Ground-dwelling bees

Discussion in 'Biology & Genetics' started by DaveC426913, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Got stung by a bee yesterday on the meat of my thumb, while stomping about the front yard planting plants.

    Fiery pain, followed by raging ache, settling after a few hours to deep bone-ache. Now, 24 hours later, it's just the world's itchiest mosquito bite.

    Did not leave a stinger. Could barely even see the entry mark. Do ground-dwelling bees not lose their stinger when they sting?

    These guys look exactly like honey bees - but about half the size: < 1cm or so.

    I thought ground-dwelling bees were solitary. This was a nest - tunnel entrances all over a 3 foot radius. A dozen or two bees boiled around the area for an hour or so.

    What ground-dwelling bees (in the Great Lakes area) are social?
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  3. Write4U Valued Senior Member

    I would first do a little research if ground bees are effective pollinators. If they are, don't kill them but consider their nest as a beehive to stay clear of. From what I know, except for killer bees, most bees are not aggressive and if you have flowering plants nearby, treat them kindly. Humans tend to kill first and then find out that in the process they killed a nice flowering field close by.

    Example, bumble bees are ground dwellers and very docile. But this may be of help;

    If you feel threatened, that site also has suggestions and recommendation of getting rid of the bees.
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  5. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Last edited: Jul 9, 2018
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  7. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    Bumblebees nest underground, but they lose their stinger and die like honeybees. I stepped on the entrance to one, barefoot, when I was about 10. I thought I'd been burned, and couldn't find a stinger either.

    It burned like a cigar or something had been held to my toe, I guess for about 30 minutes, then settled into a throb for a good while.

    I try to avoid them now.
  8. sculptor Valued Senior Member

    if memory serves
    the queen of a nest of ground dwelling bumblebees can sting several times without loosing her stinger.
    If I can avoid the stinging insects, I do not kill.

    That being said:
    This is an odd year here in Iowa
    The DNR claims that we have 5x the normal compliment of mosquitoes, and the wasps around my house seem much more aggressive than normal---they built their nest in 2 of my doorways---coming out one doorway, I was stung twice in my forehead and once in my neck---coming out another - twice in my left hand and once in my right arm-the left hand swelled up and stayed swollen for 3-4 days(that ain't normal)-----ok I like the little critters for the good they do in the garden, but I killed(wasp spy) both nests without hesitation.
  9. sweetpea Registered Senior Member

    Once had a wasp fly inside my sunglasses. Can't think how I avoided being stung in the eye or anywhere near the eye, luck.
    The vibration of that buzz on my eyelid I will never forget.
  10. Dr_Toad It's green! Valued Senior Member

    How about a hornet down your riding leathers?

    The brother of a girlfriend of mine long ago was a Harley rider. Billy was cruising down Central Expressway in Dallas when a hornet bounced off his face shield, then down the neck of his jacket where it proceeded to work.

    Billy let go of the handlebars and did the Tarzan chest-thumping routine in an effort to kill the thing before it could keep stinging, lost the bike, and slid about 200' down the highway on his butt.

    That will always be remembered as the "Boulet Slide'.

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  11. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    My friend tells a story about a friend of his who once got a bee up his nose.
    Guy spend ten minutes looking for all the world like he was trying to shatter his own nose in an attempt to kill the bee.
  12. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Yeah, I came across this:

    "However, they are more solitary and prefer a semi-social environment. Instead of building one shared hive, ground bees burrow in the ground... While they often burrow near each other, only one female bee digs each burrow.
    It is possible for thousands of females to build burrows near each other if a large enough patch of salty earth is available for them to use."
  13. RainbowSingularity Registered Senior Member


    call your local doctor/medical centre and warn them. ask them to have epi pens on standby.
    sounds like you narrowly scaped with your life.
    i suggest you go buy an epi pen and keep it in your pocket until the hive has been removed or exterminated.
  14. RainbowSingularity Registered Senior Member

    either way, your reaction discribes you as being allergic OR they are of a deadly variety.
    it sounds like several stings would have killed you.
  15. RainbowSingularity Registered Senior Member

    note 1 hour being africanised honey bee anger longevity period, vastly contrasted to standard bees.

    go to the doctor get a blood test
    save your kidneys ! etc etc
  16. DaveC426913 Valued Senior Member

    Are you talking about me?

    Hah. No. Not sure where you got any allergic reaction part from - the site didn't even swell, let alone any systemic problems.

    Don't be silly. I had mashed most of the tunnels, they were just trying to find them again.

    I went back to my planting, just made slow, gentle movements.

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