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Rural Gardening: Leafcutter Bees

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Forum: Rural GardeningReplies: 5, Views: 52
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United Kingdom

July 17, 2010
10:22 AM

Post #7975698

Hi everyone, has anyone any experience of making a house for Leafcutter bees,I have several homes that have been taken up by Mason Bees,but as yet I haven't been able to attract Leafcutters,do they need bigger holes,and what height does the home need to be off the ground?,the ones I have are about 60cm up,on a south facing wall.Any advice would be much appreciated.
Phoenix, AZ

August 26, 2010
4:16 PM

Post #8063887

I am a strong advocate for bees but leafcuters are my least favorite!!!
United Kingdom

August 28, 2010
11:33 AM

Post #8067180

Thank you for your reply meisgreen,This is something I've taken up recently,and so far have had great success,last year I started with two houses,all the Bees emerged so I made some more,I now have four houses almost full of Mason Bees,I was interested in trying to attract Leafcutters,for an added interest.Why are they your least favourite?.

This message was edited Aug 29, 2010 9:10 AM
Phoenix, AZ

August 30, 2010
11:59 AM

Post #8070811

Hi Evie, one reason why: Roses. its hard to keep the roses looking nice with those little guys around. They don't kill them but they do make them look really shabby. I've sat and watched in wonder as they're carried bits & pieces of my roses off with them. I'm sure once the weather gets nice here they'll hibernate and the leaves will be able to grow unadulterated. I'll cut the roses back when I should but we have such nice weather here over the winter that often the roses look better in the winter then summer, when the heat beats them up.

My parents have a whole bunch of these little guys (at least I think they're the same kind of bees) living in a dead tree my father insists on keeping. They've borrowed into this tree (which is upside down in front of the porch. My father has a very unique idea about art.) He loves to see those bees fly in & out of their own little holes.

My yard is full of all types of flowers in need of pollination. And the fact that the bee situation is dire in this country makes be hold back on killing the little guys. They don't bother anything else & there's not a whole lot of them around. In general, I don't worry about killing things unless I absolutely have to (hornworm larvae are out of there & if a roach runs across my path stomping is going to happen).

What I have been thinking about is putting a very small gauge type of net around the roses to keep them off. What do you think? Or maybe I should have a couple of other rose bushes just for the bugs. I do have one just about 10 feet away and for some reason they leave that one alone. Any thoughts?
United Kingdom

August 31, 2010
12:45 PM

Post #8072953

Hi meisgreen,sorry to here they have a go at your Roses:-( ,I really don't know too much about Leafcutter Bees at all,I did see a little video of them on You Tube,and they looked really interesting carrying bits of leaf to the tubes.
They obviously have a preference in the type of leaves they will use,I must admit if I grew Roses I might be a bit miffed if I was seeing holes appearing in them,I used to grow Roses but gave up because they were always under attack from Aphids and every other pest and disease,and as I don't like using chemicals,it seemed a shame to see the Roses in such a sorry state.
The Bee situation is also in a bad way here in the UK,and I try and do things in my garden for Wildlife,that why I started this project with the solitary Bees,and so far I've had great success,I don't know if the fine mesh you mentioned would work,but its worth a try,or like you say plant something that you don't mind them nibbling at.This is one of my Bee homes,these are Mason Bees.

Thumbnail by Evie21
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Phoenix, AZ

August 31, 2010
4:43 PM

Post #8073381

I like that!

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