Saturday, July 27, 2013

Leafcutter bee - Megachile - Mégachile

This morning has been quite exciting for bees. We've confirmed that there are at least two bees in the B. impatiens hive (no photographs yet), and I've discovered that my bee solitary bee houses are being put to use.

I can confirm only that it's a leafcutter bee (fr: mégachile), genus Megachile. Unfortunately, I'm not able to pinpoint the exact species any more precisely, as I'm not a specialist in the leafcutter bees. Nevertheless, I can provide a photograph of a nest cell, and of the leafcutter bee. Enjoy!

Occupied Megachile nest cell, with distinctive cut leaves

As I understand it leafcutter bees favour the leaves from roses or lilacs for their nest cells. I think that the leaves here must have come from the lilac tree, which is within six feet of this nest cell (there are no roses nearby).

Megachile - leafcutter bee on mustard flower
I was very pleased to get such a clear photo of this bee. She's got the distinctive colour and stripe pattern of a leafcutter bee, as well as the distinctive outward resting position of the wings. Unfortunately I don't know encough about leafcutter bees to be able to identify what species she is. I don't know if this is the same one who built the nest cell photographed above, but I do know it's the same genus of bee, at least.

It's a beautiful day to be out in the garden.

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