A bee for my apples

Before I start my post proper, I would like to report that I have been able to make a partial fix of the comments function on my blog. It seems that WP has introduced a new piece of software for publishing blog posts and, while it is available online, it doesn’t work (for me at least) through the app.

So, yesterday I added the comments box to the posts where it had been missing but you still might not see it if you are reading on your WP app. Anyway, it would be interesting to get feedback on this, so that I can continue to investigate if necessary.

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The first day of August and I’m excited. I used to feel sad at the advent of autumn but when I felt the first tinges of autumn in the air earlier, I was pleased.

Look at these tresses of apples. I’m going to thin them out shortly, so that the remaining apples can grow a decent size. I’ve never seen so many on this tree before and, apart from the odd one which has gone mouldy, they look a healthy bunch.

The downside of achieving codling moth-free apples, however, is that the pheromone traps also kill other insects, including bees. There was unfortunately one honey bee on the trap I replaced today.

Almost all of the insects you can see above are male codling moths. Officially, this number suggests an infestation but I am not going start using chemicals, even if they exist for such a pest. In any case, the apples themselves suggest the trap is sufficient.

So, will I use the pheromone trap again next year? Yes, I think I will but I will start a bit later – the trap wasn’t needed until May, whereas I put it up in April, when it only caught other insects which weren’t a threat. Hopefully after that, I will be able regulate the situation without the need to trap bees in order to have apples.

I wonder if it was possible to save orchards before the days of pheromone traps?

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
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11 Responses to A bee for my apples

  1. A good idea to delay the trap. I popped back to the bread post. Comments box now there

  2. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    Interesting that the pheromone trap caught other insects too. Have never tried these traps

    • Helen says:

      The insects could have flown in just because it provided shelter or because it was in the way, I guess. They wouldn’t have known the floor was too sticky for them to get up from. Poor insects!

  3. Clare Pooley says:

    Yes; good to see a comments box again. There are a number of things missing on the WP app that I like to use e.g. a like button to use when someone replies to a comment I’ve made. It proves I’ve read their reply.
    Your apples look very good and already quite big! I think grease bands have been used for quite a while to trap the females as they climb the tree to lay their eggs. The bands are free from insecticides but still manage to trap innocent insects. We use them as they also catch ants on their way up the tree to farm aphids.

    • Helen says:

      I need to get grease bands – the ants have been everywhere this year. And I don’t want them stopping the ladybirds from eating the aphids.

      Anyway, funny tricks the WP app is playing. I’ve not had a problem with the like button for comments but who knows what’s next?

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