- adults: 1/5 inch – 1 inch; mostly small bees
- some resemble small honey bees (black and yellow)
- carry pollen on the underside of their abdomen
- important native pollinators
Host Plants, Diet & Damage
- rose; lilac; Virginia creeper; ash; any broadleaf, deciduous plants
- nectar and pollen
- cut and remove 1/4 inch – 1/2 inch ovoid chunks of leaf tissue from leaf margin
- may sting, but sting is mild; non-aggressive
- damage is aesthetic, not a threat to plant health
Biology, Life Cycle & Damaging Life Stage
- overwinter as larvae within cells created by the parent bee
- active in late-June and July
- one generation per year
- solitary; they do not make large nests like honey bees
- nests typically consist of less than 12 cells
- nest in the soil, in wood or in hollow plant stems
- leaf pieces are used to construct cells within the nest
- queen provisions larvae with pollen-nectar balls within individual cells
- adult bees are the damaging stage
- Damage is aesthetic; tolerate leafcutting bees.
- Leafcutter bees are important native pollinators and should be preserved, if possible.
- Reduce/eliminate nesting habitat by sealing holes in wood.
- Use cheesecloth to exclude bees from individual plants.