What is this?

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What is this?

Ken Stevens
My friend raked these up in her lawn.  Any idea what they are?  She didn't want to open one up in case there was a pupa inside.

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Re: What is this?

Bug_Eric
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Something is wrong, I should be able to reply to you on my blog!  It is fortunate I wrote down my Nabble password.  I'm hoping others can see this because inevitably others will find what you did...

These are the individual cells crafted by a female leafcutter bee, Megachile sp.  There is indeed an immature insect inside each, either an egg, larva, or pupa destined to become an adult bee at some point.

Not sure what to recommend given that leafcutter bees use pre-existing cavities in wood, mortar, or sometimes the soil, where they stack these individual "barrels" on top of each other.  I suppose putting them in a container with adequate ventilation might work.  The adult bees may not emerge until next spring, though.