Why Do I Have Ground Bees?

05/24/2015


Stinging Insects   

Before attempting to answer the question of why ground bees are invading your yard, let us first develop a better understanding of the behavior and attributes of ground bees. This information in itself will more than likely answer the question of why you have ground bees. Even though they cause unattractive burrows throughout the yard, ground bees are very beneficial and can be the gardener’s best friend. These ground nesters will actively forage in search of nectar and pollen.

Mining bees, sweat bees and digger bees all fall into the category of ground bees. These insects are very beneficial in fulfilling the much needed, all important role of pollination. Their population, when viewing all the burrows in the yard, looks to be much larger in number than what it actually is. The ground bee is a solitary bee, meaning that each female bee digs her own burrow in which to raise her young. However, even though they are solitary bees, they still tend to congregate and build multiple nests in any area that is suitable for burrowing and nest building. The male ground bee spends his time flying over this little city of burrows in search of a potential mate.

Ground bees are never thought of as being dangerous and certainly are not aggressive. It is only the female that is capable of stinging and she will rarely sting and only if threatened and feeling the need to defend herself or her nest. The male is not even equipped with a stinger.

While ground bees are not dangerous or aggressive, other burrowing insects like yellow jackets are, making accurate identification paramount to your well-being. The mining bee is slightly smaller than the popular honeybee. The body of the mining bee is usually dark colored with light brown or dull yellow hairs forming a stripe pattern. The very aggressive, stinging yellow jacket is larger and in greater numbers than the ground bee. The yellow jacket gets its name in part due to the bright yellow striped body. The yellow is much brighter and the stripe is more prominent than that of the ground bee.

Remember when fretting over those little dirt mounds in the yard that the ground bees are only active for a short period of time. Once mating season passes, they abandon the burrow. The little hole usually fills back in naturally with wind and rain. Dry, loose soil with a thin covering of grass is the preferred condition for which ground bees search when burrowing. They will rarely be seen in damp conditions. One way to discourage them and drive them away is to thoroughly soak the area where you have all the burrows. Keeping a thick, healthy covering of grass will also discourage them from nesting in your yard.

To find out how American Pest can help you resolve ground bee problems in Alexandria, McLean or elsewhere in Northern Virginia, please contact us today!






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