Leaf-cutter bee: description and what harm it does, how to deal with it

Leaf-cutter bee: description and what harm it does, how to deal with it

Leaf-cutting bees are unusual insects that do not produce honey and do not live in families. These individuals are able to leave round or oval holes on the foliage of plants, which leads to a deterioration in their appearance. However, they are still an important part of the ecosystem. Such insects contribute to the pollination of various crops, which helps to increase their yields.

Description of the leaf cutter bee

In appearance, the alfalfa leaf-cutting bee resembles ordinary individuals. However, there are some differences in the form of a darker shade and a slightly blurred abdomen.Unlike ordinary bees, such individuals feed on green leaves of crops. They also consume flower nectar.

Leaf cutters eat very fast. Therefore, literally in 1 minute they can visit 20 varieties of flower crops. When eating, bees collect pollen on their paws. With each visit to a new flower, pollination occurs.

Features of behavior

Leaf cutters are solitary bees. The females make their own nest and provide cells for the brood. Although such individuals are considered solitary, they prefer to settle not far from the rest of the leaf cutters. Also, bees are able to live in artificial shelters. Therefore, they are often used by people to pollinate agricultural plants.

Females spend the night in their nest and are most active in warm sunny weather, when the temperature parameters are more than +20 degrees.They usually do not forage on cloudy days or at lower temperatures. During the cold months, alfalfa bees are less mobile. Adult females sometimes sting defensively, but are not aggressive.

Nests are made by individual bees. Unlike melliferous individuals, alfalfa varieties do not defend their housing. At the same time, they are able to perceive ultraviolet light and most shades available to people. They may return to nesting areas and favorite feeding grounds.

What harm does it do?

These insects do not harm plants, but they can ruin their appearance. In addition, it takes a matter of seconds to gnaw the leaves. Not all flower growers like this. Because they take measures to control insects.

The rest of the leaf cutters are only useful. They contribute to the pollination of plants and collect nectar from flower stalks. Thanks to this, the number of ovaries increases.

How to identify the appearance in the garden?

When such insects appear in the garden, rounded and oval recesses form on roses and other flowers. They seem to be made with scissors. Usually all strong cultures cope with such damage without problems. However, the appearance and decorative properties of the flowers are deteriorating.

How to get rid of it?

To maintain the attractiveness of the flower garden, leaf cutters must be properly de alt with. To do this, it is recommended to do the following:

  • cover the bushes with a fine mesh or use gauze;
  • dust plants with sifted wood ash or tobacco dust;
  • treat flowers with soapy water.

It is important to bear in mind that the use of solutions, ash or tobacco dust will give an effect, but it will last until the first rain.

To protect the rose, it is recommended to feed it with potassium preparations. Such substances will make the leaves more rigid and unattractive to insects. Nitrogen products, on the contrary, lead to the growth of green mass and make the foliage soft and attractive to leaf cutters.

If it is necessary to distract alfalfa bees from roses, it is recommended to plant insect-attractive flowers and trees nearby. To completely clear the garden of such insects, you should follow these rules:

  1. Remove the deadwood of thistles, reeds, reeds, thistles. Leaf cutters often settle in the dry stems of these plants or nearby. At the same time, dry and fallen trees are of particular danger.
  2. When a bee nest is found in access, it must be carefully removed and carried away as far as possible. It is also permissible to leave the nest. At the same time, next spring after the departure of young individuals, it is recommended to caulk the hole.

Some gardeners prefer to use chemicals to control these insects. However, experts do not advise doing this, since such drugs do more harm than bees. In addition, in many regions they are listed in the Red Book, therefore it is forbidden to use aggressive chemicals against them.

Leaf cutter bees are useful and rare insects. They provide processing of a large number of plants, including crops that are difficult to pollinate. At the same time, the harm that they bring is minimal. Experts do not advise getting rid of leaf cutters on the site. They help increase yields, especially when growing legumes.

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