One unlikeable experience for you as backyard owner is the presence of ground bees. Talking about bees, there are numerous species of bees that you need to identify specifically. Each of the bees has different characteristic and behavior. By knowing their traits, you can take the proper action and how to prevent their presence. For now, we will talk specifically about ground bees. Mostly, ground bees are less aggressive kind of bees. They are less destructive than termites. Comparing to yellow jackets, ground bees are smaller in size. As their name, they build nest underground. Considering that they are not aggressive, ground bees will only sting or attack if they feel in danger. Later we will discuss about 10 easy ways to get rid of ground bees safely. But before that, we will give you brief explanation about ground bees.
Know More about Ground Bees
Come from Genus Colletes, ground bees like to be in solitaire situation. According to Department Entomology of Cornell University, 70 percent of 20.000 species of bees will nest under the ground. At the very first place, why did they come to your yard? Because they are attracted to dry soil with loose and fluffy materials. It is the perfect place for them to build a nest. Dry soil is easy to tunnel into and make connected passageways. Of course, ground bees will avoid damp areas. The colors of ground bees vary from black, blue, yellow, red, purple, green, until metallic. Ground bees are hairy with colorful black striped bodies. In this phase, you can easily identify how ground bees differ from the other bees. Ground bees also smaller in size, about half inch in length. It is seldom to find ground bees with size larger than half inch.
Ground bees are diurnal insects, active during the day and rest at night. They eat pollen and nectar to subsist. That’s one point that you can highlight in doing 10 easy ways to get rid of ground bees safely. You should do the act at night when they are not in charge. Before talking about 10 easy ways to get rid of ground bees, they are important part of the ecosystem. They are beneficial insects, have the role as pollinators. Ground bees give benefit to fruits like apple and berries, also shrubs and trees. That’s one character of ground bees: attracted to strong and sweet smells. You can easily find ground bees in Northeastern and Midwestern region of North America. 70 percent of more than 4.000 bee species live in North America.
Identify the Nest
If you ever notice conical piles of dirt on your backyard, with larger opening in between, it must be the nest of ground bees. It looks very similar with to anthill. The female ground bee provides the nest with pollen and nectar as the offspring. Later, the male ground bees will patrol around the nest and looking for potential mates. The hives are 6 inches into the soil. They build advanced tunnels, connect to the other cells. It is usually 2 feet underground in abandoned burrows. You can also detect the hive of ground bees if you see nest with close proximity to each other. Though ground bees are solitary insects, they like to dig burrow in the same area. It is way different than bumblebee who live in social colonies and be more aggressive than ground bees. Yellow jackets also have different character in building the nest, they prefer old abandoned burrows. To know about their nest is important in pursuing 10 easy ways to get rid of ground bees safely.
Do Ground Bees Sting?
Basically ground bees won’t sting and protective in defending their nest. They are more likely to be eusocial species, join and share jobs among colony mates. Their number of colony also smaller than other species of bees. But nevertheless, ground bees can be easily agitated if they are angry. During this condition, they can damage your home or do hostile things toward you. To prevent this, you may consider to do 10 easy ways to get rid of ground bees safely like what we will list for you later.
Types of Ground Bees
There are many variety of ground bees related to the family they are associated with. The types are Halactidae, type of sweat bee with black and iridescent yellow stripes. Apidae is the family of bumblebee, the yellow and black pollen collector. Megachilidae are leafcutter bees that live in wood and thick plants. Andrenidae are digger bees with bright and metallic green color. This mining bees are great pollinators. According to T’ai Roulston, biologist from University of Virginia, this type is the most treasured species. The last is Halictidae, the most diverse group of bees in the world.
10 Easy Ways to Get Rid of Ground Bees Safely
If you have sandy soils on south facing slopes, it is possible that you may find ground bees showing up every year. Actually according to the research by Sam Droege from US Geological Survey, nobody is allergic to native bees. If the situation is a colony of bees has taken part as the residence in your yard, you can consider 10 easy ways to get rid of ground bees safely. You can do experiment more than one method and choose which one suits you the most.
1. Protective Clothes
First and foremost is you have to do any of 10 easy ways to get rid of ground bees safely while wearing bulky protective clothing. Cover your exposed skin as good as possible. Wear thick socks and boots. Cover your mouth, ears, and face with masks and muff. Use hat to protect your head. Even though ground bees are less aggressive compared to the other bees, they may be agitated when they feel threatened. Take cautious action by using protective clothes.
2. Spray the Exposed Hive
While dressing in protective clothes, you can spray the exposed hive with pesticides. You can also use chemical spray to destroy the nest. Do this after dusk, the moment when they are no longer active. Aim to spray at their hive entrance to reach their nesting area. The downside of this method is that you can’t reach the ground bees that are not in the nest at the moment. Do this repeatedly in regular basis. Watch closely their nest to make sure that they are dead. After you are sure that the nest is inactive, make sure to remove it away. This will prevent new colonies moving to abandoned hive and repeat the cycle of interfering your backyard. Make sure that you have clean it thoroughly so that there will be less likely future infestation happen.
3. Sugar Water
The next easy way to get rid of ground bees safely is so simple. All you have to do is fill a bottle or bowl with sugar water. As we mentioned earlier, ground bees are attracted to sweet and strong smells. Placing sugar water near the hive will attract the bees. Once they come to the water, they will be drowned. You can also add soap to disrupt the water’s surface tension. Do this weekly in regular basis to get maximum result. By doing this, you can also relocate the ground bees to drier ground.
Aside from sugar water, you can also pour boiling water to the hive entrance. Do this very carefully to prevent your hands being burned. Do this at night, and pour it to their nest. This method will effectively kill the ground bees who are staying inside the nest. But it won’t work for bees who are away from the hive.
4. Move Away the Colony
Still the same way like the third method, you can also use mango and pear to lure the bees. Cut ripe pears and place it on a plate or sandwich bag. But this time, don’t place it close to the hive. Put it around 4 until 8 meters from their nest. They will get attracted to these tempting slices. Once they come to your lure, don’t disturb them. Let the ground bees enjoy the taste. The next day, do the same thing but move it further. Keep on going and repeat this method. Continue this way until the ground bees come far away from their original location, where their nest located. Once they are far from the hive, destroy it by using the other easy ways to get rid of ground bees safely like what we mentioned above.
5. Garlic Powder
Grab a bottle of garlic powder from your kitchen. Sprinkle it around your backyard. More importantly, do it in places where bees congregate. As the opposite of their favorite taste, ground bees hate pungent smells. Do this in regular pattern to make the ground bees move away from their sanctuary.
6. Disturb the Entrance
The other way to get rid of ground bees safely is by placing large and clear jar over the entrance. Place the glass on the entrance. Once the bees fly, they will be trapped inside the glass. It won’t give instant effect, but direct sunlight and heat along the day will make them upset. Moreover, they can’t look for food and drink. But you have to look carefully because there might be another entrance to their hive. And it is possible that other animals will get curios and move your glass jar. Another easy way to do this is to place bottle trap. You can also pour detergent to lure the bees entering the bottle. This will make them trapped inside the bottle trap.
7. Burn Citronella Candles
Another easy way to get rid of ground bees safely is by burning Citronella candles. One of the characters of ground bees is avoiding areas containing pungent smell. Burn the candles close to the hive. If you do this in regular basis, they will look for another place as their shelter.
8. Dark Traps
You can make dark traps by yourself by placing the nest all over their ground. Wear dark clothing and do this at night to avoid their attention. Make sure that you cover the nest with tarp, a waterproofed canvas that won’t make it possible for them to run away. Place large stones or bricks around the tarp to make sure that all the areas are well-covered, including the other alternative entrances of ground bees. By doing this easy way to get rid of ground bees safely, the bees will be sealed in. Without no light and exit way, they will be starve to death. You can also cover the entrance to the hive with dirt or soil to pack them inside and give them no choice to escape.
9. Water the Ground
What attracted the ground bees the most is dry soil. Make sure that there is no cozy place for them to build nest by water it more often. Ground bees need dry soil to build stable burrows. When you keep the ground saturated, it will be natural repellent for ground bees and they will look for another place instead of your backyard.
10. Bee Keeper
Seek out professional bee removal expert or bee keeper to help you get rid of ground bees safely. This method is costly and way more expensive than the other methods. But the professional service knows exactly what to do referring to your backyard and situation around the place. Take this last method to get rid of ground bees safely and with no hassle.
Direct interaction with ground bees by swatting them is useless. Please make sure that instant way to pour gasoline or generic chemical to the nest is a bad idea. It will kill the plants and animals on your backyard. This is prone to your fire and health hazard. To exterminate ground bees, consider these methods to get rid of ground bees safely and you can still continue activity without fear of being stung. The other key to do it successfully is to do 10 easy ways to get rid of ground bees safely with consistency. Repeat and do it regularly to get maximum result.