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What do Leafcutter Bees Look Like?

Leafcutter bees are found across North America and are used around the world for alfalfa pollination. Honey bees do not efficiently pollinate alfalfa due to a spring-loaded pistil mechanism found in the alfalfa flower, which they avoid. The small leafcutter bee effectively pollinates by “tripping” the pistil and is therefore responsible for creating a majority of the food for pigs and dairy cows. They are an equally gentle generalist bee that will visit a majority of types of flowers in your backyard during their flying months of July and August including your flowering vegetable garden. As their name suggests, leafcutter bees use leaf pieces, which they cut using their mouthparts, to construct their nests.

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