Leaf-cutter Bees

Megachile species

The presence of leafcutter bees is usually indicated by their distinctive leaf damage. Females cut distinctive oval and circular pieces from soft leaves to make the cells of their nests. Gingers and roses are common plants targeted but they use a wide range of leaves.

Nests are usually built in existing crevices such as window frames or hollow twigs and stems. Sometimes they nest in old garden gloves, sprinklers, hoses and even between the fold of old towels left outside. A few species burrow in the soil.

The cell walls are made of overlapping oval leaf pieces and capped with circular pieces. Cells are placed one in front of other until the cavity is filled. Each cell is filled with pollen for the growing larva.

There are many species of leaf-cutter bees found throughout Australia and the world.
 Leaf-cutter bees snip regular-shaped pieces from soft leaves and use them to make their nest cells. Oblong pieces are used to make the sides of a cell and round pieces are used to cap them.Leaf-cutter bees snip regular-shaped pieces from soft leaves and use
them to make their nest cells. Oblong pieces are used to make the
sides of a cell and round pieces are used to cap them.

A female leaf-cutter bee, Megachile sp. A female leaf-cutter bee, Megachile sp. The cigar-like nest of a leaf-cutter bee removed from in fold in a curtain. This nest is composed of several individual cells staked end on end. The cigar-like nest of a leaf-cutter bee removed from a fold in a curtain.
This nest is composed of several individual cells staked end on end.

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