Leaf Cutter Bees

Asked August 23, 2018, 12:59 PM EDT

I found some leaf cutter bee "pods" in a rock flower bed I cleaned out. I didn't know what they were until I looked them up. I cannot put them back where they were as I had already removed the soil, mixed it with new soil & rabbit manure, and have put that soil in pots to move into an indoor garden as the weather gets cooler. What can I do to save these bee larvae? The leaves were still green so I believe they were set recently.

Klamath County Oregon bees leafcutter bees

3 Responses

Is it possible to send some images of the "pods". Leafcutting bees typically nest above ground, but have been known to nest in the ground. Leafcutting bee cocoons are generally difficult to damage after the bees have developed for winter, but they can be damaged if the bees are still feeding on their pollen balls. Here is a short video of commercial leafcutting bee producers "punching" out cocoons after they have dried:

So if you have the cocoons, you could simply bury them in the soil at the same depth you found them at, or alternatively, hold them in a shed for the winter and see if they emerge next summer (sometime around June).

They seemed to have put their cocoons into a drain hole in a rock planter, that is why they were in the soil when I cleaned out the planter. I had not planted anything in it but had decided to set some plants out in the sun in smart pots using the rock planter. I put them in an upper section and covered them up to protect them, but I will recover them and put them in another location where they will be better protected & I'll try to get some pictures of them.