Insect Nest

Asked May 27, 2020, 8:38 PM EDT

I have seen in several yards in my walking area what appear to be like an ant hill but larger. There are many of these hills with large openings within a 2ft square area. Tonight I saw winged creatures going in the holes. They were thinner than a bee. Attached is a pic.

Baltimore County Maryland

3 Responses

Those are the holes of solitary mining bees, clustered close together.
Mining bees don't have a social nest to protect, so they are not at all aggressive and are important pollinators.
The female digs a hole and provisions it with pollen, then lays an egg on it, which the baby bee eats once hatched. The males just hang/dance around, trying to look tough. (Male bees/wasps etc do not even have stingers).
You can read more about them on this page from our website:
https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/mining-bees-lawns


Christine

So there should be no concern if the number of "hives" is expanding? I am now seeing it on more than one piece of property in my community. And, based on the information that these are pollenators, the "hives" should be left alone and NOT destroyed?
I am not an AM walker but I notice the actual insects in the evening more toward sunset. They don't seem to "swarm" around me either. I mention this because the "hives" are near the sidewalks in my community.
I was finally able to capture a picture of one last evening. Just thought I would provide it. Not sure if you need it or not. Let me know if you would like any other information.

It isn't a concern, no - in fact, it indicates good habitat that the bees are taking advantage of. With land development and ubiquitous expanses of turfgrass (especially manicured, dense turfgrass), such suitable habitat is disappearing for these native pollinators. We definitely recommend not trying to eliminate them if at all possible. Natural causes (weather, predators) may reduce their numbers in future years. As the life cycle of the adults winds down, their presence will diminish. The young brood of bees won't make an appearance until next spring.

Miri