Friday, June 20, 2008
The Leaf Cutter Bee
LEAF CUTTER BEE
Most Bees are called “Solitary Bees” because They live in individual nests. One such Bee is Leaf Cutter Bee, who lives independently of other Bees. However, She does build her nest close to other “Solitary Bees”–Mason Bees and other Leaf Cutter Bees. Together, They share a large area as their combined territory.
This hardy Bee is the first Bee seen in the early spring. While Honey Bees are still home inside their hives, Leaf Cutter Bee is busily gathering pollen. Because this fuzzy, hairy Bee emerges so early, many gardeners install special nest boxes to encourage Her to live in their gardens. Along with her Friends, She actively pollinates flowers while gathering nectar. Leaf Cutter Bee stores this nectar in her “honey stomach”, an extension of her gut. Later, She disgorges her nectar that She had gathered as food for her Young.
Quickly, Leaf Cutter Bee darts to a suitable tree, and within two minutes, selects a leaf, cuts a hole out, and then quietly departs. With her powerful, scissor-like jaws, Leaf Cutter Bee cuts leaves into tiny pieces for her nest. Each cell of her nest is made with 15 to 20 pieces of leaves. She uses the oval leaf pieces for the walls, and the round ones for the nest partitions. After filling that nest cell with nectar, Leaf Cutter Bee lays her egg, and then seals the cell. To ensure that the nest will survive the winter, She cements the leaves together with her saliva. Because her nest is covered with leaves, it is not as easy to see as Honey Bee’s nest.
Leaf Cutter Bee is particular about what leaves She uses for her nest. She prefers soft, pliable leaves from roses for constructing her nest. Leaf Cutter Bee builds with such precision that you can count the exact number of leaves in her nest. Learn craftsmanship from Leaf Cutter Bee and build a quality product that lasts.
Leaf Cutter Bee’s Wisdom Includes:
Being Fast and Stealthy
Constructing a Home
Living Side by Side With Others
Copyright: Virginia Carper, Animal Teachers 2008
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