This website is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission.

Can Bees Have Hives Underground?

Last Updated: 02.07.22


If you find the idea of getting a sting-proof beekeeping suit appealing, be sure to take a look at this guide that we have prepared. The existence of ground-nesting bees is a subject that many find interesting. If you want to find more about this topic, we have gathered some pieces of info that you should check out.


Underground beehives

Although it might sound strange, underground bee hives are real. According to researchers, 70% of all species of bees that are known nest underground. In the northern part of the USA, most of these bees become active in spring.

Contrary to common belief, bee nests are easy to spot because they are made of conical piles of dirt that feature a large hole in the middle that is used as an entrance point for the insects.

The most common type of nesting bee is called Colletes inaequalis. The first interesting thing about these bees is that they are solitary. By this, we mean that each female bee actually builds her own nest and lives in it by herself. There are also areas where Colletes inaequalis build their nests close to each other.

Other species of bees that build underground hives

Bees that build underground hives are common in the Midwest area of North America because they have a preference for sandy soils. If you live in this part of the country, chances are that bees will build their underground hives in your garden or back yard.

However, it should be said that, differently from most species of insects, these bees are not at all aggressive. They only sting when they feel threatened.

North America is also home for other species of nesting native bees such as genera Agapostemon, Halictus, Andrena, and Lasioglossum. Bees of this kind play an important role in the environment in which they live because they are important pollinators.

Bumblebees also build underground hives. Yet, these insects do not construct underground tunnels but, instead, they use already existing openings and they build wax-celled hives.

Bumblebees are different in the sense that they are also known to make their nests in piles of leaves and in concrete slabs and in insulation. Plus, they are more aggressive, especially when they feel threatened.

Bumblebees are not solitary by nature. A hive constructed by this species of insects will most of the time consist of around 400 bees. Just like honey bees, these insects have a queen, workers, and drones. They also make honey, something that most bee species that live underground do not.

Similarly to bumblebees, yellow jackets also take to the ground when it comes to setting their nests. They are also quite aggressive and should be avoided as much as possible, especially in areas that are close to sources of food and water.


How to get rid of them

If you are allergic to bee venom, or if you simply do not like the idea of having bees living in your yard, there are a couple of things that you could do. To start, it is vital to point out that using pesticides to get rid of bees is both toxic to the environment and extreme.

Instead, it is recommended that you use water to encourage them to move away. To do so, it is best that you spray or dump water in the nests.

Yet, given that they are not aggressive and because they have an important role as pollinators, it is best that you let them be.

If you happen to be allergic to bees, it is strongly recommended that you don’t try to take care of an infestation by yourself. Instead, you should ask for specialized help from pest control experts.



All those who are allergic to bees and that live in areas that are normally home to underground bees can take a few steps to take care of the issue. First, you can limit the open ground that is available in your yard by planting thick grasses.

If bees are already living in your yard, you can change the watering system. Watering the garden or the yard more often will surely create an environment that the insects will consider uninhabitable.

If you decide that it is necessary to actually kill the bees that have taken over your propriety, the ultimate step that you should take involves the use of insecticide dust. This substance is easy to purchase from online stores and it should be applied to the tops of the nests.

Given that these insects are pollinators, and thus, they help the environment, you should avoid spreading this poisonous dust over a wider area than necessary. What is more, before you apply it, it is vital that you read the information on the product made available by the distributor. While doing so, be sure to check if the dust is actually meant to be used for exterminating bees.

Why are pollinators so important?

To start, it is vital that we provide you with a definition of what pollinators are. So, a pollinator is an animal (insect or bird) that moves pollen from the male structures of a plant, or the anthers, to its female structure, also known as the stigma.

When fertilized accordingly, a plant will be able to produce fruits and seeds so that a new generation of plants can grow.

As numerous studies have shown, 75 to 95% of all flowering plants that live on this planet need pollinators to survive. To put this in perspective, one out of three bites of food one eats exists because pollinators did their job.

From an economic point of view, pollinators add about 217 billion dollars to the global economy annually. Honey bees alone are responsible for pollinating food worth 5.4 billion dollars in the United States alone. Furthermore, pollinators are also responsible for cleaning the air and for stabilizing soils.

Currently, the pollinator populations are going through a significant change. Many of them are in decline because feeding and nesting habitats are not as easily available for them. The factors that contribute to this situation are pollution, diseases, changes in climatic patterns as well as the misuse of chemicals.

Because the situation is rather sensible, it is important that all of us avoid killing them. One thing that you can do is to make sure that they are provided with space where they can live and that you plant the type of plants that attract them.



Ground-nesting bees might seem dangerous at first, especially to those who do not know much about this topic. However, these insects have an important role in the environment, and, given their recent decline, should be protected as much as possible. After all, you probably don’t want to contribute to their demise.

Besides, this kind of bees are semi-social and not at all aggressive provided that you do not interfere with their nests. Consequently, deciding to treat them as dangerous pests is somewhat excessive.

If bee venom is an issue for you, the best decision that you could take is to water the soil so that the bees move their nests. Pesticides and other chemical substances should not be utilized if not necessary because they have serious effects on the environment.



Leave a comment

0 Comments Protection Status