underground bees

I have some new neighbors. A colony of burrowing bees has built a nest in my front yard.

They look like ordinary bees, not wasps or hornets.

Are they dangerous? Will I be attacked mowing the grass? How do I get rid of them?

Thanks in advance!!


I’ve had run-ins with ground bees before. For the most part you should leave them alone as they are very beneficial. But… sometimes you just have to get rid of them, especially if they are colonizing a much-used yard or playground. I have inadvertently run a lawn mower over colonies before and been stung, so they do pose a threat. Wait until late dusk when they have all gone to ground and dust the area with Sevin insecticide. If you can find an organic alternative, please consider that. You have to use dust, as oppossed to spray, to get the proper dispersal and penetration of the burrows.

You should definitely make sure that they are bees rather than yellow jackets. Yellow jackets can be very aggressive when disturbed and they can nest near the ground, especially around decaying tree stumps.

We had some in our front yard and my father was seriously stung when he ran the lawnmower over their nest.

Here’s an identification page: http://milwaukee.uwex.edu/urbanag/bugnet2/outdoors/outfly/yellowjacket/yellowjacket.html

What Booklover said! I have been swarmed on by ground bees, honey bees, and yellow jackets. Yellow jackets are definetly the worse! Extremely aggressive, and will bite as well as sting! But, these too can be controlled with an application of Sevin dust at night.

When I was about 8 years old, I found a hole in the ground that bees were comming out of, one at a time.
I watched them for a few mins, lazily pop out of the hole and slowly acend toward the sky. Instantly a light bulb lit in my mind!
I ran home and grabbed my wiffle ball bat (large hard plastic child’s bat) and commenced to whacking them one by one as they popped out. I got the first 5 or 6, then missed a few, it was then I realized… striking out on stinging insects was not good at all. Luckily I was only stung once. But those things chased me for half a block. :smack:

(argh… spellcheck)

Good way to teach bat control. There are some major leaguers I can think of that should try this.

Back to the question, they are MEAN MEAN MEAN little critters. I had some in the yard and was stung twice while mowing. They do NOT like lawnmowers running over their holes. I sprayed some bee spray down their hole and that was the last of them.

Just go to your nearest approproate store and get some insectiside spray or powder and get them in the evening or night when they are least active.

When I was younger, I mowed lawns to make some money. I came across these bastards in one of the lawns I mowed. I instantly thought, “hey, I will just set the mower on top of their hole in the ground for a while and kill them with the mightly blade”. What happened is most were sucked into the grass bag and a few got out. I was stung 4 times, so not too bad. (My dad was a bee keeper so getting stung was pretty common, as I would always be messing with the bees).