Bzzzz Feed #6: Patchwork Leafcutter Bee

The UK’s leafcutter bees are one piece of our urban wildlife that is really worth celebrating. Their antics seem way more bizarre than we learn to expect from UK wildlife, and yet these incredible little industrious bees are commonly found in back gardens. In fact people probably don’t notice them most of the time because they don’t hang around when cutting and transporting leaves. People are much more likely to notice the holes in the rose leaves that they leave behind if they notice anything. A good south facing bee hotel will invite them into your garden.

(PS. I you have a bee hotel already, we’d love it if you would complete our short online survey to help us uncover the secret lives of UK bee hotels. Thank you: CLICK HERE FOR THE SURVEY)

Where could you see a patchwork leafcutter bee?

These are the leafcutter bee you’re most likely to see in your own garden. There’s no particular area that you are more likely to see them in… these photos were taken in a coastal spot though they’re just as likely to be found inland. Do get yourself a good bee hotel so that you’re inviting them to nest in your garden to really enjoy them close up. They like rose leaves as a nest building material and they forage close to their nests so it shouldn’t be too difficult to make your garden leafcutter bee friendly.

When could I see a patchwork leafcutter bee?

So in 2020 we saw patchwork leafcutter bees in our garden in late May, where as in 2021 we saw them in late September. The books often say mid-June until early September for their flight season however in 2020 May was a hot month and in 2021 September was unseasonably hot.