We were noticing lots of mining bees in the sunshine last week so I thought I would find out a bit more about them.
They are solitary bees and the females burrow nests under the ground which can be down to about 16cm deep. They collect pollen and place a pollen ball in one of the deeper chambers and lay an egg in the pollen ball. They raise their own young on their own but they can tend to occur in groups of nests close together, sometimes making it look like they are social insects.
They very rarely sting, and the sting doesn’t hurt much, but if you have a lot on your lawn it might be wise to wear shoes 🙂 or look carefully where you tread.
They are useful pollinators, particularly for fruit trees and also good for aerating the soil with their burrows.
So next time you see a mining bee burrow, look after it and watch out for the beautiful little pollinator who lives there.