Leaf cutter solitary bee building its nest-video

August 10, 2014

in A selection of my garden wildlife videos, Gardening For Wildlife, Red mason solitary bees, Solitary Bee Observation Box

Leaf cutter bee making nests inside Nurturing Nature’s observation box

Probably Megachile centuncularis, also known as the patchwork leaf cutter bee, seen here living up to its name. The video shows how much time and effect is needed by these bees to fulfill the requirements needed for their offspring to survive for many months inside their cavities.

Probably a Willughby’s leafcutter bee (Megachile Willughbiella)

Leafcutter bee at rest with her handiwork under her body


With the big UK decline of honey bees these little known pollinators need our help as much as we need theirs. Getting the message out there, enhancing our gardens to be ‘bee friendly’ and enticing wild bees to nest is more important than ever.


Leaf cutter bee larva inside its leaf cell Nurturing Nature

Hopefully next years leaf cutter bee!

 Read more detailed information about leaf cutters here

“All my articles and videos, available free, are funded by my  teaching and sales of award winning bumblebee nest boxessolitary bee boxes,  and wormeries. Please help by spreading the word and forwarding this link to your friends and colleagues. http://nurturing-nature.co.uk  Thank you” George Pilkington For more information about bees and wasps…Bees Wasps and Ants Recording Society  BWARS

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Marian August 10, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Amazing George. I’ve had so much success this year with leaf cutters in all the boxes. One of your towers is almost full., along with the old bee boxes. We have enjoyed many an hour or so watching these wonderful bees. The speed they cut the leaf is amazing. Almost all my rose bushes have neat cutouts but their favourites have been lavertera these plants have hardly any leaves left but still plenty of flowers!!
When should the boxes be taken in to overwinter George?? Don’t want the boxes to get waterlogged.


nurturingnature August 15, 2014 at 6:45 pm

Hi Marian, Can you send me a photo of one of mine please? I may start compiling a customer album and comments….!!
Take them in as soon as the activity has stopped. I will email you shortly. Cheers, George


Kit Welchman August 11, 2014 at 7:46 am

Thanks George,
Beautiful video!
I had always thought that the bees just ate the leaves into those shapes.
best wishes


nurturingnature August 15, 2014 at 6:43 pm

Thanks kit. The kids I taught in Liverpool called them the ‘cigar’ bees! Cheerio for now, George


Africa Gomez September 3, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Hi George,
My leaf-cutters also started a couple of nests in your bee hotel, I noticed for the first time in mid August. I’ll check again and see how far they went


nurturingnature September 4, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Thanks for letting me know Africa. Hope n parasitoid wasps get them….Cheers, George


jayne July 18, 2016 at 8:55 pm

I have just looked on this web site has today we saw a leafcutter bee (didn’t know what it was until looking on here ) was fascinating. Watching her going away and coming back with yellow privet leafs and made her nest in my garden bench was great to watch


nurturingnature July 19, 2016 at 10:04 pm

Thanks for sharing Jayne. Cheers, George


John Greeves June 22, 2017 at 9:38 pm

I saw my first leaf cutting bees today. It had a piece of leaf the length of its body and had come to rest on an old frost damaged pot which had a rather neglected herb in it. The weather had been hot,warmest day for 40 years. The soil around the inside rim seemed to have shrunk and down this cavity the bee disappeared after a lengthy rest..
Hoping to see it in action again.Should I avoid watering the plant pot now it has an occupant?


nurturingnature June 23, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Are there plants in the pot? If so water them but try to keep main water say from side you saw bee. Use a fine roses watering can hth cheers George


Michael Powis July 5, 2017 at 4:55 pm

Hi i was sat in the garden this afternoon and noticed a flying insect going into one of the cross struts on my rotary washing line, fascinated i moved closer and waited for the insect to return and saw it with a leaf under it’s belly, it was great to see, i had seen one once before years ago, i will keep my eye out to see if it returns next year.


nurturingnature July 7, 2017 at 6:11 am

Your leafcutter will not return next year, she only lives a few short weeks, leaving her offspring to continue her line next year.Cheers, George


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