Megachile Rubi

MEGACHILE RUBI is a species of LEAF-CUTTING BEE in the family ——MEGACHILIDAE, found in the eastern US, its range extending from North Carolina to Florida.  These bees are usually found in dry habitats such as sand dunes and areas of sandy scrub.
Megachile_rubi,_male,_top,I_SD6536It is a SOLITARY BEE SPECIES and nests in holes in the ground.  Holes are excavated by the female at an angle of 20 degrees to 45degrees from the horizontal, and then level underground.  A small SPOIL HEAP, of sandy material, is thrown up near the entrance.  The female constructs one or more cells in the burrow.  Each cell is lined with pieces of cut-leaf, the Sweet Birch being used in some instances. –Each cell has 2-6 ROUNDED BASE PIECES, 8-14 RECTANGULAR SIDE PIECES ——- forming several layers round the perimeter, and 2-6 ROUNDED CAP PIECES.  Each leaf portion is carefully cut and, in the case of the SIDE PIECES, the portions forming the inner layers are smaller than the outer ones.  The leaf-lined cell is two-thirds filled with a POLLEN & NECTAR MIX and an egg is laid at one side, before the CAP is placed in position.  In multi-cell nests, the next cell adjoins the previous one, end-to-end.
BLISTER BEETLES sometimes lay their eggs in the cell ——– AS PARASITES.  When the last cell is CAPPED and the nest is complete, the female drags sandy soil back into the burrow, from the SPOIL HEAP, plugging the entrance.

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