Ground bees and flowers

Asked May 22, 2020, 9:48 AM EDT

Good morning, I planted petunias a few days ago and have discovered that some kind of ground bee has taken up residence at the base of the flowers. There seems to be one critter per hole and a line of holes, one per petunia. I suppose they won't harm the flowers' roots and just like the shelter, but wanted to ask, is that is correct? We have quite a few of these buzzing around the azaleas and bumping into the windows. Since they never sit still, it is hard to get a good look at them! They seem harmless, even when I need to rummage around to hack at the azaleas (my sad version of pruning). I'm guessing I helped them by loosening the soil. So, are they harmless to the flower roots, etc.?

Montgomery County Maryland

1 Response

These are harmless mining, or ground, bees. They are very gentle and the males can't sting at all. Also important for pollinating. They are not active long, so it's great if you can just let them do their thing.

Here's information about these fascinating bees (though it's slanted for those worried about them in the lawn): https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/mining-bees-lawns

Ellen