4954 N. Shamrock Place, Tucson, AZ 85705

Leafcutter Bee

Family Megachilidae

Leafcutter Bee

Life Cycle

Complete Metamorphosis
Leafcutters are solitary bees where the female takes care of all the work unlike the behavior of colony bees that are assigned a role per caste.  The female lays 35-40 eggs at a time inside nests created from leaves.  They are filled with nectar and pollen for the larva to feed once hatched.  Pupation occurs over the winter with the adults beginning to emerge in spring and living up to two months.

Helpful Hints

  • Cover plants with loose netting when leafcutters are found to be active.
  • Remove host plants.
  • Place white glue on tips of recently pruned roses.

Interesting Facts

Velvet ants and certain blister beetles are among the list of predators of the leafcutter bee.


Bee stings can produce different reactions, ranging from temporary pain and discomfort to a severe allergic reaction.

Nesting Sites

They like to “cavity nest.” Meaning they like to make nests in ready-made cavities or in soft rotting wood that can be ‘excavated.’