Leaf-cutter Bee Nest-Building

e6filmusere6filmuser e6filmuserPosts: 2,601Registered Users Major grins

I had been aware of at least two leaf-cutter bees showing interest in the compost of my potted cacti. Mostly, this was on a side where I could not observe exactly what was happening. Moving or turning a pot would disorientate the bee. Then one of the bees chose to show interest in the side of a pot facing me. It was also the pot of one of my most photogenic cacti.

I shot some sequences of the bee landing on the pot and disappearing down its tunnel. It did not carry any pieces of leaf so I suspected that it was finishing off the nest. Then I saw its head appear first. This happens only during egg-laying. Further visits by the bee were with portions of leaf. It was, at last, finishing its work.

These bees fly straight and fast and I was only able to get shots of arrival and not of the approach.

Olympus EM-1 (aperture priority), Olympus 4/3 x2 TC, Olympus 4/3 50mm f2 macro, f9 or f11, hand-held.



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