Unlike honey bees, there are some bees that do not live in hives. The fact is that 70% of all the 20,000 species of bee nest underground. Most of these bees become active in early spring. The nests are easy to identify because of the conical piles of dirt with a large hole in the middle that serves as the entrance to the burrows. Ground-nesting bees include digger bees, sweat bees, and mining bees.
How Do Ground Bees Look & Behave?
Most species of ground bee are similar in size. They are typically ½ of an inch long or smaller but can be up to ¾ of an inch long. They have a metallic look to them and can be black and yellow, blue, purple, red, or green. Because they are solitary there is no queen and the females also serve as worker bees, building the burrows and collection food for the larvae. The larvae will develop and emerge during the next year’s mating season. Each female builds her own nest and are gregarious nesters. Many females, even hundreds or thousands will build their nests next to each other. They prefer sandy soils on south facing slopes and will excavate a nest in dry soil, and mound the loose soil around the nest entrance. Having these conditions in your yard may have you sharing space with ground bees. The females do have a sting but are rarely aggressive. They will not sting unless they are handled or feel threatened. The activity that you will see near nesting sites in early spring is unusually the males looking to mate.
How Do You Get Rid of Bees in the Ground?
There are some other ground nesting bees that can be found in your backyard. They can serve an important role in pollination. From plants to spring crops like apples, blueberries and cherries. This is the reason that some people will avoid chemicals to control them. You can usually still go about your yardwork and outdoor play without the fear of being stung. They also only nest in the spring and won’t be around for long, so unless you have a family member with a bee venom allergy you can let them be. Because they like to build nests in dry soil, the easiest methods to prevent them from building nests is to simply water the area. As soon as you see the activity of the bees, start soaking the area with an inch of water per week. You can also add a thick layer of mulch on bare garden beds will also make ground bees think twice before nesting there. Pesticides are not recommended for controlling ground bees and should be used as a last resort. If you must kill them, use an insecticide dust applied sparingly to the top of the open burrow holes. Make sure to avoid spreading the poison to wider areas than necessary.
Stinging Insect Inspections, Exclusion, Control, Removal, Management & More in Canyon Lake, Spring Branch, Bulverde, Timberwood Park, Leon Valley, Alamo Heights, New Braunfels, Selma, Live Oak, Converse, Universal City, Cibolo, Seguin, New Berlin, St Hedwig, Adkins, La Vernia, Elmendorf, Losoya, Von Ormy, Macdona & San Antonio, Texas
When you’re unsure as to which bees you may be having encounters with in your yard, you can call A Five Star Termite & Pest Control to help you find a solution.