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Sharing your garden with bees isn’t always ideal and when populations get out of control, it can make your yard unusable. If you’ve got an infestation, you may be wondering how to get rid of ground bees and the good news is that it’s pretty simple.
In most cases, getting rid of ground bees is as easy as making your lawn as uninhabitable for them as possible. Keeping it wet with no sparsely grassed areas is a great way to have them looking for a new nesting site.
Of course, sometimes it can be a little harder and you may need to opt for different methods. In this guide, I’m going to talk you through some of the most effective ways of keeping ground bees at bay.
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When you think of bees, you might imagine a group of flying insects that lives in a colony. While this is true of several species, many bees are solitary and nest alone. Just a single queen and her eggs and they’re often found nesting in the ground; hence the name, ground bees.
While ground bees don’t nest in colonies, you may often find that several females will nest in the same area. So, if you have one ground bee nest in your garden, there’ll likely be a few more in the vicinity.
Unless you are allergic to a bee sting then ground bees are no cause for concern. They don’t nest in large numbers and won’t remain in your garden for a very long time. Once nesting is over, the young will fly away and females will start their own nest somewhere else the following year.
Ground bees are very docile and are incredibly unlikely to sting a human just for the sake of it. Just like most bee species, ground bees will only sting if they feel threatened and the queen doesn’t act in an overly defensive manner when it comes to protecting her brood.
You may notice a lot of males patrolling areas where there are female ground bees as they look for a mate. While their behavior at this time may look aggressive and erratic, I can assure you that they pose no threat. Why? Because the males lack a stinger!
Before you start trying any of the methods I’ll talk about in this guide, it’s essential that you’re certain it’s ground bees you’re dealing with. Other flying insects like hornets or wasps may need to be dealt with in other ways and these won’t necessarily be effective when getting rid of ground bees.
There are many species of ground bees but they typically grow to between ½ inch and ¾ inch and may come in a variety of colors such as green, brown, black, yellow, blue, and purple. Some species may even have a metallic coloration. Because these types of bees tend to stay close to the nest, you’ll frequently see them around your garden.
Where nests are concerned, you’ll want to look for small piles of soil on the ground. These will have a small hole in the top, around the thickness of a pencil.
Having ground bees in your garden is a sign that nature is alive and well. But I understand that most homeowners don’t want to share their space and are looking for ways to get rid of ground bees for good. Below, I’m going to talk about some natural methods of removing ground bees that are both effective and safe.
Imagine you’re a ground bee looking for somewhere to raise your young; the conditions need to be just right. Since ground bees nest in the ground, they are looking for spots that provide easy access and aren’t covered in dense grass. They also need somewhere dry and safe so making your lawn as unattractive to ground bees as possible is a great way to send them packing.
Unless we’re talking about fish, I cannot think of many animals that want to raise their young in wet conditions and this certainly applies to the ground bee. If the lawn is kept wet then this is likely to cause ground bees to look elsewhere for a nest.
Of course, you don’t want to saturate your lawn as this will affect its health but a gentle watering every day throughout summer will be perfectly effective.
Whether you’re trying to deter ground bees from coming in or looking to get rid of existing bees, this is one of the first things you should do.
Ground bees look for spots where grass growth is sparse so if you have a patchy lawn, this is something you’ll need to fix as soon as possible. Look for patches and cover these with new grass seed, watering it regularly so that it takes root.
If you’ve noticed an issue with ground bees, one of the best things you can do is to cover their nesting holes. This will stop the bees from having access to their nests and will force them to go elsewhere. What’s more, bees that are already in the hole won’t be able to get out.
You can use anything you have on hand to cover the holes but make sure it’s strong enough to resist the bees. Things like rocks and slabs are ideal. While they might not look amazing, they’ll get the job done!
I have said it so many times, and I’ll say it again; never use chemical pesticides to get rid of bees. While they may be a nuisance to have in your garden, bees are still an incredibly important part of the ecosystem and are responsible for pollinating a whole host of plants.
But even without the use of chemicals, there are several natural products you can use that will effectively repel ground bees. Things like garlic oil, peppermint oil, clove oil, citronella oil, and rosemary oil all work incredibly well.
What’s more, a lot of people find success by sprinkling cinnamon powder around the entrance of the nest (garlic powder works well too!) The bees can’t stand the smell and it’s too much work for them to try and clear the mess so they’ll move on and find another nesting site.
It is possible to use a mix of equal parts water and white vinegar. This can be sprayed onto the nest entrance. However, this is very likely to kill the bees so if you’re looking for a humane method, it’s probably not the best approach.
Sometimes, no matter what you try, those ground bees will be incredibly persistent and determined to stand their ground. In this case, I would recommend contacting a professional who will be able to deal with the bees for you.
They’ll have a wealth of tricks up their sleeves and will be able to choose the most appropriate method. What’s more, a bee removal expert will also be able to ensure that the job is done as safely and thoroughly as possible.
If you’re struggling with a lot of bees then there may be local beekeepers that are willing to remove and relocate the bees for you. Get in touch with your local beekeeping association to get in touch with someone who may be able to help.
If it wasn’t for bees, the world would be a very different place and not in a good way. Did you know that bees are among some of the most important pollinators? Not only this but they ensure a balanced ecosystem.
This is why it’s really important not to use harmful methods to get rid of ground bees or any other type of bee, for that matter. While I understand that you want to deter bees from your garden, killing them is going to make you part of a much bigger problem.
You see, bee populations are at risk due to several factors such as climate change, habitat loss, and the use of chemical pesticides. While you may think that these products are the quickest and easiest way to deal with unwanted bees, they’re also the most harmful.
Wherever possible, I always advocate the use of natural methods of pest control when it comes to bees. If you can, I would also recommend leaving the ground bees where they are. As long as they aren’t causing a significant problem, they’ll nest and then leave by themselves. Plus, since they aren’t harmful to humans, you have nothing to fear.
Ground bees are solitary insects that pose very little threat to humans. They’re non aggressive and rarely sting. Still, most people don’t want to share their gardens with bees so are looking for ways on how to get rid of ground bees.
It’s always best to use natural methods so as not to harm these important pollinators. You can try using essential oils or cinnamon powder to deter the bees with an unpleasant smell. You might also ensure that your lawn is as uninhabitable as possible so the bees look for somewhere else to nest.
If you’ve tried everything and still can’t get rid of the ground bees then it may be time to call for professional assistance.