You may have noticed bees flying low to the ground if you spend a lot of time working in the yard during the spring and summer. If you observe them very closely, you may notice the bees entering burrows or holes in your yard. While they could be bumblebees or yellow jackets, it is more likely that ground bees have made their home on your property. Ground bees aren’t as serious a problem as some people believe. There are many benefits to having them on your lawn. Let’s learn more about ground bees and how you should handle them.
What are Ground Bees?
Miner Bees, also known as ground bees, are the most commonly found in yards. These bees are pollinators and beneficial to our environment. They are ground-nesting, solitary bees that prefer sandy soil. After mating, each female bee digs a burrow and collects pollen for the larvae to nest and eat. The larvae develop over the winter into adults for the following spring. Adult bees are active for a few weeks in early spring and have a short life span. They leave small mounds of soil where they dig their nests underground. These bees can be mistaken for bumblebees or wasps because bumblebees and wasps will also build their nests underground.
Do Ground Bees Sting?
Although the bumblebee can be pretty aggressive, most solitary ground bees are anything but dangerous. Bumblebees are slightly more assertive. They will defend their hives if they perceive a threat. Females have stingers but will not attempt to sting people unless threatened. The males, who are usually seen hovering around the nest opening, are not even equipped with stingers.
Benefits of Ground Bees
While the ground bees can be a nuisance, they are beneficial for pollination. As the miner bee travels from plant to plant, they pollinate and fertilize every flower. They are also called “buzz pollinators,” meaning they set up a vibration that causes a flower to release pollen to be collected and transferred by the bee. The bees are also natural aerators for your soil as they dig and burrow into the ground.
How to Get Rid of Ground Bees
Miner bees are not considered a serious pest. Bees are a crucial part of the ecosystem, and eliminating too many can cause a dire imbalance. If the nest is in an avoidable area, it’s best to leave them alone and allow these bees to remain a valuable part of the ecosystem. If the bees are located in a hazardous area, there are natural methods to discourage them from nesting:
- Covering the nesting holes blocking access to the underground nests is safer than using chemicals.
- Wet the soil. Keep your dry sandy areas moist to prevent future nesting locations
- Sprinkle cinnamon. Bees might love sweets, but NOT cinnamon.
- Spray vinegar
On The Green, Inc. Lawn Care is Here for You!
On The Green, Inc. was established back in 1994. We started as a small business that served the local area. In the decades since, we’ve expanded tremendously. Incorporated in 1997, our brand has become renowned throughout the state of Maryland. Email us at [email protected], call us at 410-695-0444, and find us at our street address: 777 Annapolis Road, Gambrills, Maryland 21054. Grow with us on Facebook and Google!