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Leafcutter bees

A table displaying which months are best to sow, plant and harvest.
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Time to act
Time to act

Do not Time to act in January

Do not Time to act in February

Do not Time to act in March

Do not Time to act in April

Do not Time to act in May

Do Time to act in June

Do Time to act in July

Do Time to act in August

Do Time to act in September

Do Time to act in October

Do Time to act in November

Do not Time to act in December

Nesting female bees cut out immediately obvious elliptical shapes from the edges of a leaf to make their cells for laying eggs. Since one female might need 20 or so cells, that’s a lot of leaf cutting, particularly when the bee keeps returning to the same plant. It’s only a significant problem when young plants are being defoliated or you’re growing specimens for a show.

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Symptoms

Bees snip out elliptical sections of leaf margins, particularly on roses, and use them to make thimble-shaped cells in their nests. However, they can remove quite a large area of leaf.

Find it on

roses, wisteria, epimediums

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Organic

Wait for the solitary female and swish her away. Try to avoid killing the bees because they’re invaluable friends to gardeners, pollinating flowers.