The Gentle and Garden-Pollinating Leafcutting Bees

The lucerne leafcutting  bee became a hero in New Zealand after being introduced from North America in 1971 to help pollinate the lucerne flowers for the production of seed.

Its gentle nature and efficient pollination make it ideal for late summer vegetables and flowers. The leafcutter bee is solitary and gregarious. This means the females will nest very close together, one of the main characteristics for managed pollinators. This busy, small bee is a great summer garden addition. The leafcutter bee is a productive pollinator for summer gardens and flowers. The female carries pollen on the underside of her hairy abdomen, and then scrapes the pollen off within her nesting hole. Because the pollen is carried dry on her hair, it falls off easily as she moves among flowers. This results in significantly more pollinated flowers than her cousin, the honey bee, who wets the pollen so it sticks to the legs during transport to the hive. To Learn more about this important pollinator...                                               The lucerne leafcutting bee in New Zealand. By Barry Donovan (Donovan Scientific Insect Research)