Ground-nesting bees can be encouraged to move to another location by sprinkling water on their nests. These docile bees do not form colonies and each nest is home to a solitary bee. However, they do tend to nest close to each other so there may be more than one nest in the area.
Though several types of bees sometimes nest in the ground, miner bees are the type that are referred to as ground-nesting bees. These bees do not form hives but instead make underground nests with entrances that are small piles or patches of bare soil. They prefer dry soil, so simply dampening the area with water is often enough to make them move.
An individual queen bee inhabits each nest and raises her young. Male bees stay in the area, but are harmless as they have no sting. In fact, ground-nesting bees are generally gentle and do not tend to sting people. The nests are harmless to gardens, and once abandoned, soon disappear. The bees themselves are useful pollinators of native plants in the United States.
Yellowjackets are a type of wasp that sometimes nest in the ground too. To remove yellowjackets in a ground nest, pour a solution of soap and water into the nest. If this method fails, use an insecticide approved for use in lawns, preferably as a dust, not a liquid.