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Ground bees

When you picture bees, you may think of hives nestled in trees or hanging in a corner at your home or business. But did you know most bee species occupy nests in the ground? 

Bees are pollinators and vital for the environment, and bee control should only happen if the bees present a serious health risk or other problem which cannot be avoided. Western Exterminator knows bees can create unease and fear. We will work with you to remove ground bee issues from your property. Our specialists are dedicated to ensuring they ease your concerns about bees nesting on your property.

If you have spotted a bee infestation, whether ground bees or some other species, contact your local Western Exterminator office today.

What are ground bees?

Ground bees are a species of bee which make their nests in the ground instead of hives hanging from trees or other objects. If you spot bees flying in and out of holes in the ground, you are likely seeing mining bees (also known as digger bees). These insects do not live in colonies, which makes them different from honey bees. Mining bees prefer spots with exposed soil and will create pencil-sized holes within the ground. Since these bees prefer to nest in the ground, they may use your lawn for nesting purposes.

Miner bees

A miner bee‘s body is often two colors at once, such as brown-black. These bees range from ¼ to ¾ inch long and are not aggressive. Mining bees are located all over the world, except for Australia.

Mining bees build nests in areas with little vegetation. A female mining bees digs a hole to start the nest. One of the telltale signs of ground bees is a pile of dirt can be near the hole. Females gather pollen and nectar for the larvae when the eggs hatch. They lay their eggs in the soil during March, April or beginning of May.

The larvae become adults during fall. They spend the winter in the ground and come out in spring or early summer. Another trait of mining bees is that multiple colonies can exist in proximity to one another, with nests close to each other.

Ground bees become more prominent during spring as the males wait for queen bees to emerge. Queens will mate with males to start the life cycle all over again.

Try not to confuse ground bees with yellow jackets, which also create underground nests. Yellow jackets live in larger colonies, will aggressively defend their nests and bring painful stings with them.

Do ground bees sting?

Yes, ground bees are capable of stinging, but they will likely not do so unless someone digs into the ground where their nests are located, which will trigger the instinct to defend their nest. If left along, ground bees should not present much of a concern for home and property owners worried about stings. Of course, anyone with allergies to insect stings may have worries and should contact a professional to get rid of the bees.

If you have a stinging pest allergy and are stung by a ground bee, seek medical attention quickly.

Other underground bee species

Bumblebees can also live in the ground, usually in spaces under stones or abandoned rodent burrows. Bumble bees are much larger and look very different from ground or minor bees. If you have a concern about bumble bees and have seen increased bumble bee activity around your home or property, then contact your local Western Exterminator office so we can help.

How to get rid of ground bees

Ground bees are pollinators, so controlling them should be avoided unless truly needed. A good idea is to use a sprinkler on the lawn during their nesting season to hinder them. Cover exposed soil with turf to make it less hospitable for ground bees.

If there is a concern about bee stings due to allergies or other health concerns, of course, contact a specialist to get rid of the ground bees or any other stinging pest. Western Exterminator will work with you to get rid of the bees and offer solutions to prevent ground bees from coming back.

Although ground bees are unlikely to do much damage to your lawn, if they are becoming an issue around your property, a Western Exterminator pest control specialist can eliminate them using an application inside the nest opening. When you contact us, we will inspect your property to understand the problem better and identify the best method of removing the bees. Get in touch with us today to get more information about ground bees and how Western Exterminator can help.

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