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Talkback: Leafcutter bees

I was so pleased to see your blog, have obviously had leafcutter bees, but I didnt know!


  • I too love seeing leaf cutter and other solitary bees, though I have only seen one female and no cut leaves in my garden in Northumberland this year. I presume that their poor showing was because of the wet weather. Last summer I saw at least a couple of females on many occaions between early June and the middle of August. They nested in bundles of hollow stems that I placed tightly inside open-ended plastic juice bottles hung beside the house walls - dry and warm on the bricks. Hopefully they will return next summer!
  • Leaf cutter bees. I bought a bee box last year and set it up near a rose bush. They certainly used it and all the little holes were soon filled up with little swirls of rolled up leaf. The rose looked very pretty with its lacy leaves and didn't suffer.
  • I agree with you Pippa, I think leaf cutter bees are marvellous! I have a bee box and was thrilled a few years ago when leafcutters used it for their larvae.

    All solitary bees are welcome here and I have several bee boxes around the garden. Bee boxes can be bought or are very easy to make from eight inch lengths of hollow bamboo or similar material held together with string and tied in a sunny spot in your garden.

    Other ways you can help the solitary bees in your garden is by providing nectar rich flowers and, in the case of the wool carder bee, hairy plants such as stachys and lychnis. They will reward you with hours of enjoyment as you watch them in return. :)
  • This Spring my husband made an insect retreat by packing an old American Postbox with pieces of garden cane and egg cartons. We were delighted when less than a week later, leaf cutter bees were packing the canes with their offspring. There were several holes in nearby foliage and we watched as they were made into mini-doors to make the contents cosy. Will be watching carefully in the Spring and hope to see some bees emerge.
  • As a wildlife cameraman who worked on the BBC David Attenborough's 'The Private Life Of Plants' Series, and 'The Secret Garden' I'm fascinated by the wildlife living in our gardens.
    I've got a blog with some of my wildlife images, one being the larva inside a leaf-cutter bee chamber.
    Please see
    I sealed up the bamboo housing around the chambers so the remaining larva should survive and emerge next year
  • I loved your blog, Neil. Great photos.
  • Now I know what or should I say who did it! Saw the evidence in my mums garden but didn't know what had done it. Thanks for the info.
  • we have leaf cutter bees every year in our garden they use the wooden bee box we have each year and we have witnessed a couple of new bees emerging from their nests round about june time
  • Just disrupted a leafcutter nest in a pot of cucumber plants in the greenhouse. Didn't know what the handful of 'leaves' on the soil was until I disturbed things :-(
    The poor bee was doing her nut, I think there are some snuggles left undisturbed ..... She was using damson leaves.
    July 2nd 09.
  • I love leafcutter bees!
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