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Slide 7 of 18
Megachile rotundata, the Alfalfa Leafcutting Bee, is a solitary bee,
which means that each female makes a separate nest. There are no queen and
worker castes as in social bees like honey bees and bumble bees, in which the
queens lay eggs and workers forage. Female solitary bees all lay their own
M. rotundata typically makes its nest in tunnels in wood. The female
bee lines each offspring cell with leaf pieces. When she cuts leaves, she
creates a characteristic oblong or circular cutout on the edge of the leaf or
petal. She collects pollen on the underside of her abdomen for larval food.