You may be surprised to learn that some bees nest in tunnels underground. This behaviour may seem unusual or even unique, but in truth, there are over 67 species in the UK that nest in this way.
Mining bees nest in excavated tunnels in soft, sandy soil in areas rich in their favourite flowers.
One site can be populated by many nesting females and patrolled by fiercely territorial males looking to father the next generation.
The females excavate tunnels that extend for up to 60cm. Each is marked by a volcano-shaped mound at the entrance.
These bees find it increasingly hard to find suitable nesting sites. Making it more important than ever to create sanctuaries for these vulnerable pollinators.
Make Space for Mining Bees
There are some things you can do to help mining bee species in your area. Planting flowers mining bees love, giving access to drinking water and offering a bee bank creates the ideal environment for these vulnerable pollinators.
Bee banks are mounds of loose soil set aside for burrowing mining bees. All you need to create your own is a garden and some soil.
You bee bank should offer up to 60cm burrowing and a south-facing bank that catches as much warming sunlight as possible.
Make sure you keep close eye of your bee bank throughout the spring and summer months. Remove weeds as they appear and try not to disturb the bee bank throughout the year.