Are Mining Bees Good To Have Around?
Mining bees are beneficial insects that are found in most areas of the world. They have been known to be very helpful when it comes to the survival of their colony. However, they can also cause problems if not managed properly. A few things need to be taken into consideration before deciding whether or not you want them around your home.
What Is A Mining Bee Colony?
A mining bee colony consists of thousands of worker bees which live underground. These colonies consist of different types of hives depending on the type of food they like to eat. Some prefer to feed off nectar while others will only survive on pollen from flowers. The queen bee lays eggs and then dies after giving birth to her new hive. Once these hives hatch, the workers begin to work hard producing honey and wax for various products such as candles, lighters, etc..
How Do You Get Rid Of Them?
The first thing you need to consider is what kind of environment you want your bees to thrive in. If you live in a place with little natural light, then it would be best if there were no mining bees around. Also, if you live near water sources, then they will likely be attracted to those places too. The best way to eliminate them is simply by keeping the area free of any source of sunlight or moisture.
How Can You Keep Them Around?
If you have a yard with lots of flowers or fruit trees, then you may want to get mining bees to help out with pollination. This is perfect for anyone who has a garden and wants their crops to grow bigger and stronger. It is vital that you keep these bees around because they are beneficial to the environment in more ways than one.
Bees are crucial to the continuation of life on earth. They help plants and trees grow by transferring pollen from one plant to another which allows them to reproduce. This is why it is important to encourage bees to come and live in your yard if you want your garden to thrive.
How Do Mining Bees Live?
Mining bees live in underground tunnels where they raise their young and store honey for later use. They prefer to nest in soft dirt or sand near lakes and rivers. It is common for these bees to make their homes near water if possible.
How To Keep Them Out Of The House
Mining bees do not usually live inside the house, but they may attempt to make their home in your yard. If this is a problem for you, then you can discourage them by using pesticides or even fencing off an area of land. You can also encourage them to move away by planting flowers or fruit-bearing trees in another area of your yard.
What Do They Look Like?
Mining bees are known for being black and shiny. This indicates that they have a hard exoskeleton which protects them from outside dangers. These bees are roughly the size of a common house fly and have two pairs of transparent wings. They also have very sharp teeth which allow them to chew through soft dirt when creating their hives.
Colonies consist of roughly 4,000 bees and only last for a few months. After this time has passed, the queen bee will lay her last batch of eggs before dying soon after. New queens and males will then leave the colony in search of a mate and a new place to live.
What Do They Do?
Males are usually smaller than the females and do not have stingers. They will usually leave the colony before the summer ends to search for virgin queens to mate with. It is during this time that they are most susceptible to death by predators like birds, lizards, and even humans. It should be noted that their stings are not fatal to anything but the smallest of animals.
Females usually remain in their colony for life unless they are forced to leave. They are responsible for creating the next generation of mining bees and will attack any foreign object or animal that invades their territory. Humans are at the top of this list due to the fact that they can cause irreversible harm to hives with harmful chemicals.
It should be noted that these bees do not normally sting unless they feel threatened. Warning stings help to ward off predators, but these bees will attack en mass if they feel that their lives are in danger. This makes it so that humans are automatically placed at the top of the food chain when it comes to these bees.
Mating between male and female mining bees is a quick process. It usually only lasts a few seconds with the male bee dying shortly after. After mating has occurred, the female will look for a place to lay her eggs. This is a long and difficult process due to the size of her body.
She will bend her abdomen into the shape of an “S” in order to lay her eggs in a soft patch of dirt. This can take a few hours to complete.
How Do You Keep Them Out Of Your House?
The most effective way to keep mining bees out of your house is to make sure that their nesting grounds are eliminated. This means that you have to get rid of any bees, larvae, or eggs that may be in your yard. If you don’t like getting attacked, then taking care of the bees will also get rid of the problem. You can do this yourself or hire an exterminator to do it for you.
If you prefer not to get rid of the bees, then there are various things that you can do in order to discourage them from building a hive in your yard. Fencing off your yard with a barrier of some sort is usually a good idea. Tree stumps, rocks, or even empty cans will work in a pinch. You can also try lighting fires near the area that you don’t want the bees to go.
This will make the surface hot enough to deter them. It should be noted that these bees don’t really like the heat. Leaving out bowls of water near the area will also stop them from coming too close as it makes the ground too wet for them to nest in.
Getting rid of the hive is best, but if you aren’t willing to do that then you can try keeping them at bay until they leave. This will usually only work for a short time and you will most likely have to redo the process.
What Do You Do If You Get Stung?
Mining bee stings are more painful than normal bee stings, but they aren’t usually fatal to humans. The average person can easily live through several stings from these bees. If you do get stung by one then you should remove the stinger as soon as possible to prevent it from injecting any more poison. After this, you should apply a creme or ointment to help take down the swelling and kill any bacteria that may have been introduced into the wound.
Due to their size, multiple stings can cause allergic reactions in some people. Anyone who is allergic to bee stings needs to watch themselves in the case of a mining bee attack. The normal treatment for allergies also applies in this situation.
What If I’m Allergic To Bee Stings?
As mentioned before, anyone who is allergic to bee stings will need to be extra careful if a mining bee attack occurs. Anyone who has ever had a negative reaction to a bee sting needs to watch themselves. Even someone who has never had a problem before can suddenly have an allergy develop. If you know that you are allergic then you should keep an EpiPen on your person at all times while outside. Everyone in the house should be aware of this and know how to use one in case you fail to do so.
In the case of an attack, you should get away from the area as quickly as possible and retreat indoors if possible. Once you are away from the bees, you can assess the situation and apply treatment as needed.
If not, then you need to get yourself to an emergency room as quickly as possible. Even if you aren’t having an allergic reaction, you could still have other medical issues stemming from the multiple stings. You shouldn’t waste any time making sure that you are OK.
It is unknown why some people have a negative reaction to bee stings and others don’t. Some theories state that having allergies to anything else makes you more prone to bee sting allergies. Genetics may also play a role in all of this. No matter what the cause, it is good to take precautions if you fall into this category of people.
If you are a beekeeper and fear your bees may become aggressive then there are steps that you can take to prevent attacks and kill off the hive if an attack occurs. The first thing that you should do before a problem starts is to make sure that the queen has been correctly identified. If you are attempting to eradicate a potential hive then it is best to destroy the queen first.
If your bees become aggressive and begin to attack, then you will want to wear protective gear. After this, you will want to smoke out the bees using things like burning paper or wood. This will cause the bees to react and cover their faces protecting the queen. You will then be able to spray the bees directly and kill them easily.
If you find the queen, then you can either remove her and kill the rest of the bees when they lose their home or you can try a very dangerous technique. The technique involves putting burning newspaper in the hive and quickly removing and killing the queen before the rest of the bees have a chance to attack you. This risks death but gives better odds at saving your bees for later relocation.
Removing The Hive
Finally, if the hive is too large or you just want to move them elsewhere then the bees can be saved with the right equipment. You will need a large bucket or other container with a tight fitting lid. A thick jacket, gloves and protective eye wear is also recommended.
Begin by spraying or smoking the bees so that they are all stunned and unable to fly. Carefully cover the entire hive with the bucket and quickly seal it up so that no bees can escape. At this point, you should be able to carry the bucket elsewhere and release the bees without an issue.
Getting stung is always a risk for anyone that ventures into nature. If you are prone to being allergic to bee stings then you should be especially cautious around bees and keep yourself armed with the right knowledge and protective gear when necessary.
You may also be interested in our stories on First Aid Kits and the difference between Poison Ivy, Poison Oak and Poison Sumac.
Sources & references used in this article:
Glyceraldehydephosphate dehydrogenase: Crystallization from honeybees; Quantitative immunochemical and electrophoretic comparisons of the enzyme in other … by RR Marquardt, CW Carlson, RW Brosemer – Journal of insect physiology, 1968 – Elsevier
Some Observations on the Nesting Habits of the Mining Bee, Emphor fuscojubatus Ckll. by ML Nichols – Psyche, 1913 – psyche.entclub.org
Investigation into the habitat requirements of the Sea Aster mining bee in both man-made and natural habitats: Implications for conservation management … by KA Hardy – Report for Buglife, Peterborough, 2013 – researchgate.net
Where the Bees Go, There Go I by S Robinson – Bee World, 2016 – Taylor & Francis
The biology and behavior of mining bees, Anthophora abrupta and Entechnia taurea by P Rau – Psyche, 1929 – psyche.entclub.org
The water–dropwort mining bee, Andrena ampla Warncke (Hymenoptera: Apidae), new to Britain by SJ Falk, R Paxton, P Saunders – British Journal of Entomology and …, 2019 – bwars.com
Habitat requirements of central European bees and the problems of partial habitats by P Westrich – Linnean Society Symposium Series, 1996 – wildbienen.info
How bees respond differently to field margins of shrubby and herbaceous plants in intensive agricultural crops of the Mediterranean area by JA Sanchez, A Carrasco, M La Spina, M Pérez-Marcos… – Insects, 2020 – mdpi.com