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Hi all, wondered if anyone can shed some light on my problem. I noticed last week there were a few bees hovering around the grass area where my underground fosse' is situated. There are now twice as many so i googled bees to see what info i could find and from what i gleaned is that the queen digs/burrows and then lays eggs etc. I have checked today and there are 20/30 different holes in the ground and they all have bees in or out at some point. Are these honey bees ? Will they go away when it gets colder or hibernate underground ? I imagine my Fosse is concrete, 30 years since house was built, is that a reason for being there eg , heat ?

Any info that can be shed on this greatly appreciated or advice on what to do next, they are not a problem at the moment but seem to be increasing, Hugh.

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[quote user="sharkhunter"]Are these honey bees ? [/quote]No.  They are some kind of 'solitary' bee.

[quote user="sharkhunter"]Will they go away when it gets colder or hibernate

underground ?[/quote]They, that is to say each fertilized female, will hibernate separately in her little hole, and will begin the process of starting a small colony from scratch next spring  -  unlike honeybees which overwinter as a substantial and enduring colony.

[quote user="sharkhunter"]advice on what to do next[/quote]

I would have an apero and sit and enjoy this interesting experience.

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Generally agree with that but unlike the wasp family there are no fertilised females to over winter..

""Solitary bees create nests in hollow reeds or twigs, holes in wood, or, most commonly, in tunnels in the ground. The female typically creates a compartment (a "cell") with an egg and some provisions for the resulting larva, then seals it off. A nest may consist of numerous cells. When the nest is in wood, usually the last (those closer to the entrance) contain eggs that will become males. The adult does not provide care for the brood once the egg is laid, and usually dies after making one or more nests. The males typically emerge first and are ready for mating when the females emerge. Providing nest boxes for solitary bees is increasingly popular for gardeners. Solitary bees are either stingless or very unlikely to sting (only in self defense, if ever).""

""While solitary females each make individual nests, some species are gregarious, preferring to make nests near others of the same species, giving the appearance to the casual observer that they are social. Large groups of solitary bee nests are called aggregations, to distinguish them from colonies.

In some species, multiple females share a common nest, but each makes and provisions her own cells independently. This type of group is called "communal" and is not uncommon. The primary advantage appears to be that a nest entrance is easier to defend from predators and parasites when there are multiple females using that same entrance on a regular basis.""

More at. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bee  


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Thanks guys, most of which is written above i read in Wikipedia, are the males smaller then females? i say this because i saw lots of small ones and then after i had cut the grass there seemed to be a lot of larger ones mixed in with smaller ones.

There are numerous openings all in one area, but seem to be far more bees than holes in the ground ?? Do they have a queen and other males in one nest hole ? Also, will they disappear soon??


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[quote user="nectarine"]So there are underground wasps as well? ....[/quote]

Underground is in fact the characteristic nesting location of the common wasp, who greatly favour such opportunites as are provided by, for example, a disused mouse hole.

The elegant suspended nests that we may occasionally find in our roofs, though more evident, are less common.  But are so full of interest as to amply repay a close inspection at the end of the season.

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Earlier on in the summer I had a bee in and out of the room where my computer is; it went in and out of a sunken screw-hole in the scanner, eventually filling it with some material. Whatever was there has now gone as the hole has reappeared.
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[quote user="plod"]it went in and out of a sunken screw-hole in the scanner, eventually filling it with some material. Whatever was there has now gone as the hole has reappeared.[/quote]

How very interesting.  I had exactly the same experience last summer when an enterprising solitary bee took a fancy to a dowel hole in edge of the dining table.  This happened whilst I was having lunch, so I was able to watch the process at leisure.  Having investigated the hole head-first she reversed in, presumably to lay her egg.  In these respects her activities were like those of a queen honey bee. 

She then brought in and deposited several loads of pollen, and sealed the entrance with a layer of mud.  The process took some twenty or so journeys, and was accomplished with impressive speed and diligence, and caused no inconvenience whatever.

I was very keen to note how long the offspring took to hatch, but alas it emerged when I wasn't paying attention.

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