I believe I have an issue... #181169 - Ask Extension


I believe I have an issue... #181169

Asked May 13, 2014, 10:07 AM EDT

I believe I have an issue with ground bees in my garden. I tried to take a picture of them but they are too fast to capture (just come out as little blurs). They have several anthill looking structures (thought there was an ant problem at first until I saw the little bees going in and out), a couple in my garden and several in my lawn. They also have holes right in the dirt in the garden without the hills that they are going in and out of. I know bees are beneficial but there are so many of them (about 30-50 at least) and my garden is very small (4' by 1 1/2') and they are just everywhere. Is there a way to discourage them from nesting in my garden or encourage them to find somewhere else to live?

Baltimore County Maryland

Expert Response

The holes in the garden look like they were made by mining bees. They are beneficial pollinators and control should be avoided if possible.  They are solitary bees and seldom sting. Their activity is usually brief about several weeks.  They like exposed soil and good drainage. In flower beds, you may want to lay landscape fabric down and cover with several inches of mulch to discourage them. In lawn areas, seed in the fall to thicken up your stand of turf. See our website for more information http://extension.umd.edu/learn/mining-bees
and our publication http://extension.umd.edu/sites/default/files/_images/programs/hgic/Publications/HG104_Mining_Bees_an...

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