If you have recently noticed bees that are swarming low above the ground in your yard and are wondering whether bees can actually nest underground, then you’ve come to the right place to get all the information you’ll need.
The short answer is yes, some bee species nest underground. Contrary to what many people think, not all bee species live in hives as is the case with honeybees. In fact, there are 70% of over 20,000 species of bees that nest underground.
So What Does It Really Mean When Bees Nest In The Ground?
In the case of bees nesting in the ground, they are able to live literally anywhere, including in your yard!
Unlike bees that live in communal hives, ground-nesting bees are usually solitary, which means each female bee usually creates a nest on her own to lay her eggs. Therefore, you can have hundreds of ground bee nests in your yard if they invade your property.
As far as the depth of the nest is concerned, female ground bees usually dig a nest that goes up to six inches deep in the ground. They usually pile soil around the hole to prevent water from getting inside.
What Kind Of Bees Nest In The Ground In Florida?
Some of the most common types of bees that nest in the ground in Florida include:
This type of bee is the smallest in North America and usually has a yellow marking on the face and body. They are usually found in warm coastal plains like in Florida sand dunes where they build their nests.
Although technically they are wasps and are mistaken by bees, Yellowjackets bees are known for their convectional black and yellow coloring. They live in nests that can be found in the ground.
There are two species of yellow jackets found in Florida including Eastern Yellowjacket and Southern Yellowjacket. Their colonies usually die out in winter except for the queen.
Unlike honey bees that die after a single bite, yellow jackets can bite over and over again and will not die and that is why they are very dangerous.
Bumblebee is also another common type of ground-nesting bee species found in Florida. Bumblebees are generally docile and don’t form a swarm as is the case with communal bees.
They don’t easily sting unless they are truly provoked. Unlike other insects, bumblebees are most active when the weather is bad.
Miner bees are known for their tiny, furry body. This is a type of bee that’s very popular in Florida.
Miner bees build their nests in underground tunnels and they can live in large communities that have hundreds, and possibly thousands, of tunnels.
Typically, however, these tunnels are unique and separated from each other, although they might look the same. Despite their small body, Miner bees usually don’t sting and play a crucial role in flower pollination.
When And How Long Do Ground-Nesting Bees Stay Around In Florida?
Ground bees are usually active during the spring and summer seasons when the weather is warm.
They usually stay around in Florida between four and six weeks before they disappear until next year.
Do Ground Bees Return To The Same Nest Every Year?
No, ground-nesting bees may return to the same nesting area but not the same nest. When these insects abandon their nests after the spring/summer season, the soil is usually washed back into place with rain, thus making the nest totally inaccessible.
Therefore, when they return the following year, the female ground bee usually begins building the nest from scratch in order to lay her eggs.
Are Ground-Nesting Bees Dangerous?
A majority of ground-nesting bees are not aggressive and certainly not dangerous as is the case with honey bees.
In most species of ground bees, it is usually females that are capable of stinging and they only sting if threatened or when defending their nest. Most male ground bees usually don’t have a stinger.
How Do You Tell If You Have A Ground Bee Nest In Your Yard?
One of the common signs that indicate you have a ground bee nest in your yard is if you spot small piles with a large hole in the center.
Another sign is if you notice a lot of bee activity around your house.
What Should You Do If You Find Ground Bee Nest In Your Yard?
If you discover that you have a ground bee nest in your backyard, the best thing to do is leave them alone and call an expert immediately to come and remove the nest.
Although most ground bee species in Florida are usually not aggressive and rarely sting, they won’t hesitate to sting whenever they sense that someone comes too close to their nest.
To avoid falling victim to a deadly ground bee sting, it is recommended that you contact a professional like Wildlife Troopers in South Florida who can safely get rid of the bee nest in your yard. Don’t wait until it’s too late, call us now!