A Mother of a Bee

© Clay Bolt, Megachiloides female, bring leaf cutting to the nest

I was so happy to finally find a nice aggregation of ground-nesting leafcutter bees and it was fitting that I was able to do so on Mother’s Day since many mothers-to-be were hard at work provisioning their nests with carefully (and quickly) cut pieces of leaves to serve as linings for the developmental cells of their young. Project advisor John Ascher suggests Subgenus Megachiloides as the genus with potential species including rubi, integra, and integrella. I need to do a little digging of my own before I lean in one direction of the other. Some candidates include rubi, integra, and integrella.

Moments like this make me oblivious to heat of the day as I become so absorbed in what I’m doing. I was surrounded by male leafcutter bees patrolling circuits and battling one another, parasitic species and the continuous coming and going of females with leaves and pollen loads. As a bonus, I even captured, quite by surprise, the same nest being parasitized by leafcutter cuckoo species (Coelioxys sp).

© Clay Bolt | beautifulbees.org, 2015

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