Technical Papers

Digger Bees and The Damage They Cause to Lawns

Wednesday, April 1st, 2020 by Bill Cowley

Digger Bees

Digger bees, also called ground bees, are roughly 1/4 to 1/2 inch long and vary in color (mostly shiny metallic or dark, but some with markings of white, yellow or reddish-brown). Digger bee nests are commonly located in areas of the landscape where the grass is sparse or very thin. Female digger bees “dig” nests into the ground that are about 1/2 of an inch deep. 

The first sign of digger bees in lawns are little mounds of soil with a hole nearby and digger bees flying over the area. Digger bees are solitary bees that live one colony per hole, but there may be many holes in an area creating digger bee communities.

Although the venom from a digger bee sting is strong enough to cause a severe allergic reaction in some people, they are very non-aggressive and usually only sting if they are being stepped on. In fact, a sting from a digger bee is a lot less painful than the sting of a yellow jacket!