Solitary Wasps: Digger Bees
The Digger Wasp/Bee family falls under the category of Solitary Wasps.
Solitary Wasps vary in size from ¼ to 2-inches in length. Their color also varies from dull black or brown to brilliant red, yellow or blue. Many have a metallic sheen to the body or wing. They have a typical wasp body type, frequently with a long slender petiole (connection) between the abdomen and the thorax. Although they have stingers, they usually are not aggressive, stinging only when handled.
The adults emerge in the spring, mate, and begin construction of their nests which may contain one or more cells. A single egg is laid in each cell and provisioned with captured prey. When the egg hatches, the larva feeds on the captured prey. Once development, which requires approximately three weeks, is complete, the larva spins a silken cocoon and overwinters until the following spring when it pupates.
Solitary wasps are predators that capture and sting insects and spiders to provision their nests. The type of nest constructed depends on the species. Digger Wasps/Bees burrow in the soil.
Solitary wasps generally are considered to be beneficial insects, however, many customers become alarmed by their presence when they build nests on buildings and burrow in lawns, flowerbeds, and gardens.