Lazy J Bar C

Lazy J Bar C

Monday, April 30, 2012

Leafcutter Bees


When I was watering the garden yesterday, I noticed that some of the leaves on the snow pea plants had half-moon-shaped pieces out of them.


I knew right off that the Leafcutter bees were building their nests! I worked in the nursery at our local Ace Hardware for a couple of years and every year about this time, new people to our area would start bringing in plants with similar looking leaves. They always wanted to know what was causing this and when we would tell them, they wanted to know what they could do to kill the bees or make them stop. We would tell them that the bees were just building their nests and they would quit "cutting" the leaves in a week or two.


They usually cut my roses or the fruit trees, this is the first year I've seen them on the snow peas. It doesn't hurt the plant and heaven knows, we need all the bees we can get!


They got both sides of this leaf! It was fun to be able to grab my camera and take pictures of them hard at work! :)


In this picture, you can see the cut leaf just above the bee and the piece is grasped in it's legs as it prepares to take it off to the nest! You can read an article about them here.

Linking up with Heidi for The Country Garden Showcase and Lisa for Macro Monday.

19 comments:

Michaele said...

So - leaf cutter bees aren't bad? Good to hear. Now I will know what to look for and maybe my goats won't get blamed for everything. hehe

Kathy Felsted Usher said...

That's so cool! I would have thought I had terrible pests, thanks, just in case I ever see these guys.

Clint Baker said...

They sure do make things look like Swiss cheese!

RiverBend Farm said...

Well, thanks for that tidbit of info. I never dreamed anything that cut green leaves would be good. I'm noticing a lot of ladybugs around the orchard this year. The weather affects so many things.

dr momi said...

Well....I learned something today. Thanks. I wonder if we have them up north here? I've seen leaves cut like that.......

Jan said...

We don't have those, here. It's always good to learn new things.

TexWisGirl said...

so cute. glad they're not harming the plants. :)

LindaG said...

Well, thanks for this informative post! Good to know they are nothing more than a temporary pest. :o)

Jennifer said...

Pretty cool. I never knew this. Now if we see this moon shape cut on our garden plants I'll know what it is & my honey cant blame my animals ;)

Alica said...

I never heard of these bees...interesting!

edenhills said...

Never heard of them before~cool pictures!

Pat said...

Great shots. What amazing little creatures!

Susan said...

It's a good thing you were able to stop unnecessary bee-killing! Those are just amazing pictures - I had never heard of them before. Fascinating!

Heidi said...

Thank you Candy for sharing such something so helpful for the garden. I do not know whether or not we have them here, but I have not noticed the half moon cutout pattern here before. i am going to have to pay closer attention to leaf damage in the future.

CrankyPuppy said...

Oh, wow...great pictures and such an interesting little guy. Your post prompted me do some research and we actually do have these here in Missouri, although I've never seen one.

Marie said...

I'm glad you told me about this. I too worry about the bees so much. I'm glad their cutting doesn't hurt the plant because it is so temporary. I feel like I will be able to learn a lot from you!

Nancy said...

I like that you allow the bees to do their thing -- xoxo

Muhammad khabbab said...

Yes these were are also fond of my bauhinia climber and eat their leaves. Your pictures are very good.

Curt said...

It sure does look like they are doing enough damage to my young maple tree that it may not survive their feasting at the salad bar!
Curt