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Leaf Cutting Bee (Megachile sp.)

A Leaf Cutting Bee (Megachile sp.) gathering pollen on a Nerve-Ray (Tetragonotheca ludoviciana) flower.


Might want to take a peek at this one large.


Leafcutter bees are solitary bees, meaning that they don't produce colonies as do social insects (honeybees, yellowjackets, ants, etc.). Instead, individual female leafcutter bees do all the work of rearing. This includes digging out nesting areas, creating nest cells and providing their young with food. They use cut leaf fragments to construct their nest cells. Adult females may live up to two months and lay some 35 to 40 eggs during this time.


Leafcutter bees do not eat the cut pieces of leaves that they remove. Instead, they carry them back to the nest and use them to fashion nest cells within the previously constructed tunnels. Then they provision each leaf-lined cell with a mixture of nectar and pollen.


Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 DG APO Macro mounted on a Canon Xti.

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Taken on August 9, 2008