bees in the ground

bees in the ground

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bees in the ground

bees in the ground Spring brings the return of the birds and the bees to our yards and gardens.  While the sound of birdsong may be a pleasant herald of spring, many people are less happy about the reappearance of wasps and bees to their garden.  In particular, the ground nesting bees that increase their activity in many lawns in early spring can alarm many people; particularly when their “dirt pile” nests start appearing in the lawn. Lastly, ground bees are pollinators. Pollinators are an incredibly important part of the ecosystem here in Maryland.

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However, it’s understandable if you don’t want ground bees living underground in your yard. You might have young children around or you can have an allergy to bees. No matter your reason, there are ways to get rid of ground bees.

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Should I Kill Ground Bees?

The first point to understand is that it’s not necessary to kill ground bees. These are generally docile bees in comparison to honey bees. Killing them can be a threat to the ecosystem over time.

Instead of killing ground bees, you may call Brody Brother’s Pest Control to remove the nests. You can also try some of the following advice with caution.

How to Get Rid of Ground Bees

We highly recommend against using any type of chemical to get rid of ground bees. This attempt can backfire and potentially cause harm to pets or children.

Safer ways to approach the removal of ground bees include:

How to Get Rid of Ground Bees

  • Cover the Nesting Holes

Blocking access to the underground nest is a safer solution than using chemicals. This will prevent the bees from tunneling back inside to lay eggs. Once the bees realize they can’t get back into their nest, they will likely disappear and find a new place to burrow.
To block the underground nests, you can put items on top of the holes such as bricks.
If you are allergic to bees, please do not attempt to do this on your own. This option can put you in close proximity to the bees, which can result in stings.

  • Wet the Soil

Ground bees burrow their nests in dry soil. The act of watering your lawn can be enough to send the bees elsewhere. You may have to try watering multiple times in order for this method to be effective. Consider using a sprinkler so you don’t have to come in close contact with the holes.

  • Sprinkle Cinnamon

Bees might love sugary sweets, but not so much with cinnamon. This spice is a put-off to bees and can help you get rid of ground bees when you’re in a pinch.

The idea is to sprinkle cinnamon on the holes of the nest. You will need to do this each day for at least one week for it to take effect.

  • Use Vinegar Spray

Mixing a spray bottle with equal parts of water and vinegar can help to get rid of ground bees. 1 cup of white vinegar and 1 cup of water can serve as your solution in the spray bottle.

A Word of Caution on Getting Rid of Ground Bees

If you decide to use any of these 4 methods, there are some precautions to take before moving forward.

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  • Driving the bees away is a much safer approach than attempting to exterminate on your own.
  • The use of chemicals and pesticides is ill-advised. It’s harmful to children, pets, and the soil.
  • Since the DIY methods above can ultimately aggravate the bees, you’ll want to try these suggestions at night when the bees are asleep. Remember that the female can sting if provoked. Males won’t sting you, but they can swarm and chase you.
  • Do not attempt these approaches if you have a bee allergy. The female stings and it can result in a severe allergic reaction.

When Should You Hire a Professional for Ground Bee Removal?

Removing ground bees in Maryland isn’t always a straightforward approach. Using one or a combination of the natural remedies may or may not be effective. More concerningly, you can get stung in the process which can result in an allergic reaction.

Working with Brody Brothers Pest Control, you can ensure the safe and effective removal of ground bees. This will keep your yard free from the bees while preventing a potential allergic reaction. It will also help you avoid using harsh chemicals to kill the bees.

Ground nesting or miner bees are solitary bees that create underground galleries, with queens living individually and raising their own young. The entrances to the nests are small piles or patches of bare soil. They do not form hives, but several females may nest in the same area. Ground bee queens do not defend their nesting areas and are very docile and unlikely to sting, posing little or no threat to people. The males often patrol an area inhabited by females seeking mates. While the males can be very active and seem aggressive, they lack a sting and are also harmless. Like other bees, they are active foragers of nectar and pollen from flowers, making them beneficial pollinators.

Their nest entrances are small mounds of soil a few inches across. While they may briefly detract from the aesthetics of a well-tended lawn, they do absolutely no harm to the grass or soil—even improving it as their nests function as aeration holes, improving the penetration of water and nutrients. Eventually, as the nests are abandoned after the spring nesting season, the soil washes back into place with rain, disappearing completely.

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bees in the ground
bees in the ground

If you feel you must get rid of ground bees even for the brief time they live in your lawn, there is no need to use pesticides of any kind. Ground bees prefer dry soil to nest in, and simply watering the area that they have chosen will cause them to move to another area. If you find ground nesting bees return to your lawn in large numbers year after year, run a sprinkler on the area before they show up; ground nesting bees prefer dry soil to wet soil and will look elsewhere to make their nests. (Make sure that you are evicting ground bees and not yellow-jackets. Yellow-jackets reaction to a water eviction will not be “non-aggressive” by any means. A yellow jacket nest will look like a busy airport with many insects entering and leaving in a constant stream, and entrances can be well over an inch wide. Only one ground bee will be seen leaving and entering a hole only about ¼” wide.)

Even better, leave the ground bees to go about their business-they won’t be around long, and will even benefit your lawn and garden while they’re visiting. Just like robins, they’re another welcome sign of spring.

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