4954 N. Shamrock Place, Tucson, AZ 85705

Digger Bee

Family Anthophoridae

Digger Bee

Life Cycle

Complete Metamorphosis
Males will search for females flying over nest sites and resting on plants nearby.  Once they have mated. The adult female will lay an egg in a burrow and collect pollen back for the larva to feed on once hatched.  The larva will overwinter feeding and maturing.  Pupation occurs early spring with emergence beginning of the summer season.  These solitary bees will live independently, not depending on a colony for their survival.  Adults live about 1 month.  One generation occurs per year.


  • Diet: Adults feed on flower nectar.
  • Activity: Typically seen in summer.
  • Preferred Climate: Warm
  • Defense: Sting. Females only sting.
  • Cautions: Will sting if provoked.
  • Home Invasion: Female digger bees will infest yards if barren creating small mounds with an opening at the top. In some cases, large clusters will be created of these mounds as this solitary bee will often be living in large clusters (aggregations) when prime conditions exist. This can be intimidating to the homeowner.

Helpful Hints

  • Properly fertilize and water lawns promoting healthy turf.
  • Targeted insecticide treatment may be necessary if larger populations, aggregations occur to prevent the possibility of being stung.

Interesting Facts

Digger bees line their underground tunnels with a thin waxy substance.


Bee stings can produce different reactions, ranging from temporary pain and discomfort to a severe allergic reaction.

Nesting Sites

Digger bees nest in burrows in the ground. Look around garden areas especially.