04/07/2014 at 10:38
A couple of years ago I had leaf-cutter bees in my back garden gate. I had never even heard of these bees and had to ask at a bee stall at the Cheshire Show. They kindly gave me much information, and I happily gave the bees a home for some time, until the gate was so rotten it had to be replaced. However, even though I hadn't seen a bee for some time, I actually kept the rotten gate very close to the new one until I was sure it was uninhabited. At the same time I had a bees nest in a bird box, very close by. It was fascinating to watch the nest grow outwards from the hole, creating a large canopy on the outside. They came and went for a couple of months, then just disappeared. After waiting, again to make sure they had left, I opened the birdbox, and the inside was a revelation. The honeycomb nest inside was a grey papery substance, with very defined chambers, and just so interesting. I gave it to a school to examine, and use perhaps in their lessons. I had another the following year in the fir tree by the kitchen door, but none so far this year,,,that I know of at least!