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Thread: Bees in the ground

  1. #1

    Default Bees in the ground

    Hi there

    Looking for a bit of advice on what to do about some bees that I have discovered.

    I am trying to clear out a section of rockery in my front garden and have cleared all the vegitation away. I have also begun to dig out some of the buried rocks and earth. This has exposed 2 holes where bees have come and gone from. They appear mostly in the late afternoon (4ish) when I have been working. The most I have seen at one time is six which have then disappeared down the two holes. If I try scraping away at the earth (not near the holes) 1 or 2 come out again.

    I would like to get this area cleared so am looking for advice about how best to get them removed.

    I used the picture guide on which seemed to suggested they where solitary mining bees.

    Any advice welcome. Note that I have stopped work on the area until I get a solution to this.



  2. #2
    Administrator gavin's Avatar
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    Feb 2010
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    Hi Tim

    I think any earth-moving activity (except perhaps light hoeing) is going to destroy the next generation of these mining bees along with some of the adults if they are still around. When they are freshly emerged you could probably do the work before they start their nests if you time it right but if they are the Andrena type then it is already late in their season.

    Moving their tunnels isn't really an option as far as I know. They will just be too fragile. Perhaps late in the year the pupae might stand relocation but I don't know of anyone who has done this. The Andrena mining bees emerge March to May (mostly) and many have finished the active season completely, leaving eggs and larvae underground. There are some other types too.

    Not good news, but your site will probably have helped the population locally over many years and they may return after the work.


  3. #3


    Hi Gavin

    Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately they are in the part of the rockery I am intending to remove to provide better access. There will still be 2 reasonable sections of rockery left so they may well be able to come back to there. I have not noticed them before now even though I walk past where they are several times a day going in and out of the front garden.

    Am I able to assume it is safe for me to carry on with my planned work with there being little risk of there being bees to upset or do I need to get someone to come and treat the area (in a no harmful way I hope)? Is there someone you would recommend to do this?



  4. #4


    Hi Tim,

    If they are solitary bees (and it sounds like they are) then theres no need to worry regarding angry bees or stings. Most solitaries are very calm even around their nest and in the case of Andrena mining bees, which these probably are, the stings are too weak to penetrate human skin anyway.
    My advice would be to continue your work and hope that the bees return to the areas that have been left next year.

  5. #5


    Hi Silvbee

    I have completed the work I needed to do. Did not come across any bees when working but had a few pockets of larvae (correct term?) when removing the rockery.

    I have noticed bees coming in and out of the other end of the rockery and on another section previously. Where I have stopped work there are areas similar to those I have removed so assume the bees may go there. Its also further from the foot path now, if that makes a difference to the bees.

    Thanks to all for your help.



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