Leaf Cutter Cuckoo Bee

Leaf Cutter Cuckoo Bees, Vancouver Island, photo by Steve Buchee.
Leaf Cutter Cuckoo Bees, Vancouver Island, photo by Steve Buckee.

The leaf cutter cuckoo bee is pretty big, they can be found throughout the world. The family consists of 1100 species worldwide with more than 200 bees in the pacific northwest alone. They are solitary bees and nest alone, each of the females build their own nests, some do this in areas where they will have no neighbors while others like to nest in groups, some will even share entrances. this makes it look like they have a communal nest but each individual still has their own nest.

Leaf Cutting bees of the Megachilidae family get their name because they will cut circles out of leaves to line their nests with. You can be found from the temperate to the tropical regions.

Leaf-cutting bees (genus Megachile) get their name because females of many leaf-cutting bee species line their nests with leaf circles that they cut from plants There are approximately 1,100 species of leaf-cutting bees, and they are found all around the world in both temperate and tropical regions. Approximately 40 species are found in the Pacific Northwest.

Once the female has chosen a nesting site, she begins to collect bits of leaves to make her nest cells. She will choose thick leaves that are smooth.  She sticks the pieces together by pressing the edges, this forces the plant juice out.  Then she makes a ball of pollen and nectar and lays a single egg on top of it. When the eggs hatch, the larvae eat the pollen and finish developing, then they emerge t do this all over again.

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