At The Bee Hotel


Wood-carving Leafcutter Bee (Megachile ligniseca) – I adapted an old bird box into a bee hotel about a year ago, and I am quite pleased we are now taking in guests. And I am very pleased to see this species, which is fairly uncommon, with only 2 sightings recorded in South Staffordshire. It typically nests in dead wood, including old fence posts, and sometimes in cavities of man-made items including bee hotels. In the last 2 images one of them shows the final finished stopping of the cavity, where one egg has been planted towards the back, stocked with pollen and nectar for the larva to feed on when it hatches. It will spend winter in there all snug with a full larder. The last image shows crabapple leaves where the female bee has been harvesting the leaves. Look how perfectly she cuts them. Today she was working on a 3rd tube. How busy and industrious is she? And all in 30 degree+ heat!


Wood-carving Leafcutter Bee Megachile ligniseca

Wood-carving Leafcutter Bee Megachile ligniseca

Wood-carving Leafcutter Bee Megachile ligniseca nest in construction

Wood-carving Leafcutter Bee Megachile ligniseca

Wood-carving Leafcutter Bee Megachile ligniseca cut leaves

46 thoughts on “At The Bee Hotel

    1. I appreciate that, Hans, thank you! I have always loved bees, so I am very pleased to have these guests here in the hotel πŸ™‚

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  1. Another amazing nature experience! Great job, Peter, setting this hotel up and capturing the action. I love those perfect cuts out of the crab-apple leaves.

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    1. Thank you very much, Ellen πŸ™‚ I think it got just a bit too hot for her here yesterday as she hastily sealed up the 3rd tube. I was watching her leave the tube she was working on to see where she went and after a brief circuit of the garden, perhaps to get her bearings, she went to the apple tree which was nearby, and there I saw these perfectly cut semicircular holes in the leaves.

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  2. β€œGood work,” said the Hillman,
    β€œSince we’re programmed to receive.
    But be sure you make a leafy door
    Before you take your leave.”

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    1. Thank you, Lisa πŸ™‚ I have been so taken watching this bee fill and seal these tubes in my bee hotel. This has been her purpose since leaving a tube herself, to mate and produce offspring which she will never see. It gives me inspiration to make another – and insect lodge – just invented a new term, lol:)

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      1. 😊 I fell in love with bees once I got my new camera. They don’t seem to mind being photographed they never bother me. Even up super close!

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  3. How nice! Good on you for creating a little haven for them, Pete. Making a bee or other type hotel does not always guarantee guests so it is great that you are already attracting interested parties.

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    1. Thank you, Steve πŸ™‚ I converted it a year or so ago, but it was not getting much interest from the bee community, so I changed its location, and well, not quite a ‘no vacancies’ sign thing, but glad to be using some rooms πŸ™‚

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  4. We have a butterfly meadow but need some bee hotels. A friends doesn’t work too well. But it’s probably not deep enough. A bird box seems ideal.

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    1. You can make them yourself out of bits of wood, but depth is important, and location, too. Mine is facing south at present, and has attracted some welcome attention πŸ™‚

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  5. Congratulations to the bee and the photos! I like these leafcutter bees very much. Until now I never saw one in (at? on? – these prepositions kill me πŸ˜‰ a bee hotel. Fantastic this work. I also like the leaves in front of the tubes. Looks a bit sloppy πŸ˜‰ Fascinating what nature has created.

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      1. Yes, it is like a big garden party πŸ™‚ I enjoy that very much too. The hotelier is happy about guests πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

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