Tag Archives: grapes

Attack of the leaf-cutting bees

A few days ago I went to check on the grapes, as I usually do after I get up.  I go for a walk to check on all the food plants, always thrilled when they’re all still there.

That day I was shocked when I looked at the grapes.  Something ate huge parts of the leaves!

At first I thought it might be the “ferocious brown bugs” and I checked the next night several times.  Didn’t see a single bug.

So the next afternoon I’m looking at the grapes again and tons bees or wasps were buzzing around. 

I quickly searched the web and it didn’t take long till I found several sites about the leaf-cutting bees.  This one is funny:

BUG OF THE MONTH: August 1996: Leaf-Cutter Bees

I always like late spring and summer, because as soon as my roses start looking good, I can be pretty sure the leaf-cutter bees are not far behind. …

… Next time you see round or oval holes in your rose leaves, notice if they are regular and neat in outline (rather than ragged, like beetle damage is). If so, don’t be dismayed. Just wait quietly and you may be rewarded by seeing first-hand the efficient, elegant work of the leaf-cutter bee.

I took the advice, went back outside and waited quietly.  They are PICKY and don’t just take any leaf.  They buzz around until they find the perfect material for their nest.  Finally a bee landed on a leaf and started cutting.  Absolutely fascinating!

Efficient and elegant, just as promised.

I did some more reading and the only defense is to cover the plants.  Well, the grapes are growing rapidly and the bees don’t touch new leaves.  So I just hope they’ll soon have enough building materials for their nests.

And in the meantime, I’ll admire their elegance.