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Ground Nesting Bees (06/30/16)

Extension Entomology has received several calls about bees nesting in the ground.

Ground Nesting Bees

Extension Entomology has received several calls about bees nesting in the ground. About 70% of native bee species nest in the ground! These nests look like ant mounds and they prefer dry, sandy soils. A female bee digs the nest tunnel and brood cells, and provides nectar and pollen for the developing brood. Native ground nesting bees are generally friendly and not aggressive like hornets. They are beneficial pollinators and should be protected! It is best just to leave them alone, unless someone is a risk of allergic reaction to bee stings. To get rid of them, just thoroughly water the ground around the nests with a sprinkler and the bees should leave to find a more suitable dry nesting site. Here’s a photograph of the beautiful sweat bee, Agapostemon virescens, a common ground-nesting bee.

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Janet J. Knodel

Extension Entomologist

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