Have you ever wondered whether bees live in the ground? Well, if you have but don’t know for sure, this article is your answer. In this article, I intend to tell you whether bees live in the ground or not, what kinds of bees live in the ground and various other things that you should know about bees that nest in the ground. So, keep reading!
Do such bees exist that nest in the ground?
Yes, bees that nest in the ground certainly do exist. There are many different types of bees that live in North America, and a good number of them make their homes in the ground. These bees are generically known as ground bees, and they can be found throughout the continent.
One interesting thing about these bees is that they form colonies underground rather than building nests in trees or other elevated places. An exception to the “solitary” rule is the carpenter bee, which often lives in pairs.
What do ground-nesting bees generally look like?
Ground nesting bees come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some are small and slender, while others are larger and more robust.
Most ground bees can vary in color from black to metallic green or blue. Generally, these differences exist because there are various species of bees that nest in the ground.
Ground-nesting bees are identified by their lack of hair and elongated heads. Additionally, they are typically covered in pollen. These bees are not as aggressive as honeybees; however, they will sting if provoked.
How do ground bees build nests in the ground?
Ground-nesting bees are a type of bee that nests in the ground. Unlike other bees, they don’t really build hives but instead, live in underground tunnels. This can be an advantage for them because it makes their nests harder for predators to find.
Female bees are the primary nest builders in the colony. They are busy during the evening hours excavating nesting tubes.
The excavation process can last for several days, and the female bee will continue to provision the nest with pollen and nectar until it is occupied by an egg.
Interestingly, ground-nesting bees will build their nests in the ground by scraping off a thin layer of soil around the opening of the nest. This telltale sign can often be spotted as a small mound of soil near the entrance to their nests.
What kinds of bees live in the ground?
There are primarily four types of bees that live in the ground. These types are the alkali bees, bumblebees, miner bees, and carpenter bees.
I have also included a little information about yellow jacket wasps in this article simply because this is another buzzing insect that lives in the ground and is oftentimes mistaken for bees!
Alkali bees are a type of bee that nests in the ground. They are slightly smaller than honey bees and have a striped abdomen. Alkali bees live in vast communities and are known as alkali bees because they prefer to nest in soil with a salty crust that covers damp, saline soil beneath.
Alkali bees are native to the western United States. These ground-nesting bees are polylectic—meaning they will forage on a variety of different plants.
This makes them extremely useful for growing and pollinating crops. Further, they also prove to be beneficial in controlling pests and weeds.
Bumblebees are a type of ground bee that build their nests in the ground. They are often mistaken for wasps, but they are actually quite gentle and helpful to gardeners. Bumblebees are important pollinators and play a crucial role in our ecosystem.
Bumblebees make their nests from wax and pollen. The nests can be partially or completely formed, and the cells are often hexagonal in shape.
This type of ground-nesting bee is a fascinating creature that lives in colonies. They store up honey and lay eggs, which the colony tends to do once they hatch. Because bumblebees are important pollinators, it is crucial to protect their habitats.
Carpenter bees, another type of bee, are known for burrowing into wood. They derive their name from their proclivity to build nests in exposed wood, such as the eaves or rafters of houses.
They greatly resemble bumblebees, but they have smooth rather than fluffy abdomens.
Carpenter bees are often found near wood, and they will often build their nests in trees. If a tree has fallen to the ground, the carpenter bees will still build their nests there.
Carpenter bees can also be a pest. Not only do they build their nests in houses, but they will also drill into wood to make their homes. This can often cause damage to homes and property.
Miner bees are a type of bee that is common in North America. Miner bees get their name from the fact that they often live in the ground. You can identify these bees by their black and yellow coloring, as well as their hairy body.
They are not given as much credit as honeybees or bumblebees, but they play an important role in the ecosystem. Miner bees do not build hives or store pollen and nectar like other bees. Instead, they burrow into the ground and collect pollen from flowers.
Miner bees are solitary ground-nesters. They are not hostile and typically won’t sting people unless they feel threatened. These bees are also mistaken for the larger bumblebees at times.
Yellow jacket wasps
Now, I’m going to make it clear that yellow jackets are not classified as bees. Rather, these insects are wasps. But they are often confused for bees and do nest in the ground.
These wasps get their name from the yellow jackets on their body. They are more aggressive than bumblebees when defending their nests and can be dangerous if they feel threatened.
Yellow jackets will consider a variety of locations as potential nesting sites, including but not limited to trees, bushes, underground, and inside man-made structures.
Do you need to be worried about underground bees in your yard?
Ground bees are a particular type of bee that lives in the ground. They are just as important as honey bees and play an important role in plant pollination. As I’ve mentioned, they are generally not aggressive and will not sting unless they feel threatened.
Therefore, unless there is a specific reason to be concerned, you don’t need to worry about bees living in the ground. They may be in the way or becoming a nuisance, but that’s usually after people start to take notice and become concerned.
How to identify ground bee nests in your garden?
Ground bees generally build their nests in the ground. You can often see their entrance or exit. If you watch the bees go in and out, you can get an idea of how many nests there are.
These bees generally dig or discover an entry point in the ground. This entry point can be anything ranging from a hole under a rock in your garden to an opening next to the roots of a tree.
Once they’ve found their opening, these bees will begin to construct their nests. The main giveaway of a sign of ground bees in your garden is the presence of roughly five-centimeter-tall piles of soil.
Bear in mind that ground bees are important pollinators, and they’re not aggressive unless their nests are disturbed. If you can, try to work around the bee mound instead of disturbing it. If you must disturb the nest, do so carefully and avoid harming any of the bees.
Do ground bees sting humans?
Ground bees are not aggressive and hostile creatures. They only sting humans if they feel their life or nest is threatened. Therefore, if you are digging into their nest, the bees may become agitated and sting you.
Although ground bees are often called by that name, there are many other wasps and bees that make their homes in the ground. These include digger bees, sweat bees, yellow jackets, and mining bees.
While they can sometimes sting humans if provoked, they are usually quite timid and will usually only sting if they feel threatened.
Do you need to kill ground bees in your yard?
No, you don’t typically need to kill ground bees in your yard. In fact, I’d even advise against it. Ground bees are an important pollinating force in our ecosystem.
Now, if you have a circumstance where somebody in your house is allergic to bees or if you have a pet dog who likes to dig, it might be necessary for you to get rid of these bees.
Further, if you have a lot of them in your yard, it is possible to safely remove them without harming them. However, if you do not want them there at all, you can kill them by spraying them with an insecticide.
How can you get rid of ground bees without the use of chemicals and pesticides?
Ground bees can be difficult to get rid of because they are resistant to many types of pesticides. However, there are a few things you can do to try and get rid of them.
None of these methods requires you to contact a pest control company or even spray pesticides in your garden!
- One way is to cover their nest with solid objects so they can’t enter.
- Turning on the sprinklers or even a hose pipe in your garden can be an effective way to get rid of ground bees. The working principle here is that these bees don’t appreciate disturbances. Therefore, they will build a nest elsewhere to avoid it!
- You can even sprinkle cinnamon over the nest and around your garden. The cinnamon will kill the ground bees, and it’s a natural, non-toxic way to get rid of them.
- Another way is to mix together equal parts of water and vinegar and spray it on and around the nesting hole. This will kill the bees and stop them from coming back.
What are the natural predators of ground bees?
There are a variety of predators that prey on ground bees. The number one predator of all bees is always spiders, but other predators include predatory birds, varieties of wasps, bears, and small mammals like foxes and hedgehogs.
Each predator has different techniques for catching their prey and can be very successful in hunting down ground bees.
Ground bees are common throughout the world, but each region has its own predators that threaten its populations.
In North America, skunks and raccoons are major predators of ground bees, while in Europe, badgers are a significant threat. Every part of the world will have different animals that prey on these valuable pollinators.
And, of course, ground bees also have humans to worry about! My advice to you would be to avoid killing ground bees and simply leave them be. It is highly unlikely that these bees will cause you any harm. But, you killing them will gradually cause harm to nature.
Three additional things to remember about bees that live in the ground
- The types of bees that live in the ground lay eggs that typically hatch in the spring.
- Further, they create tunnels and chambers underground where they lay their eggs.
- The queen bee will typically lay her eggs at the end of each tunnel.
Ground bees vs. cicada killer wasps vs. yellow jacket wasps: What do you need to know?
Ground bees, cicada killer wasps, and yellow jacket wasps are all different types of insects that can be found living in the ground. Of these three, the yellow jacket is the most concerning because it is aggressive and can sting multiple times.
Ground bees pollinate plants and flowers, while cicada killer wasps prey on cicadas, which can damage trees. Yellow jacket wasps can be beneficial because they help to control the population of cicadas.
To sum up this article, the answer to “what kind of bees live in the ground” is alkali bees, miner bees, bumblebees, and carpenter bees. At the risk of repeating myself, these bees are beneficial to the environment, and they don’t typically harm people! Therefore, you need not worry too much about these bees.