Red Mason bee, Osmia bicornis, Osmia leaiana cocoons and a leafcutter bee cell to compare
Lined next to each other for comparison, with the pesto bee! Osmia leaiana cocoon left inside its cell in situ and the other two added.
As with other solitary bee cocoons, usually the female is larger than a male, depending upon food availability. This leafcutter was still in the process of spinning its cocoon
A very delicate stage in their life and handling very gently is recommended as the leafcutter bee spins its cocoon inside the leafen cell!
All three bees nested in my Nurturing Nature nest boxes. The leafcutter bee is still inside its leafen cell. I did n’t want to disturb it as you can see from the photograph they were still at a delicate stage in their life. It may well be either a M. centuncularis, or the larger Megachile willughbiella both of which have nested in my wildlife garden.
This male slept in the nest box and defended this cavity from other male M. willughbiellas flying past or investigating the remaining cells in search of females.
For info and link to buy an excellent book Field Guide to the Bees of Great Britain and Ireland by Steven Falk
An extremely useful resource supports this book by a special web site feature within Steve Falk’s Flickr web site which furnishes extra photos and other useful resources to assist with identification.
For more information about solitary bees visit BWARS
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