Quick Facts
Size ½” – 2/3”
Color Black head with red-orange thorax and abdomen
Body Small, stout, and furry
Legs 6, black, furry
Antennae Yes
Stinger Yes, but very small


  • Individual burrows in the ground that look like anthills
  • Soft or sandy soils preferred for tunneling


  • Not social, live in individual holes in the ground
  • Not aggressive, but can sting if provoked

Often mistaken for Bumblebees due to their furry, stout bodies and similar coloring, mining bees are smaller and have unique nesting behavior. Miner Bees, also known as Chimney Bees, are friendly and non-aggressive and are especially important to flower pollination. They are not social and do not live in colonies as other bees do, but instead prefer individual ground nests.

Miner Bee Habitat

The complex nesting behavior of the Miner Bee is what is most fascinating. Being solitary bees, Miner Bees create individual nests in the ground, preferring soft or sandy soils good for tunneling. The females dig a tunnel only for themselves and their future offspring and are known to nest in the same place for several years. These tunnels are chimney-like and can be identified by a hole or dirt hill in the soil similar-looking to an anthill. Oftentimes, nests are clustered together in close quarters as each generation creates its own network of tunnel nests.

Miner Bee Habits

Miner Bees do not live in colonies, but instead are very solitary. Each tunnel of the nest is built to hold one egg that eventually hatches and grows into a larva. Those offspring then overwinter in the tunnel and emerge in the spring as adults. They are most commonly spotted in April. The gathering of nectar and pollen for the larvae makes Miner Bees quite effective as pollinators.

Miner Bee Threats and Dangers

Because they live in individual nests, Miner Bees do not defend their nest as other bees that live in colonies do and their stingers are so small that even if they tried to sting, they would barely be able to puncture the skin. The only real threat that Miner Bees present is to the lawn as they dig holes and leave anthill-like dirt mounds and if left untreated, they can infest very large areas.

Contact the Milwaukee-Area Miner Bees Removal Pros

Miner Bee infestations are fairly easy to spot as they leave an anthill-like dirt mound as an indicator of a nest. If you see any of these dirt mounds or small, stout bees flying out of the ground, call The Bug Man and Queen Bee. Our friendly office staff will give you an estimate right over the phone and get you scheduled as soon as possible, sometimes the next day! On the day of your appointment, our experts will come to your home and do a full inspection of the affected area and eliminate the nest. As a local Milwaukee family-owned business, we take great pride in exceeding our customers’ expectations. Contact us today to learn more about Miner Bees removal services & for your free estimate!