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Is it worth making (or buying) all those insect habitats. You know the things I mean. Bundles of bamboo. Flowerpots stuffed with straw. Logs drilled with different sized holes. The latest in bijou high rise insect houses with a variety of insect accommodation.

Obviously you see the odd spider running in and out, but do butterflies hibernate in their solar powered butterfly houses? Does that little bottle of pheromone really attract the clearwings?

20140628-103935-Garden-5781Well it seems that give insects a enough holes, houses and habitats and they will find them and use them. This leaf-cutter bee took several hours to pack this hole with bits of leaf, some food and an egg or two. It was then sealed with an accurately cut leaf, meticulously glued in place. She came back a couple of times to check whether a different leaf would be a better fit, but in the end seemed satisfied with her work.

I think the sheer size of this bee – larger than a honey bee – makes it Megachile willughbiella -Willughby’s Leafcutter – and this seems to be confirmed by the paler polen hairs than is seen of the other, smaller, common leafcutter, Megachile centuncularis. But if you know better…….