What is it and what are the damages caused by the leaf cutter bee?

Damage caused by the leafcutter bee

Bees are one of the most beneficial insects that a garden, orchard or even a patio with plants can have. Without them, flowers would not pollinate, and therefore species would become extinct at an alarming rate. They are so necessary that if one day they disappeared, humanity would have a very serious problem. However, there are some that are a little harmful to plant beings, and they are the Megachile centuncularis.

This scientific name probably doesn't sound like anything to you, but what if I told you it's the one for the leaf-cutting bee? Things change, right? This is a »friend» who can make our beloved plants ugly.

What is the leaf cutter bee?

It is a Flying insect known by the common names of leaf saw bee, rose bush bee or leaf cutter bee belonging to the order Hymenoptera, which means they are related to wasps and ants. It is very reminiscent of the domestic bee (apis melifera), but it differs from it mainly by its behavior (it tends to live more alone, and not in groups like the Apis) and of course by the damage it causes.

What are the symptoms / damage it causes to plants?

The female leaf-cutter bee will make her nest near the plant, either on the ground, on the wall, in a hole in the stem or trunk itself, or even in pots. The nests will have a cylindrical shape, and in them, in addition to their larvae, they will have the provisions for them. Said food, certainly, are pieces of leaves that it cuts with its jaws in a moment.

Although it may seem otherwise, the damage to the plant is more aesthetic than anything else. As the bee curiously leaves the central nerve intact, the plant being usually recovers well. In addition, these insects are very good pollinators, since they feed on the nectar of flowers.

How is it treated?

If after all you would like to do something to repel it, you can fill a small container without a lid with bitter almond oil, or place dishes with water and sugar, maple syrup or banana peels away from your plants.

Specimen of the leaf cutter bee

I hope this article has been useful to you 🙂.

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