What kind of ground bee is this?
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  1. #1

    Default What kind of ground bee is this?

    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.

    The pictures:

    Josh in Raleigh, NC, USA

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Dane County, WI.


    As far as trying to identify this insect, you could go to this site: Bugguide,.. http://bugguide.net/index.php?q=search&keys=ground+bees

    You might try your state or university extension entomologist for North Carolina for advice on controlling or removing them. Most state agriculture/gardening departments have a lot of information about all these things. Examples: NC. Miner bees. http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/no...4/note114.html and: http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/ent/no...0/note100.html
    Last edited by Oldbee; 04-27-2009 at 10:11 AM.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    berkshire county MA


    Josh, Not sure but it looks like digger bees. They are solitary bees but ther are usually lots of individual nests in the same area. You can find more info doing a search


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