We have these bees swarming daily around a large, above-ground sandbox in our backyard, which is not being used as a sandbox, obviously. Can anyone identify these bees? Look at the images closely and you will see a red framed area I have highlighted, plus an inset showing an enlargement of that area (showing the bee). They are about the size of a honeybee, maybe a tad smaller, but the abdomen is almost all black except for a hint of light stripes. The fuzzy thorax is what I would characterize as a dark yellow-green.
They tend to swarm in the late afternoon, and all but disappear once the sun goes down. This is the first year they've been here. They fly in a wide, fast hover, kind of a "lazy figure eight" type pattern.
The get "agitated" when you walk nearby, but haven't stung any of us... yet.
Also - this area is directly in the path my kids (3 years old and 4 months old) and wife take to get to their swings, playset, etc. I would appreciate some insight on these bees, and options on removing them. I don't want to kill them if it isn't necessary, given our current honeybee situation.