What to do about burrowing ground bees?

See that little mound that looks like an ant hill with a wider entrance? Apparently these are solitary bees and they play an important role as pollinators… but they can be disconcerting!

It’s the female that digs and provisions her own nest with pollen and nectar.

Ground bees are not aggressive. They can sting but rarely do, only if threatened.

Solitary bees make their nests in early spring in dry soil… our garden plots provide the perfect conditions! With such a dry spring, the conditions are extra perfect. They will eventually move out.

And apparently, they are not disturbed by activity around them. That might be different if you dig up their nest! T

he easiest and least toxic method of controlling ground bees is simply to water the area. A thick layer of mulch on bare garden beds will also make it less desirable for ground bees.

But the question remains… do we have ground bees or ground wasps??? Apparently, some wasps are ground nesters too.

Oh, dear. Help?


One thought on “What to do about burrowing ground bees?

  1. Hi everyone! In case you run into this question in your own gardens, or know someone else with this issue, here’s as much as I could find about it. Three (I think) main types of ground-nesting bees/wasps. All their nests look similar, so have to watch to see what they look like themselves.

    First are cicada-killing wasps (or ‘sand hornets’): http://i.imgbox.com/36cKSvhC.jpg
    – They are large and tend to “act aggressive” flying up to your face and buzzing at you menacingly. But they do not usually sting humans at all.

    Second are yellow jackets: http://i.imgbox.com/4mjIoEG8.jpg
    – They are the most troublesome. If you hurt even one by accident, a distress signal will have the whole colony attack you, and they can bite multiple times. If you have these, best get help and be very careful.

    Third are spring ground pollinator bees: http://i.imgbox.com/T6AEMbnC.jpg
    – They are heroes. Let them be if you can because they help pollinate, and as mentioned above they do not usually attack. These look closest to the ones we have, which is great news!


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