… they will come! Last October I repaired a bug hotel and nailed it to the back of the garage.I
was prompted to do this because the leaf-cutter bees had been chobbling half-moon chunks out of my Dogwoods.
I realised then that it was too late for that summer’s population to make use of the shelter to lay eggs but I pressed ahead with the project. My patience has been rewarded! Eight of the bamboo canes have fresh segments of leaves glued in place to seal the end of the tube.
The female bee makes a series of “cells” inside the tube. Each one has an egg and a pollen and nectar ball ready to feed the emerging larva. The cell is then sealed and she starts on the next one. The larvae hatch and develop in late summer and then pupate through the autumn and winter inside their cell. In the spring they emerge, mate and the females start the whole process all over again.
I wish I had paid more attention as I walked past the bug hotel: I would love to see a bee carrying its little piece of leaf and then sticking it meticulously in place.