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Kiss Me and Leafcutter Bees

 
master pollinator
Posts: 142
Location: Ottawa, Ontario, Canada -- Zone 5a
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For the past year, I've seen a little leafcutter bee activity on our property--very exciting!

There are only certain types of leaves they'll use... I think the leaf texture has to be just right for them: not too stiff, not too floppy, not fuzzy, not too veiny, etc. I've heard they really like roses and other plants in the rose family.

Today I found evidence that they also like the plant/flower called "Kiss Me Over the Garden Gate". Here is the young plant with its leafcutter "damage". I'm happy to share :)
leafcutter-bees-at-work.jpg
[Thumbnail for leafcutter-bees-at-work.jpg]
 
pollinator
Posts: 344
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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Thanks. I have a 2 foot maple tree showing the same leaf cuts and was wondering what it was.
 
Heidi Schmidt
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You're welcome. I've read that they sometimes choose maples... I think it depends on what other leaves might be available. At any rate, the damage is minimal.

Last summer I was digging a little in my garden, and turned up a couple of the leaf structures they make to house their babies (the larval stage). Amazing structures. It's hard to believe an insect makes them. Take a moment on Google if you haven't seen a picture before--they're like perfect little leafy green cannisters. :)
 
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Location: USDA Zone 8a
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Heidi, thanks for sharing how amazing leaf-cutter bees are.





https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megachilidae

Here are a couple of threads about them:

https://permies.com/t/62501/Mason-leaf-cutter-bees-questions

https://permies.com/t/48947/Leaf-Cutter-Bees-Preferred-Hole





https://crownbees.com/leafcutter-bees-leafguardian.html



 
Heidi Schmidt
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Thanks for posting those pictures, Anne :) A couple of weeks ago, I had the good fortune to see a leafcutter bee fly by with a leaf piece in his mouth (my first time seeing that!) It's amazing to me that someone could capture it on camera since it feels like a rare event :)
 
Anne Miller
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I tried to find this thread earlier though it didn't come up in the search.

This one was builting its nest in a patio door:



https://permies.com/t/1866/leafcutter-bees
 
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