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I have been interested in nature for most of my life but since I retired I spend as much time as I can exploring the nature reserves and wildlife hotspots of my adopted home, Dorset in southern England. Whilst out I record what I see and take snaps where I can (I am no photographer!) and that forms the basis of my Nature of Dorset website. When I find something new I like to research it and write about it in my nature notes, it is how I learn and hopefully you might find my notes helpful as well!

This website is for the people of Dorset interested in wildlife and for people from elsewhere interested in the wildlife of Dorset!

30 November, 2015

Megachile centuncularis: the patchwork leaf-cutter bee

Leaf-cutter by name because a leaf cutter by nature. Leaf-cutter bees cut pieces out of leaves, often rose leaves in gardens, to make cells in their nests in to which they lay their eggs. They nest in crevices above ground, often in decaying wood and old walls, sometimes in garden canes. 
There are six species of leaf-cutter bee in the British Isles and this one, the patchwork leaf-cutter (Megachile centuncularis), is a southern species and the one of the most encountered as it does have a liking for gardens and your best roses. However, it is such a fascinating and entertaining little creature I think you would have to forgive it for any limited damage it might do. They use leaves for nesting but visit brambles and thistles for food.
Just under half an inch long they can be seen from late May through until August by which time their work is done and their larvae are snug inside their leafy nests until

Read more: Megachile centuncularis: the patchwork leaf-cutter bee