Mining bees, also known as Adrena, are physically very similar to the honey bee. They are roughly the same size, although they can be much smaller, and have a similar build. Mining bees are darker in color than the honey bee, though, and are typically brown or black but they can also be reddish, brightly striped, or a metallic blue-green. These bees are active for only two weeks to a month within the year. Like their honey-creating cousins, they feed on nectar and pollen, and as such are important pollinators.
Mining bees get their name from the way they nest. They prefer to dig out their nests, particularly in loose or sandy soil that has good drainage. They are a solitary species of bee, not forming colonies like honey bees, but they often create nests near each other in their favored soil conditions. These nests are non-damaging to lawns and landscapes. In fact, they can actually be good for aeration. Mining bees are also non-aggressive. The male bees actually have no stinger, and while the females of the species can sting, they do so very rarely. There are also several types of wasps, like the Scoliid and Cicada Killer, that function similarly to the mining bee, digging their nests in the ground. And, like the mining bee, these wasps are non-aggressive, rarely sting, and are beneficial to the environment.
Controlling Mining Bees
All three of these ground-nesting insects do much more good than harm, and we recommend they simply be left alone for the short window of time they are active. Additionally, it is very difficult to get rid of mining bees, and it typically will take more than a year to see real success. However, we understand that having bees or wasps burrowing in your yard can be a nerve-wracking experience. This is especially true as mining bees have been known to nest in sandboxes. While these bees are essentially harmless, this can be a scary experience for children. Give Advanced Wildlife Control a call, and we will help get rid of your backyard-digging bees.
DID YOU KNOW?
Mining bees prefer south-facing slopes!