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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
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    Springfield,VA
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    Default Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    Hello,

    Does anyone know where these can be purchased? I friend in Northern Virginia would like to get some for her bee house..

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    721

    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    I have 49 leafcutter cocoons left.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield,VA
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    46

    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    Thanks.. I'll pass along your e-mail address..

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    Before sending insect cocoons back and forth to different areas of the US, we really should first determine the exact species and make sure they are already common to both areas. We can wreack havoc on the ecology system if we inadvertantly introduce new species to a region. For that reason we never ship western blue orchard cocoons to the east coast, nor eastern blue orchard bees to the west coast.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Roanoke, VA
    Posts
    95

    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    Does anyone know of any sources for the eastern blue orchard bees? Everyone I have checked with are either sold out, or they don't specify which breed so I am guessing they are the west coast species

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    721

    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    Quote Originally Posted by Omie View Post
    Before sending insect cocoons back and forth to different areas of the US, we really should first determine the exact species and make sure they are already common to both areas. We can wreack havoc on the ecology system if we inadvertantly introduce new species to a region.
    The Canadians should quit importing leafcutters and mason bees into all regions of the U.S. then eh

    Species: http://www.entomology.ualberta.ca/se...era&c=7&s=5849

    Range: http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20m?k...hile+rotundata

    Importation of Bees other than Honey Bees
    The following five species can be imported from Canada under the Requirements for the Importation of Bees other than Honey Bees:

    Bumblebees of the species, Bombus impatiens and Bombus occidentalis
    Alfalfa leafcutter bee, Megachile rotundata
    Blue orchard bee, Osmia lignaria
    Horn-faced bee, Osmia cornifrons

    Since the government doesn't regulate where these bees are shipped, I should? Even though they range the united states? wow. You assumed I was ignorant of these things. Guess we know what someone makes of themselves when one assumes. Thanks for that.
    Last edited by rwurster; 02-08-2012 at 11:38 AM.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    What i posted is established common sense that most people who sell, buy, and ship insects are already, or should be, aware of. I don't assume anything- no need to bristle and sputter as though it were some personal attack. You are not the only person reading this thread -either now or in the future, and many folks, especially new beekeeper/gardeners, are not aware of species transport precautions and regulations at all. It's good for all of us all to be thoughtful when shipping insects. All you need to do is respond that you are aware of such things.

    Your quote of regulations does actually specify a particular species of leafcutter bee, not just any old leafcutter bee. And there are eastern and western varieties of blue orchard bees, some mason bee suppliers I know will not ship one species to the coast where the other species is established instead. The hornfaced bee species Osmia cornifrons is already established in various regions and on both coasts so there is no harm in distributing them between coasts.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield,VA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    bnm1000: One of our local plant nurseries will carry local orchard bees. I know Roanoke is a good 4 hr drive from us, but maybe you can find another nursery that is closer to you that will get some? Also check with a local beekeeping association or even VA Tech. They might know someone local that can help you out.

    Here is a good site for those looking at both Leafcutting Bees and Mason Bees. It has species lists, id guides, and maps

    http://www.discoverlife.org/mp/20q?search=Megachilidae

    We attended a lecture about native bees and native plants and this is one for the sites that was recommended. The speaker runs a USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab in MD.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pueblo, Colorado, USA
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    721

    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    There are no laws in place that state western masons can't be shipped east or eastern masons shipped west or hornfaced bees being shipped to either region. The worst anyone will have to do is pay their $50 to have a sample of their bees analyzed for parasites. Proliferation of both eastern and western bees outside their 'regions' is significant. If you don't want to ship eastern bees west or western bees east, that's your decision and your decision alone and definitely not a decision you can make for me. I have sold several thousand eastern mason bees to a university west of the Rockies. If there's a problem with it, I would suggest notifying the authorities as both myself and the university involved are both guilty. My records will clearly show what was sold and to whom. The regulations specified were in regards as to what Canadians can ship into the United States, not what can be shipped within the U.S.
    Zone 5a @ 4700 ft. High Desert
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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Cache County, Utah
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    I'd like to address the original question as to where someone can obtain leafcutter bees. The only managed leafcutter that is commercially available, to my knowledge, is the alfalfa leafcutter bee. These bees are reared by the tens of millions each year in Canada and the western U.S. Ninety-nine percent of these bees are used for the commercial pollination of alfalfa, and in some cases, yellow and white sweet clover. They are typically sold by the gallon as loose cocoons. One gallon of cocoons contains approximately 10,000 individual bees, mixed males and females. Prices are somewhat high now as a gallon of cocoons will run about $100, or one cent per bee. A few years ago when there was a surplus of bees you could buy 5 cocoons for one cent.

    I've worked with leafcutter bees since the 1970's and have tested populations in my backyard to see if they were of any value in pollinating my fruits. Because they are a summer bee they emerge long after the cherry, apples, peaches, etc. have stopped blooming and have already set fruit. The only crops that I have witnessed them pollinating are cantalopes and cucumbers. They visit many ornamental flowers and probably pollinate those as well, but not many people save their own flower seeds. Besides, there are many other bees and flies that pollinate ornamentals so the value of the leafcutter bees in that regard is minimal.

    If you decide to bring leafcutter bees into a suburban environment, be aware that they use more than just leaves when constructing their nests. They are very attracted to various flower petals as those are usually thinner and easier to cut than leaves. They particularly like rose petals and will often cut from many of those flowers within a one block radius of a backyard population. The rose blossoms are typically riddled with quarter inch holes and cresent shaped cut-outs - something your neighbors may not appreciate.

    It would be a good idea to look at he pro's and con's ahead of time before bringing these bees into an area.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Springfield,VA
    Posts
    46

    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    Thanks everyone! She has actually contacted the biologist at the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab in MD. He gave her instructions on building housing for the masons and leaf-cutters that are native here and should already be visiting her garden.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
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    Default Re: Looking for leaf-cutter bee cocoons

    Quote Originally Posted by VAMOM View Post
    Thanks everyone! She has actually contacted the biologist at the USGS Bee Inventory and Monitoring Lab in MD. He gave her instructions on building housing for the masons and leaf-cutters that are native here and should already be visiting her garden.
    Excellent! She will be helping her established local bee species then.
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

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