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University of Minnesota Extension

Species guide - species detail

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Megachile brevis (Leaf cutter bee)



Megachile brevis is in the family Megachilidae. The genus Megachile is known by the common name “leaf cutter bees” because many members cut out circular or oval pieces of leaves and use them to line their nests. There are some exeptions; some Megachile use tree resin and others use chewed vegetation and mud in addition to leaf pieces. M. brevis is considered to be a prairie bee. In the Bee Atlas project, we only found M. brevis nesting in a bundle of plant stems in the Prairie Parkland biome.


Megachile are primarily characterized by having large chewing mandibles and scopae (pollen-collecting hairs) on the underside of the abdomens of females. Megachile brevis, like many Megachile species, is a mostly dark bee with light hair bands across the females' abdomens. Megachile brevis is small, relatively short, and wide-bodied compared to other Megachile.

Nest Structure

In the Minnesota Bee Atlas, we have only found Megachile brevis in nests made from plant stems. We have not found any in bee blocks.

Hole Sizes

no info at this time


Megachile brevis is known to have 2+ generations per year in other parts of the country. Unpublished evidence from Minnesota suggests 2-3 generations per year.

Activity Period

no info at this time


No information at this time.

Minnesota Record Map

These data are from the Minnesota Bee Atlas project.

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