Ground Bees Taking Over My Yard

Asked May 31, 2016, 10:43 AM EDT

Hello, I really need help with a situation in my yard that keeps getting progressively worse each spring. I have bees living in the ground in my yard that surface every May. It started out as a few mounds that resemble ant hills (that is actually what I thought they were in the beginning) in my front yard. Each year I noticed more and more and then two years ago I came home and they were literally covering an entire portion of my front lawn and bees were swarming everywhere. I just discovered this year that the bees actually live in the ground all year and just surface in the spring. I thought they were leaving and returning every year. Last year prior to their arrival I soaked the ground with pesticides ( Bayer lawn insect control, 7 Powder and one I can't remember the name, very strong and smells bad ). I kept spraying them as I saw them starting to settle and eventually they thinned out and appeared to have moved out of my lawn - I thought I won the battle...until I walked out my back door and saw that literally every inch of my back yard was covered with the mounds!!!! I am not exaggerating - my neighbors think I should submit this to National Geographic!! It is really stressing me out. I cannot do yard work or sit on my deck. I had to cancel my Memorial Day cookout because you can't even be outside in my back yard. They are flying everywhere and they actually hit my windows all day long. I again spent a fortune on pesticides soaking the ground with everything trying to get them to move somewhere else but NOTHING harms them or makes them relocate - I almost think they get worse. This is the worst year ever and I can't go through this again. I feel guilty using all these pesticides because I live close to the water and I do not like putting chemicals into the bay waters or the earth. I cannot find anyone to help me and they only settle in MY yard - nobody else in the neighborhood has this problem. They cover every inch on my yard but do not move into the neighbors. I am not sure why they are settling here. My friend was talking to one of your reps about this at an event she attended and she gave me your brochure. She said that you could send a volunteer out to test my soil and see what is causing them to settle in my yard and possible provide me with a natural solution to get them to move on! I would greatly appreciate any help or advice you can give me! I have attached two photos that were taken last year in my back yard. I do not have a photo from this year but I would say there are almost double the amount of mounds covering my yard. I put my e-mail below or you can contact me by phone at Thank you - I look forward to hearing from an expert!!! Help!:)

Anne Arundel County Maryland

1 Response

We have had many reports of mining bees and you are not alone.
Based on your photos it looks like you are dealing with 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 and they are not aggressive. They like exposed soil and good drainage which it looks like you have. Your lawn area is very thin with exposed soil and it is easy for them to dig. The best recommendation is to take the opportunity this fall to overseed and thicken up your turf. With a thick turf they are less noticeable and may move on as it will be harder to dig.
In flower beds, you may want to lay landscape fabric down and cover with several inches of mulch to discourage them.
We do not make house calls. There are no organic solutions other than thickening your turf. Even the White House is promoting beneficial pollinators.
See our website for more information http://extension.umd.edu/hgic/mining-bees-lawns

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