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Leaf-Cutter Bee at Work

Leaf-Cutter Bee at Work.jpg Pseudargiolus ButterflyThumbnailsBirds waiting for feeding timePseudargiolus ButterflyThumbnailsBirds waiting for feeding timePseudargiolus ButterflyThumbnailsBirds waiting for feeding timePseudargiolus ButterflyThumbnailsBirds waiting for feeding timePseudargiolus ButterflyThumbnailsBirds waiting for feeding timePseudargiolus ButterflyThumbnailsBirds waiting for feeding time
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Two Tunnels Being Filled With Leaf-Cells.
You should see the little creature in her never-tiring work of preparing material for her nest. In and out among the roses she goes, examining each leaf with the most critical care, and only desisting from her labor when a suitable one has been chosen. She scans it over and over, and at last from a position on its upper or nether surface proceeds to cut a piece just fitted for her work, which, heavy as it seems, is seized between the legs and jaws and carried on swiftly-agitated wings to her burrow.


Ten pieces or more, each differing in shape, are cut and borne away, which the ingenious insect tailor twists and folds, the one within the other, until is formed a funnel-like cone, whose end is narrower than its mouth. So perfectly joined are the parts, that even when dry they have been found to retain their form and integrity. A cake of honey and pollen, for the use of some yet unborn Leaf-cutter, is deposited within, and on this, in due time, is laid a single small egg. Nought now remains but to wall up the cell. A circle of leaf, of the size of the opening, is cut, and this is closely adjusted within the wall of rolled-up leaves. Sometimes as many as four pieces are thus utilized. A second cell, similarly built, is fitted to the first, and this is succeeded by eight or ten others. When all is completed, the eggs being laid and the cells all victualled, the hole of the shaft is closed with the earth that was thrown out, and so carefully, too, that not a trace of her doings remains to tell us the story.

Author
Intelligence in Plants and Animals
Thomas George Gentry
Published 1900
Available from gutenberg.org
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750*854
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