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While walking in a state park in New Jersey last week, my husband and I came upon what looked like anthills. This small sign was posted on a nearby tree: "Please don't step on the mounds of dirt. Miner bees are at work below!"

We generally avoid anthills anyway, so as not to injure the ants. As far as we know, though, this is the first time we've run across Miner bees. In what ways do they differ from other bees?

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The more common term is "mining bees". As the name says, they build nests underground, usually in sandy ground. The other big difference between them and regular honey bees, is that they are so-called solitary bees, so they do not form hives. The nest is built by a single female, who lays eggs in several chambers and provides each with pollen and nectar.

So since they do not form hives, they never really become a nuisance, and they provide good pollination for plants.

Here's an article: http://www.buzzaboutbees.net/mining-bees.html

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    That's fascinating! Now I'll have to do some research to figure out how to attract them to my garden! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jun 14 '15 at 18:42
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    Odds are they are already there. Bees come in many shapes and sizes at different times of the year. Once you learn how to identify them as bees you'll find many. – Sdry Sep 19 '16 at 12:18

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