Leafcutter Bees at the Visitor Centre.

The wooden siding of the south wall of the Visitor Centre has a plethora of small knot-holes, splits and cracks, and a few of these have been adopted by Leafcutter Bees (Megachile spp.). It doesn’t take many minutes of watching before one may notice a bee flying toward the VC carrying a large piece of leaf beneath its body between its legs. The bee then squeezes its body and payload through the hole in the wooden siding. They cut leaves using their mandibles; rectangular pieces for the side walls of the cell and circular pieces for the end walls. The cells are then provisioned with a mixture of pollen and nectar for the larva to feed upon.

Advertisements