Solitary/Ground Bees - School IPM - USU Extension

    Solitary/Ground Bees

    Andrenidae (mining bees); Colletidae (plasterer bees); Halictidae (sweat bees)

    Mining bee

    Mining bee (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University, Bugwood.org)

    Plasterer bee

    Plasterer bee (Michael Becker, Wikimedia Commons)

    Sweat bee

    Sweat bee (Jon Sullivan, Wikimedia Commons)

    Identification

    • 1/8 - 3/4 inch long
    • coloration variable: brown to black to metallic green

    Nesting Habits

    • solitary, but often nest together in favorable sites in the ground (not in colonies)
    • favorable sites are often areas of bare soil

    Diet

    • nectar, pollen

    Significance

    • nests pose a minimal health risk to humans
    • can sting, but sting is mild
    • important pollinators

    IPM Recommendations

    • Monitor for nests early summer - fall.
    • Purchase and use a bee veil, suit and gloves.
    • Eliminate nesting habitat by proactively renovating bare soil areas with turf or other cover.
    • Rope-off areas with these bees to keep individuals away from aggregations until they become inactive (then renovate nesting site).

    Additional Resources

    IPM for Stinging Bees and Wasps: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)