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Are these mason bees?

 
pollinator
Posts: 738
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Hi guys. I live on top of a decent sized hill. Through the beauty of permaculture I’ve been able to change this clay rock into a fertile homestead. Well, except the power company right of way going down one side of the hill. I don’t plant out there because you never know what kind of poison they spray. These bees don’t mind though. They are about half the size of a bumble bee and dig excavation (sorry😂). The bare spots on the hillside are covered.
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Posts: 99
Location: New Mexico USA zone 6
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The bee in your photo sure looks like a carpenter bee-- check out that black spot in between the wings and compare to the bees on this website:  https://franklin.ces.ncsu.edu/2018/07/native-bees-in-the-landscape/  Thing is, carpenter bees are called that because they like to dig into wood.  

But wait!  Maybe they're miner bees (a.k.a. ground bees, digger bees, dirt bees, mud bees, chimney bees, and of course mining or miner bees).  Turns out 70% of the bee species on this planet nest in the ground.  Lucky you if you've got happy miner bees in the embankment -- they're great pollinators!  Anthophora abrupta aren't aggressive and aren't defensive of their nests.  They don't sting unless really provoked (like you're pulling their wings off or squishing them).  

I'd say encourage them by planting wildflowers nearby.  Check out http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/misc/bees/anthophora_abrupta.htm for more info.
 
pollinator
Posts: 104
Location: Indiana
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If they were carpenter bees there would be little beer cans on the ground.

Sorry, I can't help myself.
 
Scott Stiller
pollinator
Posts: 738
Location: North Carolina zone 7
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Maybe miner bees? I also have carpenter bees that enjoy eating my cabin. These bees are half the size of the carpenters. Ironically, around my cabin there are plenty of beer cans to be found! 😂. These guys are extremely chill and just don’t care that I’m around.
 
Lif Strand
Posts: 99
Location: New Mexico USA zone 6
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Scott Stiller wrote:Maybe miner bees? ... These guys are extremely chill and just don’t care that I’m around.


I'm thinking that's what you've got.  Good little bees.  
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