For the time being all appears to have calmed down around the Insect House that the Leaf-cutter bees have made their home. The bee that was guarding the small colony of young has not been seen since yesterday. The small cane that it was spending the night in has now been sealed up into another set of chambers.
Each female bee lives between six to eight weeks and in this time may lay, it is claimed in a very good year, between 30 to 40 eggs. Although having had these bees in my garden for the last three years I think this figure may be on the high side. Each single egg is placed into a separate compartment which is stuffed with pollen and nectar for the newly hatched egg to eat whilst it is in the grub stage. Although Honey bees collect pollen and carry it on their legs it is the abdomen that is heavily dusted with pollen on the Leaf-cutter bee and when it is inside a tube it will swirl and twist off the pollen to fall into the compartment so that it is ready to lay its egg before sealing the small self-contained independent unit.