQs

What kind of bee makes a nest in the ground?

Many different types of bees make nests in the ground, including mining bees, mason bees, leafcutter bees, and sweat bees. These are all considered to be solitary bees, meaning they do not live in colonies like honeybees and bumblebees.

Mining bees belong to the genus Andrena and are one of the most common types of ground-nesting bees. They typically have black and yellow striped bodies and are active in the spring.

Mason bees belong to the genus Osmia and are known for their ability to use mud to construct their nests. They are often black or blue in color.

Leafcutter bees belong to the genus Megachile and are known for their habit of cutting small circles out of leaves to use in building their nests. They are usually black or dark brown.

Sweat bees belong to the genus Halictus and are small bees that can be metallic green, blue, or black in color. They are known for being attracted to sweat and can sometimes be found on human skin.

All these species are important pollinators in their own way and provide essential ecosystem service by pollinating plants and flowers.

Can ground bees sting?

Ground-nesting bees, also known as solitary bees, do have stingers, but they are not typically aggressive and will only sting if they feel threatened. These bees are focused on their task of foraging and nesting, and will not typically bother people or pets. They do not defend their nests like social bees like honeybees or yellow jackets, and will not sting in defense of their colony. However, it’s important to note that some individuals may be allergic to bee stings, and should seek medical attention if stung. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to avoid disturbing bees, as it can increase the risk of being stung.

How do I get my bees to settle down and start nesting in the ground?

One of the easiest ways to get your bees to settle down and start nesting in the ground is by providing them with a good home. This can be done by partitioning an area inside or outside of your hive that has been prepared appropriately for beekeeping. Once they have settled in, you will need to provide them with food, water, and pollen (if necessary). You also want to make sure that their space is well-ventilated so they don’t overheat or suffer from Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). Finally, keep an eye on their honey production so you can gauge their success!

Is there anything else I should know about bees that nest in the ground?

Yes, there is! Many people are unaware that bees actually nest in the ground. When a bee colony reaches a certain size, it will start to build its nests underground. This is because the soil belowground provides them with more protection from predators and harsh weather conditions than aboveground spaces do.

Additionally, underground nests provide better insulation against cold temperatures and moisture levels than those that are built in open spaces. And lastly, this type of nesting helps to conserve resources by reducing competition for access to food and shelter amongst the bees.

Can a bee sting me if it’s not nesting in the ground, or will it only sting me if it’s nesting in the ground?

Yes, a bee can sting you even if it’s not nesting in the ground. When a bee is attacked and dies near humans, its stinger may still be dischargeable, which means that it can potentially sting another person. No worries! – the risk of being stung by a bee is very low.