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Close-up of brood cells of the leaf-cutter bee

Close-up of brood cells of the leaf-cutter bee

Z345/0361

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Credit

DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Leaf cutter bee brood cells. Close-up of the brood cells made by the leaf cutter bee, Megachile. These thimble-shaped structures were constructed by the adult bees from rose leaves as cradles for their young. The bee first constructs a tunnel in rotten material, in this case in the compost of a potted plant. It then cuts off pieces of leaves with its sharp mandibles and takes them back to its tunnel. When it has enough it weaves the leaves into a hollow container. The bee lays one egg into each container with a food pellet of gathered pollen before sealing them. The larva hatches and feeds inside the brood cell before pupating. Adult bees emerge the following year.

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Model release not required. Property release not required.

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