Do carpenter bees nest in the ground? In plant beds?
Generally speaking no. If you read our CARPENTER BEE CONTROL ARTICLE, you’ll learn they mostly target overhangs, wood fences, decks, gazebos and any kind of wood that is above ground with a protected underside. Nesting in the ground would go directly against this common trait though I have seen it happen.
In the few times where I’ve seen it happen, they targeted a stump that was quite large and distorted. It had knobs sticking out under which the bees were able to nest so even though they were at ground level, they were still “in wood” and very much protected when compared to a typical ground nest that’s lying under pine straw or wood mulch. That being said, they didn’t seem to mind when it rained so I guess they were safe enough to survive the environment which many times is a problem when nests are in the ground.
Now if you’re seeing what appears to be carpenter bees and the activity is in the ground, I’m thinking what you’re looking at is most likely a BUMBLEBEE. Read up on them if you’re trying to figure out what species of bee you’re seeing.
Carpenter Bee Control: http://www.carpenterbees.com/carpenter-bee-control
Bumblebee Control: http://www.bugspray.com/articles99/bumblebees.html