Leaf Cutter Bee
My Editor spotted this leaf cutter bee taking sections of leaf down a gap in the mortar of our patio the other day. By the time we had cameras ready it had stopped work for the day.
Happily while I was sitting outside having lunch today it reappeared, and I was able to grab some photos of it. This photo is moderately cropped so it's not as good I'd have liked (I should have put a longer lens on, but didn't want to miss it!). Maybe I'll have another chance another day, but here's today's offering for what it's worth.
There's info on leaf cutter bees here, but this is an excerpt:
"There are seven species of leaf-cutting bees in the UK. They have a wingspan of 8-14mm and are dark brown bees covered in lighter brown or orange hairs.
Leaf-cutting bees are solitary bees, the females of which use leaf pieces to construct cells within their nests. They are active from late spring to late summer. The nest site may be a naturally occurring tunnel, such as a hollow plant stem, or it may make a tunnel for itself in rotten wood or dryish soil. Inside the nest the leaf pieces are manipulated to form a thimble-like structure, which is then provisioned with a mixture of nectar and pollen. When sufficient food has been gathered the female bee lays a single egg on the stored food and then proceeds to cap the cell with circular pieces of leaf. This process is repeated until the nest may contain about 20 leaf cells."