trying to make a complaint to the traffic police (why and how is another long story!) and while Jayashree and I were waiting for Deepak to finish his work, we noticed a small insect flying into the open tube of the steel chair.
I quickly realized that it was a
and that it was trying to make a nest in this space!
I tried to take photos of it, and got just a couple of shots at odd intervals.You can see a fragment of a leaf being brought in every time.
It was very tough to click because of the speed at which the insect went in...and since it came out even faster (it didn't have the burden of the leaf!) I missed it several times. Then, I decided to take a video and got the insect leaving the hole.
You can see the bee zooming out:
Leaf-cutter Bees are mostly solitary, and build their nest cells in various cavities (the hollow arm of the chair appeared very suitable to this insect!) by cutting leaves or collecting resin and bringing them inside. They are, for the most part, above-ground nesters and more commonly attracted to artificial nests...and this one certainly was!
There is afossil record for megachilid from a Middle Eocene dicotyledonous leaf which shows definite semicircular cutouts along its margin, implying that leaf-cutting bees existed at that time.Amazing!
When Deepak came back after finishing his work, he might have felt that we were getting tired or bored...but thanks to the Leaf-cutter Bee, we never knew where the time went! Another opportunity for observing Nature at work in the most unexpected of places.