Bee-Gone! How to Get Rid of Ground Bees in your Backyardby Julia Gabriel
We’ve all been there. You’re in the middle of a backyard barbecue with your friends, enjoying the summer sun when you spot ground bees buzzing around your feet. The panic sets in, and you can feel everyone’s eyes on you as they wait for you to take control. Don’t worry—we have some tips and tricks to help you get rid of these pesky insects without ruining the party!
Wild bees belonging to the ground bee genus are a special type of bee. The honey bee is a peaceful insect and an essential part of the ecosystem, but the bumble bee is less peaceful. The species protection laws apply to ground bees, so be careful! Learn more about ways to get rid of ground bees in this article.
Identify the Insects First
The first thing to do is make sure they are actually bees. Many times people mistake bee-like flies or wasps for bees. Wasps often live in large clusters (sometimes called wasp nests), while bees typically have small colonies spread out over a wide area.
You can also identify them by their behaviors; honeybees are known for their docility and willingness to swarm around people rather than sting them, whereas wasps and hornets tend to be more aggressive and territorial.
If you're still unsure what kind of insect it is, go online and do a quick image search to identify it correctly.
What Are Ground Bees Exactly?
Ground bees form a special genus of wild bees, which includes over 1500 different species worldwide. Ground bees are also called sand bees because most species like to bury themselves deep in the ground. They like the spots where the soil is sandy and loose.
Soil bees also differ from honey bees in that they are solitary and do not form a colony. Each female builds her own nest, but the individual dwellings are often close together. The nest sites consist of small mounds of earth with a hole in the middle. The ground bee digs tunnels up to 60 cm deep underground, laying its eggs twice a year, in spring and summer.
Ground bees prefer to nest in sunny, dry places with only sparsely vegetated soil. But they can also be found in meadows, on the edges of paths or forests, in sparse forests, or sand pits. Some ground bees also build their nests directly on the lawn.
Around 70% of wild bees build their nests in the ground: these are the so-called ground or sand bees. Externally, on closer inspection, honey bees and ground bees differ in color and body size. This ranges from a tiny species of 4 to 5 millimeters to an "incredible" monster 15 to 16 millimeters long.
How Do You Recognize Ground Bees?
Although there are so many species of ground bee, for the most part, they are very similar. That is why earth bees are easily recognizable by a few characteristics:
- Size: Earth bees range in length from 5 to 16 mm.
- Color: The primary color is black or black-red, rarely with a metallic sheen.
- There is often a light coloration on the abdomen, and the hind legs have blond to orange hair.
- Females: The females have a lock of hair on the underside of the hind thighs.
- Males: Males often have a lightly mottled face.
- "Leg collector": The earth bees collect pollen on their hind legs.
You are most likely to encounter ground bees in spring. Then the male earth bees fly low over the garden floor, searching for females to mate with. Most species fly from April to June, but some species fly into late summer.
Important Note About Ground Bees
Another essential difference: ground bees are completely harmless! If you spot ground bees in your garden, don't worry: ground bees are more peaceful than tame bee colonies. One of the reasons for this is that earth bees, unlike honey bees, have hardly any natural enemies. Their aggression potential is, therefore, low because they rarely have to defend themselves.
While male ground bees have no stinger at all, females only have one stinger too weak to pierce human skin. Although the females have a sting, which they would use in the greatest need, they cannot penetrate human skin with it and therefore pose no danger to humans.
In fact, bees play a prominent role in our ecological system. Killing the friendly honey producers is a sacrilege and a punishable offense. Ground bees are also an asset to the garden. They are specialized in the nectar and pollen of a few plants, which in turn depend on pollination by earth bees. These include, for example, asparagus or willow.
There are situations in which bees can become dangerous to humans. Allergy sufferers with a disposition to bee venom are at serious risk. However, bees are not aggressive. Problems arise when they follow the sweet temptations on human picnic blankets and patio tables.
Need to Remove Ground Bees from the Garden?
Because ground bees are of great ecological importance for pollinating many plants, they are under strict species protection. As a result, they must not be killed, and the nests must not simply be relocated. Your only option is to use gentle yet effective methods, such as essential oils or ultrasound pest repellers from Everpest. The combination of the two is the most efficient way.
If the nests are to be removed, you need a special permit from the nature conservation authority. However, the applications are usually rejected because the ground bees are harmless and beneficial.
However, if resettlement is ruled out, there are gentle methods to persuade the earth bees to move out of their nests. They aim to make them as uncomfortable as possible.
Ground bees prefer to nest in sunny places. You can shade their nests with umbrellas, for example. The ground bees then get too cold and search for warmer regions.
Wild and ground bees like dry soil. Therefore, keep the soil around the nests moist. Soil bees do not do well in wet soil. But make sure to water the soil with a watering can with an attachment and not use the garden hose. However, letting the ground bees live in your yard as quietly as possible is best. They are peaceful and do the ecosystem only good.
How to Avoid Attracting Bees
Keeping your foods locked is the safest method to avoid arousing the appetite and curiosity of all kinds of bees. Of course, this is not the case when eating. There are basically two ways to keep bees away:
- If bees approach a cake table without a specific reason, tasty flowers such as clover or a nearby bee nest can be the reason. In both cases, it is essential to move slowly and calmly and not to get too close to the bees.
- To keep human habitation areas such as balconies and terraces free of bees, it is also possible in these cases to chase them away with smells or to lure them away. When moving from the bee nest, a beekeeper can provide professional and legally permissible help.
- The most effective favorite of the smells that bees avoid is fresh coffee. Any place where coffee grounds are spread will be avoided by the bees. The effect is enhanced by lighting and burning freshly ground coffee powder.
- Some plants act as a natural bee barrier through their smell. Basil, frankincense, and lemongrass emit the least favorite odors for bees.
- The cheapest way to lure the ground bees away is to use simple sugar, which you place in a bowl at a distant point in the garden.
- To avoid inviting other animal guests, such as ants, at the same time, sliced fruit is also suitable. Grapes are one of the most popular foods for unwanted insects.
What Ground Bees Don’t Like?
Ground bees can undoubtedly be intimidating, but did you know that there is actually a lot of things they don't like? For one, they dislike vibrations and loud noises. This can be enough to scare them away if you come across them, though obviously, it's best to keep your distance, so no one gets hurt. For this reason, an ultrasound pest repeller is the most efficient way to keep ground bees away.
Ground bees are also sensitive to changing temperatures, so moving them to a warmer or colder spot could also make them more likely to fly away.
Lastly, they don't respond well to large crowds of people, especially in smaller areas, increasing their stress levels and making them more agitated. Thankfully there are many ways around this - just familiarize yourself with ground bee habits and learn how to avoid upsetting them!
Prepare to Get Rid of Ground Bees
If you've noticed a large number of bees buzzing around your backyard, they may be ground bees. Ground bees often make their nests in lawns or gardens and sometimes create mounds of dirt that look similar to ant hills.
If you want to get rid of them, there are several steps you should take. Start trimming the grass and any weeds in the area, and ensure the grass is mowed regularly. You may also consider applying an insecticide specifically formulated for ground bees.
When applying insecticides, use protective eyewear, gloves, and a mask to ensure safety. If all else fails, contact a pest control company for help getting rid of ground bees from your yard.
Eliminate Ground Bees’ Nesting Site
Once you've identified the insect as a bee, the next step is to eliminate its nesting site. This may be easier said than done since most ground bees nest underground or beneath rocks and other debris that are difficult to move or remove without professional assistance.
If this is the case, it's best to call an exterminator who has experience dealing with these types of pests and can safely remove them from your property without causing any damage or harm.
Use Natural Solutions if Possible
If removing the habitat isn't an option, natural solutions may work as well, such as spraying a mixture of soapy water directly onto the bee colony or using essential oils such as peppermint oil which has been known to repel certain flying insects, including bees, effectively and without causing harm to children, pets, or yourself.
You should also avoid using harsh pesticides or chemicals as these can be dangerous for humans and animals if used improperly or too frequently. Additionally, moving away from an area with many ground bees is enough to thwart their presence on your property altogether!
Essential Oils Against Ground Bees
Some plants act as a natural bee barrier through their smell. Basil, frankincense, and lemongrass emit the least favorite odors for bees. Bees also dislike essential smells and oils. Scented candles, lamps, vinegar, incense sticks, and tea tree oil scare off approaching bees.
Use an ultrasonic pest repeller to get rid of ground bees
Are ground bees bugging you? Then it's time to invest in an ultrasonic pest repeller. This device uses sound waves that create a frequency humans can't hear yet drives away annoying pests like ground bees. Setting up the device is easy and won’t cost an arm and a leg - and once it’s in place, ground bees will keep well away from your property! So don’t let those pesky creatures ruin your outdoor fun - use an ultrasonic pest repeller to keep them out of your backyard.
Ground bees don't have to ruin your outdoor fun! With proper identification, removal techniques, natural solutions, and maybe even just moving away from them together—you can ensure that those pesky buzzing bugs won’t ruin your summer barbecues ever again! So go forth, homeowners—bee-gone those annoying insects once and for all!
Can ground bees sting?
People often fear ground bees, imagining them as pests that sting anyone who gets too close. The truth is ground bees are generally quite docile and don't pose a threat to people. While it is true that some species may sting when disturbed or threatened, this is only a last resort in defense. In most cases, you can peacefully co-exist with these fascinating insects without the need for worries or pest control services!
Why you shouldn’t blow on the ground bees and wasps?
If you’re outside enjoying the summer heat, you may notice a few wasps buzzing around. It might seem like blowing on them would be an easy way to get rid of them, but blowing on wasps is actually a pretty bad idea.
Wasps are territorial and can perceive this action as a threat, leading them to become defensive and potentially sting whatever they see as a threat to their hive. Instead of risking the chance of getting stung, just give the wasp some space and let it fly away on its own. You don’t want an angry wasp coming after you!