Ground Nesting Bees Are Not a Threat

Mar 21, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio

Hello Gardeners, I’m Amanda McNulty with Clemson Extension and Making It Grow. Ground nesting bees have specific requirements for making the burrows in which they lay their eggs. They need soil that’s relatively dry and has little or no vegetation on it, you won’t find them in a healthy lawn. Although they’re solitary and are not making a hive, several hundred females may select the same site in which to construct their underground brood chambers, each filled with a supply of pollen and nectar for the developing young.

It can be unsettling to see hundreds of small holes surrounded by little hills of soil with masses of bees buzzing over them. The buzzing bees are totally harmless males, they have no stinger, that are hoping to mate with a female as she emerges. Since these bees don’t have a hive to defend, the female ovipositor is weak and she could barely sting you if she tried.