Leafcutter bees begin to emerge when temperatures are a consistent 75+ degrees for about two weeks. Like all solitary bees, each female finds her own nesting hole and lays all her own babies. This makes them non-aggressive and very friendly little bees. Each female will lay about 30 eggs in her lifetime and will live for about 4-6 weeks. She will construct her nest with tiny pieces of crescent shaped cut leaves or flower petals, which does not harm the plant, and will fly it back to her nest where she will chew it until it becomes pliable and then push it up along the walls of the cavity. She will then lay an egg and place a pollen loaf for her baby before gently wrapping up the leaf chamber and making a cozy little “sleeping bag” for her baby. This process can sometimes take her up to three hours to wrap each baby. The egg will hatch into a larva which will then consume the pollen loaf. Different than a mason bee, leafcutters do not weave a cocoon. They will over-winter in their “sleeping bag” and emerge as an adult bee the following summer.
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