Subject: Bee/wasp-like insect
Geographic location of the bug: Kingston, NJ
Time: 04:58 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: In the last week these bees have appeared in an area of our yard that is very dry with browned grass. All of a sudden they have bored holes in the ground with mounds of dirt around them. These bees are larger than most, seem non-aggressive but are wrecking the area around our patio. Today I noticed them attempting to move some dead cicadas towards the openings. Is there a way to rid the area of the bees(don’t want to kill them) and get them to relocate? We have lived here for 40 years and have never seen any bees like these? I would welcome all info.
How you want your letter signed: Beelover, Liz
Dear Beelover Liz,
This is not a bee. The Cicada Killer is a species of solitary Wasp that has a life cycle that lasts a year. Upon emergence in early summer, a female Cicada Killer mates and then spends several weeks hunting Cicadas to provision an underground nest with food for her brood. The larvae feed on the paralyzed, but still living Cicadas, and then pupate, emerging in early summer to begin the cycle again. You will only be “troubled” by their digging for a short time longer. We are having a hard time believing you discovered that trove of Cicadas on your walk. We suspect they might have been excavated, destroying the underground nest along with a future generation of Cicada Killers.