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Leafcutter Bee

Over the past week or so, I have been finding holes in a seed tray of compost (with wildflower seeds) and couldn't understand what was happening. Then last week I noticed a leafcutter bee enter the hole with its leaf. It disappeared into the hole for over a minute then flew off and was back again with another leaf. The process continued - the bee would fly out of the top opened window in the greenhouse, do its work and then return with the leaf through the open door. Clearly, I needed to water the seeds - though I tried to avoid the area with the entrance hole ... a bit silly because the bee would have tunnelled through the compost! The bee soon moved to another tray and the process continued. But I still need to water the seeds. Has the bee abandoned the damp compost or is it using more than 1 tray?
I have found a shallow wooden box and filled it with compost with the idea that I will leave it so that the bee can build its 'nest', undisturbed. 
I don't know about the habits of leafcutter bees and am curious about why it is using the greenhouse seed trays. I wonder if the ground outside is too dry and hard. I took a video of the process and taken a screenshot of it, below.
Any thoughts please? 


  • wild edgeswild edges Posts: 9,893
    I've seen a lot of people on the British Cactus and Succulent forum complain about leaf cutter bees digging into cactus pots to make nests. I always thought they used natural holes but it seems a bit of mining isn't beyond their skills too.
    Tradition is just peer pressure from dead people
  • FireFire Posts: 17,318
    Thanks for sharing
  • Hostafan1Hostafan1 Posts: 34,536
    I've got one in a pot of sempervivums ( gritty compost )
  • Bee witchedBee witched Posts: 1,225
    We've got one in a dowel hole underneath our outside dining table.
    It's lovely to watch it coming and going .... and it seems happy enough for us to sit there.
    There's a few leaf cutter holes in a nearby bay plant in a pot.
    I like to think of the new bee emerging to a fragrant meal.

    Bee x
    Gardener and beekeeper in beautiful Scottish Borders  

    A single bee creates just one twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime
  • FireFire Posts: 17,318
    I used to get leaf cutter bees nesting but have none at all at the moment, which is a bit sad.
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