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ground-dwelling, colony bee - Svastra obliqua - female

ground-dwelling, colony bee - Svastra obliqua - Female
Greeley, Greeley County, Nebraska, USA
August 31, 2008
Size: Dime sized
This individual evidently died of natural causes and we found him on the sidewalk. We did not kill him. One month ago we noticed a small swarm of these bees hovering over a flower bed by our front door. We now see approximately 500-800 at a time flying erratic over the flower bed during the daylight. The flowers are very dense and it is difficult to see the ground. We have, at night, observed several "burrows" hidden in the ground around the flowers. The bees are very interested in any activity in the yard, but we have not yet been stung. They are now making burrows in the lawn, sidewalk cracks, and adjoining flowerbeds. Multiple bees are observed to be entering and exiting the same burrow. They behave very much as we have observed domestic bees around their hive. They remind us of small or young bumble bees, but their markings are not right for bumbles. They are too large for honey bees, and are obviously not yellow jackets. We have grandchildren who visit from time-to-time, and we are concerned they might be stung. We value the pollinators, but what should we do about this "hive"? What kind of "bee" is this? Can they sting and are they dangerous? Thanks.

Svastra obliqua

are they dangerous?


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