DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR JEREMY BURGESS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
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.
Model release not required. Property release not required.