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UK Nature > Bees > Megachile willughbiella
Scientific Name: Megachile willughbiella
Common Name: Leaf-cutter Bee
Megachile willughbiella, more commonly known as a Leaf-cutter Bee, is a small, solitary, leaf cutting bee. Leaf-cutter Bees nest in holes in plant stems, dead wood, cliffs or old walls, and can be seen in gardens. They famously cut discs out of leaves (they particularly like roses), gluing them together with saliva in order to build the 'cells' in which their larvae live. The larvae hatch and develop, pupating in autumn and hibernating over winter.
The Leaf-cutter Bee is on the wing from April to August, and feeds solely on pollen and nectar; it looks like a Honey Bee but the underside of its abdomen is orange. It is best recognised by its habit of carrying pieces of leaf back to its nest; semi-circular holes in the leaves of garden plants also denote its presence. There are various species of leaf-cutter bee in Britain, which can be difficult to tell apart. Widespread in the UK, although less common in the north.
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