Solitary/Ground Bees

Andrenidae (mining bees); Colletidae (plasterer bees); Halictidae (sweat bees)

Mining bee

Mining bee (Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University,

Plasterer bee

Plasterer bee (Michael Becker, Wikimedia Commons)

Sweat bee

Sweat bee (Jon Sullivan, Wikimedia Commons)


  • 1/8 - 3/4 inch long
  • coloration variable: brown to black to metallic green

Nesting Habits

  • solitary, but often nest together in favorable sites in the ground (not in colonies)
  • favorable sites are often areas of bare soil


  • nectar, pollen


  • nests pose a minimal health risk to humans
  • can sting, but sting is mild
  • important pollinators

IPM Recommendations

  • Monitor for nests early summer - fall.
  • Purchase and use a bee veil, suit and gloves.
  • Eliminate nesting habitat by proactively renovating bare soil areas with turf or other cover.
  • Rope-off areas with these bees to keep individuals away from aggregations until they become inactive (then renovate nesting site).

Additional Resources

IPM for Stinging Bees and Wasps: Integrated Pest Management in Sensitive Environments (University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension)