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Masonry bees are normally harmless, their sting seemingly unable to penetrate human skin.
Unlike honey bees these are solitary insects. They nest in a wide range of cavities some of which they excavate themselves. The nest particles are glued together with saliva.
On occasions masonry bees can present a problem due to their ability to build nests by tunnelling through soft brick mortar, generally in older properties. Only rarely do large numbers occur together but due to the fact that vulnerable buildings tend to be repeatedly attacked, quite severe damage can occur over several seasons.
Modern houses are not immune either. Small gaps left in otherwise sound mortar may be colonised. Although this is not a problem from a structural point of view, some householders are distressed by such activity.