Ground bees, as the name suggests, aren’t your average bees lurking around in tall trees or windows.
They are bees that make colonies underground and their entrances are small patches or piles of soil. If you step on these, you’re in for a run.
So, without further ado – let's learn how to get rid of ground bees in the best possible ways. However, if you are interested to know more about these creatures, then keep reading. Because, that might help you have an ecologically stable garden.
So, let's get right to it!
HOW TO GET RID OF GROUND BEES - TESTED WAYS!
Before we tell you how to get rid of bees, there are things that you should be careful about.
It’s a general rule that prevention is better than cure and it holds splendidly well in case of bees. The best form of protection is prevention. If you stop the problem before it even begins then you won’t have to spend hours upon hours into getting rid of them.
Keep in mind that bees shouldn’t be controlled unless absolutely necessary. They pollinate the environment and, hence are sources of many plants, and fruits. So, our advice would be to be very cautious about how to deal with the bees. Pesticides and professional extermination should be the last choice when dealing with them.
Now, let’s see how prevention can be done…
As we said before, ground bees live in dry soils so it’s only logical that the bees are deprived of it. How? Simply by increasing the water content. This will make the soil unstable for burrows to be made and, therefore, no tunneling possible for the bees. This will make the bees leave the place – if they’re already there- and find another place to live. The bees that are already living might even die.
Lower the Number of Open Soil Patches
Nobody wants to work more than necessary to build their homes. Bees are no exception to this. Therefore, by making burrows and nests difficult to build, the bees would rather go someplace other than your backyard. You can do this by growing thicker grass and even add mulch to the mix for semi-permanent solution.
A very ecological method of getting rid of ground bees would be to simply cover up their hive entrances, what we mean by that is to put up a heavy brick, concrete or soil. This way, the bees are forced to leave without you having to do much work.
Bee repellents highly depend on the type of specie of bee you’re dealing with. Considering the environmental crisis due to lack of bees, people are more inclined towards repelling and preventing bees rather than killing them.
Some of you might not want to opt for commercial repellents – which can be great at what they do, but rather have a more natural, homemade repellent that gets the job done.
Bees particularly hate mint, spicy peppers and lemongrass. There are many solutions that are available online, but we highly recommend the following recipe…
Ingredients for Homemade Ground Bee Repellent
- 3-4 drops of peppermint extract
- 1/8 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 2-3 teaspoons of liquid soap
Instructions to Make Repellent
- Add all these ingredients into a spray bottle
- Fill the space that is left with water
- Mix very well and spray around areas that are most likely to have bees like your yard, parts of ground, and flowers.
Other solutions that work effectively in repelling bees from yourself are…
- Combine essential oils of peppermint and lemongrass in equal quantities. Rub the oil onto your arms, hair or even socks to repel bees. This works wonderfully because bees find the scent very unattractive and, of course, repelling.
- Boil 2 to 3 cups of water. Add chopped spicy peppers like jalapenos to the water. Let it cool. Strain the water and fill into a spray bottle. Spray it at bees to repel them.
If these don’t work, use one of the following…
- Light citronella candles in your yard
- Sprinkle garlic powder at the nests of bees
- Throw cucumber peels into the yard to repel bees
This method is great because not only does it keep the bees away from your yard, they will pollinate the flowers and plants anyway.
You might have tried all these methods and still have a problem with bees, which is why you have decided to kill them altogether. The best way would be to call your local exterminator. They will give you an estimate. Exterminators might use pesticides to kill the bees and, therefore, a large population and large hives can be gotten rid of.
If, for some reason, you plan to DIY this then there are a couple of ways to do it:
An easy way to just kill the bees would be to hang Zappers. These are large metal meshes that are installed on the boundaries. Everything that touches it, gets electrocuted and immediately dies. Not only would it keep the flies out, but also thieves and trespassers.
There are many sprays available in the market. Be certain about the type of bees you’re dealing with beforehand. Use the sprays directly to kill the bees. Generally, Spectracide, a foaming aerosol, will be enough to get rid of them.
There are insecticides that are so strong that they kill all types of insects. One of them is Delta Dust. If you sprinkle it in your yard, you will effectively kill bees, slugs, ants, crickets, and many others. Keep in mind that this product might not be available at certain places.
Sprays and dust are the best options of getting rid of ground bees- provided you’re ready for their consequences too. Dust won’t distinguish between bees and other insects, so it is going to kill a lot more than just your average bees. Due to this, it might not be the best of ideas to kill your local ecosystem. They, after all, are responsible for many beautiful things in the nature.
HOW TO IDENTIFY GROUND BEES?
Ground bees are more active during the spring season.
They are most commonly found in the yards, lawns or gardens. However, they are very easy to identify. If you ever see clusters of mud burrows or mounds in your yard then chances are these are bees working under there.
Having underground bees isn’t bad; in fact, they are very beneficial for the ecosystem. We know that they aid in pollination, but what is seldom known is that they also increase the fertility of soil. However, for homeowners, there are other problems like making the soil too loose or their stings – they hurt really bad.
Colors of Bees
Many species live together to make up the hymenoptera order of ground bees. Because of that, there are many different characteristics, one of the dominant ones being the color. So, we see a wide variety of colors being displayed by the bees. Some of these are given under; however, the bees may also be metallic colored…
HYMENOPTERA ORDER OF BEES
By hymenoptera, we mean that the insects, in this case bees, contain many families. Knowing these families would better assist you in dealing with your own bees. The families are…
TYPES OF GROUND BEES
Ground bees may look similar, and at times have fooled people into dealing with them in the wrong way; however, they are very different. This is due to the families they belong to and, to get rid of the bees, you must be certain about the exact family you’re dealing with. A professional exterminator is usually able to identify quickly, but let’s say that you wish to deal with them on your own.
They are easy to spot as they have bright stripes on their bodies and may even have metallic green color.
Whenever you see a yellow and black striped bee with fuzzy hair- yes, the bumblebee- remind yourself that it belongs to Apidae family. These are social bees, but bumblebees don’t always make nest in the ground.
These have a black abdomen and iridescent yellow stripes. These prefer salt soils and can pollinate areas that other bees normally can’t.
Sweat bees, being the most diverse group of bees in the world, belong to this family. They are mostly dull black or metallic colored, but may also be purple, blue or green.
Rotting words and thick plants are home to the leaf cutter bees. Because of that, they’re often more likely to be found in the ground. These are darker than honey bees, but have lighter stripes than the honey bees.
Small Sized Bees
Many bees are huge in size, but it’s highly unlikely for a ground bee to be over 13mm. They are mostly around 3mm to 12.7mm. Naturally, this is ideal for their living environment.
GROUND BEES - FRIENDS OR FOES?
Ground bees prefer to stay alone and underground. You wouldn’t see them hover above anytime soon.
They don’t even stay in colonies, so it becomes very easy to disturb them if you’re not paying attention. However, it would be a stretch to say that they’re dangerous.
All one has to do is to look at signs of insect activities. But, how?
Their burrows are very easy to spot. Look for “balled” spots or places that lack grass.
However, male ground bees are easy to agitate, but thankfully, they don’t have stingers. Females, on the other hand, are not so easily irritated.
DO GROUND BEES STING?
Humans aren’t the company that most ground bees would desire. So, they tend to stay away from us and rather fear us.
Females have stingers, but they aren’t easily tempted to use them except when it comes to the young ones. They won’t swarm over your head and certainly not go out of their way to put you down.
That being said, it isn’t nice to be stung by a ground bee. It can cause severe allergic reactions and rashes. It is best to avoid them however non-lethal they may be.
WHY MY LAWN?
Bees are smart beings, so it comes with no surprise that they choose ground with dry soil that is easy to tunnel into. Even more so if other rodents had already made tunnels. The bees pick up the work from where it was left off and make their own hive.
THE BEE LIFE
Bees are exceptionally intelligent. They live underground where they make tunnels up to six inches in the soil. Now, these tunnels may also be connected to other cells where each bee lives in its own cell.
Although there aren’t many bees in the colony, they share jobs and join in with each other. Their solitary nature doesn’t stop them from connecting their passageways and tunnels.
MATING SEASON: BETWEEN MARCH AND MAY
To stop the spreading of bee colony, it is necessary to know the bee mating season. It is normally between March and May wherein male bees hover over female bees. Often these advances are rejected, but when they’re not, the mating season is at full swing.
This is the most crucial time; you must stop the bees from mating otherwise they will ruin your summer.
RESPONSIBILITY OF A FEMALE BEE!
Females are responsible for burrowing. You will be able to see the burrows and nests will be made where the queen bee lays her eggs. A sweat bee colony is small, around 40 bees or less, and has a female queen who does most of the jobs mentioned. She will lay her eggs in the burrows, feed the larvae with nectar and pollen when they hatch.
So, after having all this information about ground bees. We can come to the conclusion that if we want to get rid of them then the following steps should be taken in order of priority.
- Kill the bees!