The pecan trees finally leafed out, and there are enough bright green leaves open to put the hanging baskets of orchids back up. (The table top just doesn't agree with them as well.) In the process of picking up the plastic plant-pot bases, the clear cheapies from the store of course, I found something unexpected.
This is the nest of the leaf-cutting bee. Typically she puts it into a hole in wood--this time she mistook the raised line on the bottom of the plant pot holder for a safe hole in wood. (To be fair, the clear plastic was covered and shaded by the potted plant. And it didn't get moved for a few days.)
She goes around to broad-leafed plants, and also some flower blossoms, and cuts out little round "parasols" and carries them back to the nest. She lines the nest with them, as seen here.
I'm unsure whether the larvae eat the leaves or something else that she tucks in with them.
The leaf-cutting bees in our area appear to have light-gray stripes on their back end, not the bright yellow of the more aggressive flying bugs. The back end also is not sharply pointed like a wasp back end is.
I moved the nest into a potted plant where it will be shaded; possibly the larvae will survive. It couldn't stay on the table, as all the flower pots have been moved, and it's not out of the question that the wood will get a new coat of varnish sometime this summer anyway.
Thanx to DH for reminding me to take the picture!