Posts Tagged: leafcutter bees
You can't always choose your tenants.
Sometimes they choose you.
Take the case of our two bee condos, which are blocks of wood drilled with holes for native bee occupancy. One, with the smaller holes, is for leafcutter bees (Megachile spp.) The other, with the larger holes, is for blue orchard bees (Osmia lignaria), fondly known as BOBs.
The leafcutter bees were the first to occupy the bee housing. At one time we had 16 leafcutter bees and one earwig.
The blue orchard bee condo now has three tenants: two BOBs and one spider.
The webweaving spider spun its web and then crawled into the hole for the night to wait for morning.
And to wait for unsuspecting prey.
(Like to learn more about bee condos? See the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility website, UC Davis. Native pollinator specialist Robbin Thorp, emeritus professor of entomology at UC Davis, compiled the list of resources.)
Webweaver spun a web and then crawled into the mason bee condo to occupy a hole. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Close-up of webweaving spider occupying space in the bee condo. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
That's how many tenants are occupying our wooden bee block, aka "bee condo."
It's "home, sweet home" for leafcutting bees (Megachile spp.).
Daily we see these native bees tear holes in leaves (red bud, rose, catmint, gold coin, rock purslane and nectarine) and gather the fragments to line their nests.
Folks who grow prize-winning roses--the kind that win blue ribbons at county fairs and rose shows--aren't fond of these little critters, but we are.
Especially when we see two leafcutters at the bee condo at the same time...
Two leafcutting bees (Megachile spp.) at their bee condo. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Leafcutter bee sipping nectar from a rock purslane. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)