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Pest Information

Leafcutting Bees

Leafcutting Bees

  • Latin Name: Megachilidae
  • Common Name: Leafcutting Bees
  • Latin Family Name: Megachilidae
  • Other Names: N/A

Pest Details

Leafcutting Bees
Leafcutting Bees
Leafcutting Bees
Leafcutting Bees

Origin:

A number of native species of these beneficial bees occur throughout North America.

Biology:

Leaf-cutting bees are solitary bees that create small tubes, made from circular sections of leaves, for their larvae to live in. Evidence of the bees will be leaves on plants with numerous circular sections cut from their margins, as well as the small tubes tucked into many holes or crevices. They are excellent pollinators, their activity on plants does not harm the plant, and they are unlikely to sting without serious provocation. Holes in wood siding or stucco that contain the leaf tubes were not created by the bee, but already were present and discovered by the bee in its search for suitable places for its larvae. Occasionally they will scoop out rotted or softened wood to create the chamber, or simply place the leaf tube on window ledges, under siding or roof materials, along fence junctions, or any other convenient crevice. The larvae feed on a paste of pollen and honey provided by the female.

Identification:

Leaf-cutting bees come in two distinct forms. Several species are about the size of honeybees and are a shiny dark blue or blue-green, while others are about half this size and are dark gray with light stripes around their abdomen. The larval tubes are about 3/8 inch in diameter, and each cell is only about a half inch long or less, but a number of cells are connected together to create tubes that may be 2 inches long.

Characteristicts Important to Control:

There is no need to control these beneficial and relatively harmless bees. If the placement of the leaf tubes is undesirable then the available holes and crevices can be filled or sealed.

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