Ground bees become active in early spring. These bees dig nests in the ground, often in bare patches of the lawn or garden. If you find mounds of soil, similar to anthills but with larger openings, these may be ground bee nests. Watch for bees flying low over the ground and entering their burrows.
Ground Bees perform an important role as pollinators. Ground-nesting bees include the digger bees (family Anthoporidae), sweat bees (family Halictidae), and mining bees (family Andrenidae). Females excavate a nest in dry soil, and mound the loose soil around the nest entrance. She provisions the nest with pollen and nectar for her offspring.
Ground bees are solitary bees. Each female digs and provisions her own burrow. However, it’s not unusual to find dozens of ground bee nests in one area if conditions are suitable for nesting. Males may fly over the burrows, patrolling for potential mates.
Female ground bees can sting, but rarely do. Ground bees are not aggressive. However, they will sting in defense if threatened. Males of some species may behave aggressively around nesting areas, but they lack a sting.