The Leaf Cutter Bee can be seen in gardens throughout England, especially around May to August. It has its name ‘Leaf Cutter’ because it cuts semi-circular pieces off the edges of leaves to use in its nest. It especially likes the leaves of rose plants.
The Leaf Cutter Bee is about one centimetre to one and a half centimetres long and has long jaws so it can cut plant leaves. It has a black body that is sparsely covered with little black hairs. The female has dense long red hairs on the underside of her abdomen which are used to collect pollen. The Leaf Cutter Bee has two black antennae and two black eyes. It also has six black legs and two pairs of transparent wings.
Leaf Cutter Bees make their nests in soft rotten wood or in the stems of plants, especially Rose plants. The nest has an entrance tunnel as long as twenty centimetres and little rooms called ‘cells’ lead off this entrance tunnel. The female lays one egg inside each cell and then rolls up a piece of leaf with nectar and pollen and places it inside the cell for the larva to eat when it hatches out of the egg. Lee Cutter Bees are solitary bees because each female constructs an individual cell for herself and provides for the young on her own.