Leaf Cutting Bee

joandaugh(Z5 Chicago)July 11, 2005

Yesterday I watched a bee-looking insect carry off a piece of leaf from a small volunteer tree (right before I snipped the tree). It wrapped its legs around a piece that had been cut and flew off. It was so cool! I've tried to find info online about leaf cutting bees but haven't found much. There were smooth rounded circles cut out of these leaves. The insect was kind of black and light orange striped. Does anybody know more about these? I hope they're not bad for the other plants.

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They like one of my rose bushes best. it is so weird to see these perfectly round pieces cut out of the leaves. Kind of cool. I have had them for years to no ill effect.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 10:21AM
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petrowizard(z5a NE IL)

They are new to me this year. I haven't seen the bees, just the cuts. I did some searching and found they are actually considered beneficial as pollinators. The damage is considered of no consequence, although one of our roses is really chewed up.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 4:17PM
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artesianhill(Z3 WISC)

Yesterday, I had the great experience of watching up close and actually hearing the bee cutting off a round-oval piece of leaf edge while sitting on a log in the woods. It was a small green, albeit tasty looking to him, some type of bush next to my log. Off he flew with it and came back about every 5 minutes and sliced and diced another hunk of leaf and flew away. Looking him up, he is called the " Leaf Cutting Bee". Mine was gold and black striped and resembled a miniature bumble. There are many different looking types. Just type in 'leaf cutting bee' and lots of websites come up. They are great pollinators and do no harm. It says they can out pollinate honey bees!

    Bookmark   July 16, 2005 at 6:44PM
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