Megachile versicolor

Megachile versicolor

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The Brown-Footed Leaf-Cutter Bee is a medium-sized bee that's common to Europe. These solitary bees are active from mid-June with the highest population peak in July. These bees build their nests by cutting perfect semi-circles from foliage, carrying cuttings between their legs as they fly to the nesting site. They use the leaf material to build nests for their young, frequently choosing garden habitats for their nesting sites. They collect pollen on their stomachs instead of using pollen baskets, and this is done using a structure known as a pollen brush. The latter makes them extremely efficient, collecting roughly 20x more pollen than your average honeybee.
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Traits

Plants can look less attractive with parts cut out, but this is entirely based on opinion!
The leaf-cutter bee is an important pollinator and is great to observe in the garden.

Appearance

These bees are around 10-12mm in length and have a dark brown-black abdomen. The females possess an orange pollen brush beneath the abdomen. Tip: distinguish M. versicolor from M. centuncularis (patchwork leaf-cutter) by their black-tipped pollen brush.

Symptoms

Leaves have semi-circular holes where the bees have snipped away at them.

Activity

Diurnal

Personality

Order

Hymenoptera

Family

Megachilidae

Metamorphosis

Complete

Distribution

Europe and North America.

Biological treatment

These bees are effective pollinators, bringing benefits to gardens. Encourage these bees to your garden by planting bee-friendly flowers and fruits.

Chemical treatment

It's not suggested to treat gardens for bees, they provide a key ecosystem service that's vital for plant reproduction!

Attracts this pest

Nectar-rich flowers and fruit trees.
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Knowledge and advice

Search our ever-growing knowledge base to find plants and information. Find out about pests and diseases you should be keeping an eye out for. Watch How to videos or follow step by step guides for tasks in the garden. Free download for your phone or tablet.
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