I’m not the only one who has noticed the roses. For the past week I have seen these shiny, dark blue-green insects hovering frantically over the rose bushes. Here is the clearest picture of one I could get.
Now I would say that I have an above-average experience with insects, but I couldn’t nail down a positive ID on this one. That was when I noted some peculiar things about the mystery bug. First, it kept flying under our outdoor teakwood table. Karl, being adventurous, crawled underneath and saw these man-made holes on the underside of the table that the creatures found delightful to hide away in.
I then noticed that they also found the roses delightful to chew on.
Having established this insect as a leaf cutting one, I was 99% sure the mystery critter was a solitary bee of some sort. A quick consultation with the internets involving the search term “blue leaf cutting bee” confirmed that we had a bee in the Megachilidae family.
Apparently this little bee is a fantastic pollinator and it likes to make its nest in hollowed out spaces that it lines with circular pieces of leaves. If your garden isn’t already a haven for solitary bees like mine turned out to be, you can attract them to your garden by making your own native bee box.