• Mining Bees at Baxel Hall

    Posted by Joshua Rubinstein on 5/18/2016

    Mining Bees, or Digger Bees, scientifically known as Andrenidae. 

    May 19, 2016

    These bees nest in the ground. They don't live in colonies like honey bees or bumble bees - they're solitary bees. Although they're solitary, they prefer to nest near others. For this reason, they are termed "gregarious".

    They are very non-aggressive and will not sting unless handled or trapped in clothing. Even then, their sting is reported to be very mild compared to that of a honeybee or yellowjacket.

    The entrance to their burrows are often marked by a small mound of excavated soil. 

    Bees emerge in the spring to mate. Female bees excavate underground nests (see diagram below) where they lay several eggs. The nests are provisioned with pollen from local plants and trees. The pollen is held together in clumps with moisture provided by nectar. When the eggs hatch, the larval bees eat the pollen. They will pupate and remain underground for the winter, emerging as adults the following spring to start the cycle again. The bees typically will nest near where they came from, so that their numbers normally increase over the years. 

    These bees are good pollinators and are economically important for crops such as fruit trees and alfalfa.

    In reasonable numbers they won't harm your lawn. 

    Check out the videos at the bottom of this page. 

     

    diagram of underground nest nest