July 02, 2010
At least one species of leafcutter bee is cultivated for agricultural use in Colorado. Megachile rotundata is used to pollinate alfalfa, a function that it does far more efficiently than honeybees. The leafcutters are provided with predrilled "bee boards" to use for nest construction. At the end of the season, the nest cells with developing bees are collected and carefully stored, to be released the subsequent season when alfalfa blooms (June).