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Can Bees Have Hives Underground?

Last Updated: 02.07.22


Because dealing with bees can be a little difficult, to help you get the job done, we have prepared a list of high-quality bee hive kits that you should keep in mind when shopping in this line of products. Even more so, in one of our recent posts, we have gathered plenty of info on how to select good and affordable beekeeper suits.

In this comprehensive article, we have decided to answer a quite popular question about whether or not bees can have hives underground. If you want to learn more on this subject, keep reading as we are sure you’ll find all the info that you need.


Can all bees have underground hives?

As the specialists have demonstrated, only a variety of bees called solitary bees, or ground-nesting bees can actually create underground galleries. The main purpose of these underground hives is to protect their young from predators and the elements.

The galleries that these insects create are easy to identify as they have a conical shape and a large hole in the middle. The hole acts as an entrance point into the burrow. One thing that all those interested in the subject should understand is that these bees do not actually construct classic-looking hives. Instead, they live in underground tunnels.

Experts have argued that these insects are rather peaceful. The only part of the year that they should be avoided is around nest-building time. During this period, they can get aggressive and they can attack those who disturb them.

Why are they called solitary bees?

Ground-nesting bees are known as being solitary because they do not actually live in a hive. Instead, each female insect excavates its own nest in dry soil. It is common that dozens of these bees live in the same area.

Each bee will gather nectar and pollen to feed its young. These insects are considered an essential part of the environment as they are active pollinators. Males generally fly around the burrows during the mating season.


Do they sting?

As we have mentioned earlier, these bees are, by nature, not aggressive. However, they can and they will sting when they feel threatened.

When compared to females, males are known to behave in a more hostile manner around the nesting areas. Still, they should not be regarded as particularly dangerous because they cannot sting.



One of the most common kinds of nesting-bees that might live in your area is the bumblebee. These fluffy bees usually build their nests in the ground. However, they do not actually dig tunnels. Instead, they use existing openings to create wax-celled hives.

Opportunistic in nature, these insects set home in building spaces and in insulation. They are not aggressive when they are not threatened and they are normally only interested in pollinating flowers.

Yellow jackets

Although they are classified as wasps and not bees, similarly to bumblebees, yellow jackets are also a species that uses rodent burrows as an alternative to constructing papery hives. Those that had to deal with ground yellow jackets have pointed out that these wasps are combative and likely to sting easily.

Because they are predators, they can kill soft-bodied insects such as flies, caterpillars, and spiders. Even though most are afraid to deal with them and prefer avoiding them, these wasps are important biocontrol agents that actually destroy pests that are damaging crops.

Given that their colonies are large in numbers, yellow jackets are rather dangerous, and, in extreme cases, deadly. If you are allergic to their venom, a single sting can put your life in serious danger.


Should I remove the nests?

Before you take any steps to remove the nests in your yard, you should spend some time considering whether or not this is a good idea. As we have argued before, these bees have a specific purpose as pollinators.

If the insects that you are dealing with are not aggressive and they do not pose any type of danger to you and your family, it is advisable that you let them be. In the case of most ground bees, they are easy to live with. You can even mow your lawn without them considering this action invasive.

Even more so, these bees are only active in the spring. So, they won’t hang around in your yard for long. The only situation when removing the nests is an urgent step that you have to take is when one of your family members has a bee venom allergy.

How to control ground bees?

If you have decided to remove the ground hives in your yard, keep in mind that numerous specialists have pointed out that ground bees only live in dry soil. So, the first thing that you can do is to soak the area in water on a weekly basis.

By doing so, you will actively discourage the female bees from building galleries and you will make them relocate in an area with dry soil. Another alternative that you can try is covering your garden in a layer of mulch.

Those who are considering utilizing pesticides to get rid of the issue should think twice, as many assert that these substances are not suitable for the job. Instead, you should stick to installing some sprinklers around the area that you want to protect.


Make sure that you are dealing with bees

Before you try to evict the insects in your yard, it is vital that you make sure that you are dealing with a bee and not with a wasp infestation. While bees remain non-aggressive when evicted using water, yellow jackets are not as peaceful. Because of this, it is best that you use protective equipment when trying to get rid of them.

The most important sign that you should look for is the number of insects that are lurking around the entrance in the nest. In the case of yellow jacks, their nests are busier as they live in colonies and not individually.


Ask for specialized help

If you are allergic to bee venom, or if you do not like the idea of having to deal with this sort of pests, it is fitting that you ask for specialized help. Currently, there are numerous exterminators that can come and take care of the issue in due time.



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