We currently have three species of leafcutter bee visiting the flowers of our knapweed - this is the smallest of them Megachile centuncularis. They're not easy to photograph as they're incredibly busy creatures, always on the move, busily gathering pollen which they transport on the hairs of their abdomen.
Megachile centuncularis is a widespread species in Britain, although it is more frequently recorded from the south. The nests are generally constructed within large burrows in wood, cavities in old walls and also occasionally in soil. Megachile species construct nests from cut pieces of green leaf. Megachile centuncularis uses 6-14 circular leaf pieces per cell body with 6-7 discs forming the lid to each cell. Ash, birch, honeysuckle, horse-chestnut, lilac and rose leaves are utilised.
The bees provided a bit of distraction from another morning of report writing. In the afternoon we went to Spalding to visit Molly, who was looking well. I took her a Blurb photobook of her 90th birthday party, which she really seemed to enjoy, poring over every detail. I have to say I really enjoyed making it, and may eventually do another one for our Malta holiday - but not till the autumn or winter!