The library is excited to welcome a new pollinator to our raised bed gardens. You will notice that the raised bed gardens are abuzz with bees. These busy bees are leafcutter bees and considered a non-aggressive or a “kind” solitary species of bee.
The name leafcutter is really a nickname for these gentle bees. Their nickname explains exactly what they do: they cut leaves! The female leafcutter bee is responsible for building a “nursery” for her little larvae. Megachile Rotundata is their scientific name. They are a part of the Megachilidae family that contains nearly 600 species found in North America.
The next time you visit the library be sure to check out the Pollinator Garden, pick a zinnia and say hello to the bees.
Here are more fun facts and information about these bees from https://kindbeefarms.com/blog/
- Leafcutter bees are super pollinators. It takes one leafcutter bee to pollinate an equivalent of 20 honey bees.
- These bees love the sun! If it is not sunny out the bees hide in their tunnels or hang out by their houses.
- They carry pollen under their bellies.
- They never share a hole.
- Male leafcutter bees only live 10-14 days. they hatch first.
- Males have green eyes.
- Females lifespan is about 60 days.
- Females hatch later and have a darker body with black eyes.
- The female bees cut out perfectly crescent-shaped pieces of leaves to create the perfect cocoon for their bee babies.
- Cocoons are capped off with a perfectly circular piece of leaf.
- Leafcutter bees do not have a “Queen” bee and do not produce honey.
NOTE OF CAUTION
Unlike other bees, wasps, and hornets, leafcutter bees won’t become aggressive when you approach their nesting sites, and they will really only sting when handled. The sting is described as much less painful than the sting of a wasp, hornet, or honeybee. However, if you have had an allergic reaction to bee stings please use caution when visiting the gardens and seek appropriate medical attention if you become stung.