Leafcutting bees in the garden


Look at those circular holes cut out along the edges of the rose leaves. Unmistakable evidence that we have leafcutting bees nesting nearby in the backyard!

Megachile Latreille: Leafcutting bees construct their nests in hollow stems or holes in trees. The cells they create for their eggs are formed by neatly cut pieces of leaves ( see photo above) or petals.

Some years ago I actually observed a leafcutting bee at work, cutting neat circles out of the edges of the leaf of a wildflower. It worked systematically, and quite fast, until it flew away with several pieces to its nest.

I'd love to see one in action again. Hopefully soon...

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