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Leaf-cutting bees (genre Megachilid) enjoy a very different lifestyle compared to the more familiar honeybee. Whereas honeybees form colonies for the collective benefit of the hive leaf-cutting bees live solitary lives. Their lives begin within the safe confines of a cell formed by their mother by wrapping leaves within a hollowed-out section of rotting wood or soft plant matter (such as the thick stem of a non-woody plant). After depositing a single egg within a prepared cell the mother leaf-cutting bee then seals the cell with a pollen/nectar mix which will form the food supply for the growing grub. The young leaf-cutting bee will grow safe within it’s cell right through winter to then emerge in late spring. Male leaf-cutter bees will die shortly after mating while females will continue to live for several more weeks as they labor to prepare and provision egg cells for the following year’s generation of leaf-cutting bees.
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