Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Leaf Cutter Bee



Jan, from Always Growing, identified this leaf cutter bee for me. Thank you, Jan!

Here are a few interesting facts about the leaf cutter bee. It cuts circles or ovals from leaves and uses them to build nest cells. It then fills the cells with pollen and nectar, lays the eggs and then closes the cell with another leaf. It is a non-aggressive bee with just a mild sting. Rather than being a part of a colony, the leaf cutter is a solitary bee.

I'm really glad that it isn't aggressive since it is obviously nesting in the patio wall.

27 comments:

Cindy said...

What an amazing photograph! I have never heard of these bees before. Very interesting- thanks for sharing.

Kylee said...

As I mentioned in my other comment, these bees love our rose leaves and I actually saw one at work. It was awesome.
Check your foliage and I'll bet you'll notice where they've been!

ourfriendben said...

Very cool, Robin! I love the photo of it heading for home.

NCmountainwoman said...

I haven't heard of a Leaf Cutter Bee and was totally unaware that any bee lives outside a colony.

Great shot and a stimulus for a little research.

Jessica said...

WOW!! Fantastic picture!! I bet you are having so much fun with the new camera:)

Jan said...

These little bees have really done a number on our redbud tree. Usually it is just the iceberg rose leaves they use, but not this year. It doesn't really bother me though because it is just fascinating that they cut out those perfect circles.

Jan
Always Growing

Roses and Lilacs said...

You have wonderful macro shots of insects!!!

I have the leaf cutters too. Have to smile when I see a rose bush they have been working on--like green swiss cheese;)

I am really enjoying your photos. I'll come back often to see more.
Marnie

Debbie said...

Robin this is an amazing photo. You really capture insets at thier best.

Robin's Nesting Place said...

Thank you all for stopping by and leaving a comment.

Cindy, I had never heard of them before either. I love learning and discovering things like this.

Kylee, thank you so much for your recent comments. I know what you mean about being busy. I'm very sorry that you lost your job too.

ourfriendben, I thought it was cool too. It looked like a bee on a flying carpet to me.

It was news to me too, NCmountainwoman.

Jessica, I am having fun with the camera. I couldn't believe the shot actually turned out.

Jan, I haven't noticed yet where they are cutting the leaves. I'll have to remember to pay attention to the leaves.

Thank you, Marnie. Please do come back and visit again!

Debbie, thank you.

Naturegirl said...

Very interesting Robin I will watch for one around my garden!!

Connie said...

Interesting post and your capture of the bee is excellent.

Sunita said...

Robin, what an amazing blog!
I'm so downright envious of your photography skills that I'm beyond green with envy. I wish you would give us photographically-challenged souls a few tips.
Guess what, we have those leafcutter bees here in India too. And leafcutter wasps, and leafcutter ants and leafcutter kids ... : )

MyGardenTravels said...

Hi Robin, I'm so glad I found your blog though another link. I also like photography. Your macro pics are great, and I especially like the one of the bee on the Echinacea from your last post. You should have it framed.

Diana said...

Robin - So sorry to hear about your husband's job situation -- you're in my thoughts. I must say your pictures with the new camera are stunning. We just got back from 5 days in Indiana and after downloading my pictures, I see several are out of focus or too dark and I think it's time I upgrade my little point and shoot to a nice model. Using my husband's really good camera seems to get me in trouble (I forget to put lens caps back on, etc.). So, I am going to get a nice camera of my own. I am starting to see more butterflies lately, too, even though it's been super hot here.

Granny Susan said...

Robin, the picture of the Leaf Cutter Bee is fantastic, and he is a new one to me. I'm thankful his sting is mild. :)

Love ya!
Susan

Nancy J. Bond said...

It's a leaf cutter bee that's been munching on my pepper plants, but after some reassurance from Jodi at bloomingwriter that it won't harm the plant, he's welcome to stay. :) Great shot!

Anonymous said...

This is the best photograph I've seen on your blog. Very Nature magazine quality. They are all just wonderful photos though. Keep up the good work.
Robin in Portland OR

walk2write said...

I'm very sorry to hear about your family's misfortune. Whenever trouble comes my way, I hold onto promises like "A bruised reed He will not break" and "He cares for those who trust in Him." Thanks for the wonderful bee picture. It's priceless!

Phil The Gardener said...

Hi
I am new to your site so I don't know where you live. I used to live in eastern Washington State and the leaf cutter bees are very necessary to their alfalfa hay seed production. An interesting tidbit is that the leaf cutter bees are better pollinators of alfalfa than honeybees. They dig right in and let the alfalfa bloom smack them in the face and the honeybee doesn't like the face full of pollen so they sidle in and gather the alfalfa nectar without tripping the bloom.

Marci said...

Wow.. Wow.. WOW.... What great pictures!!

~~ Melissa said...

What a great photo. Someone at my blog sent me over here because I posted a photo of one today too but also didn't know what type of bee it was. I think it's the same. Though mine is carrying some sort of plant stem and, there was definitely more than one bee nesting at my site. Hmmm! I'd be very happy to know it is indeed rather harmless and beneficial to the garden.

Rhonda said...

This is just the coolest photo! I probably have those swarming in the garden, but I'm too irritated by the Japanese Beetles to notice.

Rhonda said...
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Katie said...

What an amazing photo! I'd expect no less from you Robin.... :0)

Barbee' said...

Robin, I wrote a post about bees titled "Cracked Teapots". It published Sunday (yesterday). Now, I have a follow up post that is scheduled to publish Thursday morning. Within it I made reference to this post of yours and made a link. I hope that was ok.

Kerri said...

What an amazing photo, Robin! You have a new camera? What kind is it? I'm way out of touch, aren't I? Do you find yourself spending way too much time taking photos when you should be working in the garden? I do :)
Well, must get back to work.....enjoy your garden!

Jan said...

Robin, I have finally seen my own little leafcutter bee and have done a post on it. I have linked to your blog's post because your photo was better than what I could get. Amazing how both of ours were not nesting in a plant like the experts say they do.

Jan
Always Growing