8 Ways to Get Rid of Ground Bees

Ground bees are typically not a dangerous species. But in certain situations, these bees can become a problem. 

If you have children or they are damaging your garden, you will need to remove these bees from your yard. 

In this post, I will go over how to identify ground bees, when you should get rid of them, and 8 different ways you can get rid of them. 

Let’s dive in. 

What Are Ground Bees?

Ground bees are also known as mining bees. These bees are unique because they create individual underground galleries.

These galleries’ entrances are often small circular entrances or chimney-like turrets that protrude out of the ground.

Unlike most species of bees, ground bees don’t create social nests. Ground bees are solitary or semi-social bees.

Ground bees creative individual nest and don’t produce honey.


What Do Ground Bees Look Like?

Ground bees look very similar to the traditional bumblebee. 

Ground bees are: 

  • ½ to ¾ inch 
  • Fuzzy hair on their body
  • Black and yellow stripes. 
  • Distinct yellow fur between their eyes 
  • Only females have stingers

Ground bees vs. Honeybees and Other Bees

Ground bees are often confused with other bees because they look very similar. There are some key things you can look for to differentiate ground bees from other species of bees. 

There are two key characteristics that will help you differentiate ground bees from other species of bees. 

  1. Ground bees create nests inside the ground, whereas most bees create a nest on building or other areas above ground 
  2. Ground bees make individual nests, while other species of bees are social creatures that build communal nests. 

There is one exception in that yellow jackets also typically create their nest underground and also resemble ground bees. 

The easiest way to differentiate these two species of bees is the type of nest. 

First, yellow jackets create a communal nest with one entrance for the entire colony. 

Ground bees create individual nests. Only one ground bee lives in a single nest.

The entrance to each ground bee nest resembles a small single hole, and they often contain chimney-like turrets that protrude out of the ground.

When Should You Get Rid of Ground Bees?

In most cases having ground bees inside your home is relatively harmless. There are a few instances that might trigger you to get rid of ground bees. 

  • Nesting sites are near your home 
  • You have children or pets 
  • Infestation is growing large 
  • Destroying your yard and you want to restore your yard or garden

How To Get Rid Of Ground Bees

1. Use Insecticidal Dust

Using insecticidal dust is one of the easiest ways to get rid of ground bees. Since these bees are docile and easy to spot their nests, it is very easy to treat each nest individually.

To treat ground bees with dust, using a dusting bulb insert the tip into the tunnel and pump between two and three times. It’s important not to fill the tunnel with dust.

Filling the tunnel with dust can discourage the bee from returning, and they may begin building a new nest.

One of the most effective insecticidal dust for bees is delta dust. This dust is proven to be effective, inexpensive, and easy to find.

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2. Use Diatomaceous Earth

DE is a natural alternative to using insecticidal dust. DE is not toxic to bees, but it will cause microscopic cuts on the bee’s body that will eventually cause it to die.

DE can be applied in a similar way as insecticidal dust. Using a dusting bulb inject two to three pumps per tunnel.

If there are many nests in a single area, you can also leave a DE layer on the surface.

This will ensure that if any new tunnels are created after the initial application, they will have to go through the DE.

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3. Eliminate Patches of Dry Soil

Ground bees don’t create tunnels on grass or mud. They tend to target dry and soft soil. This tends to happen if you have patches of dead grass. 

Other areas where dry or soft soil may attract ground beetles includes 

  • Gardens 
  • Dirt walking paths
  • Other soil around the foundation of your home 
  • Soil around the base of trees 
  • Near fence posts and fences 

The easiest thing you can do is water add grass seeds, and water them frequently to eliminate dry soil. 

An alternative to getting rid of dry and soft soil is using 

  • Place gravel over dry soil 
  • Use turf over dry soil to eliminate potential nesting locations 
  • Apply mulch over locations where you have soil 
  • Expand your sprinklers to ensure they cover areas of dry soil 
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4. Fill The Tunnels

An easy way to get rid of ground bees is to cover their holes.

Simply covering their holes with soil or even clay and applying a layer of water will eliminate their nests.

To make sure that no surviving begin creating their nests again, you can apply a layer of insecticide dust to the top layer of soil

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5. Use Liquid Insecticide

Liquid insecticides are just as effective at eliminating ground bees from your yard as insecticidal dust.

Liquid insecticides are easy to apply, and the benefit is that you can apply them to large areas with ease.

To be safe, you can apply liquid insecticides to any dry soil around your yard.

One benefit of insecticidal dust is that it remains effective even if it gets wet. It also remains effective for longer than dust insecticides.

Any ground bees that come in contact with for the next three months will die with a residual effect.

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6. Use Bee Traps

Bee traps are effective on ground bees just like they are with other species of bees. Similar to other species of bees, ground bees forage on nectar and pollen from flowers. 

You can use bee traps with a lure inside to catch any bees that are foraging for food. 


DIY Bee Trap

Bee traps are easy to make with household objects. The easiest way to build a household trap is with a two-liter bottle. 

You can follow the steps below to make a bottle trap. 

  • Cut the top ¼ of a two-liter bottle.
  • Flip the lid so that it’s facing the inside of the two-liter bottle. 
  • Fill the bottom ¼ of the bottle with an attractant such as honey and water. 

Place the trap near the nesting locations of the ground bees. 


Buy Traps

Another option is that you can purchase a reusable trap from the store. These are typically just as effective as a homemade trap. 

The advantage of these traps is that some offer the humane option to catch and release the bees. This will allow you to attempt to relocate the bees to another location where they are less likely to pose a threat. 

Some traps are also ideal because you can dispose of the entire trap after you catch the bees. 

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7. Use A Torch

Fire and gasoline is a common option use to get rid of yellow jackets. I recommend using a torch to get rid of ground bees since they are docile compare to yellow jackets.

With a torch, the ground bees die immediately, and it does not alert the nest of the other ground bees.

This keeps them calm and allows you to kill as many bees as possible effectively.

I don’t recommend using the fire or gasoline approach because it can alert the other bees and cause them to become frightened and fly away.

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8. Vacuum Ground Bees

Fire and gasoline is a common option use to get rid of yellow jackets. I recommend using a torch to get rid of ground bees since they are docile compare to yellow jackets.

With a torch, the ground bees die immediately, and it does not alert the nest of the other ground bees.

This keeps them calm and allows you to kill as many bees as possible effectively.

I don’t recommend using the fire or gasoline approach because it can alert the other bees and cause them to become frightened and fly away.

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Frequently Asked questions (FAQ)

How Long Do Ground Bees Stay?

Mining bees typically nest in the same locations every season, similar to other species of bees.

After summer passes, the new female bees and males bees will hide and go into hibernation.

When summer returns, the bees will emerge and begin mating.

After mating, they will start creating their burrows for the next season.

How Deep Do Ground Bees Dig?

Mining bees can dig up to 12 inches into the ground.

More commonly, their burrows are around 6 inches long.

The longer the bees remain in a single nesting area, the deeper their burrows will become.

How Long Do Ground Bees Live?

Ground bees live for around one month before they die. With their short lifespan, females reproduce rather quickly to ensure their species survives.

After ground bees mate, they create their nest to lay their eggs and continue growing their population.

Are ground bees aggressive?

Ground bees are not aggressive.

They are one of the more docile species of bees.

In fact, it is often considered very difficult to get stung by mining bees even after they are provoked.

Does Bleach Kill ground bees?

Yes, Bleach will kill ground bees. To kill ground bees with Bleach, you would have to drench their tunnel with Bleach until they die.

Can you kill ground bees with Gas?

Yes, you can kill ground bees with gasoline. This technique is commonly used to get rid of yellow jackets.

With yellow jackets, you can add gasoline to the entrance of the nest. This will allow you to kill the entire nest quickly and efficiently.

This technique is not as effective with ground bees since there are multiple burrows to treat with gasoline.

What Do Ground Bees Eat?

Ground bees feed on nectar and pollen, similar to other species of bees.

If there are potential food sources around your home, you will likely find swarms of bees around these locations.

Are Ground Bees Dangerous?

Ground bees are not considered dangerous.

In fact, ground bees are considered docile bees and not aggressive in any ways. 

Males don’t have stingers and don’t sting people.

Females have stingers but only sting when they are provoked. 

In most cases, ground bees are not bothered by humans presence don’t get bothered very easily. 

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