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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Stephenville ,Tx

    Default fruit tree spraying

    Here in central Texas (and probably most other places) if you don't spray your fruit trees you usually get poor quality and or quantity output. I've looked at the Texas A&M site and extension office site and will go there to get a spray schedule and all, but I still am having trouble finding info on what sprays will not harm the bees. Some say to spray after dusk so it will dry and not affect them, but if any of you know of any good organics that work well I'd appreciate the knowledge. Also, do the fungicide sprays adversley affect bees? Since they're not pesticides I would assume not but am not 100% sure. I have peaches, plums, pears, apricots, persimmons, apples, blackberries and grapes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA


    Unless you have wildflower’s or other nectar bearing plants growing around your fruit trees by the time you need to spray they will have moved on to other forage areas after your fruit trees are no longer in bloom.
    We grow blueberries and one of the most important things I have learned about pest control is not what or how much you spray it’s when you spray. And the first thing you have to figure out is what is the life cycle of the pest you are trying to control. For blueberries, blueberry maggot fly is the most destructive. They have an annual life cycle where they hatch out of the ground, you have a seven to ten day window prior to the start of their reproductive cycle. By using yellow sticky traps for detection I can within a day or so figure out when I need to spray. This has several advantages one you get your biggest knockdown, two I was able to cut down on the number of times I need to spray which benefit many other creatures like honeybees and myself.
    Regrettably most sprays that kill pest insects also kill honeybees. You are asking the right questions walking around and seeing if you have a lot of honeybees foraging around you trees is also a good way to see if spraying will harm your bees. If you have natural nectar forage one solution is to keep it mowed down during the time you need to spray so they won’t be attracted to the area.
    For good information check out some of the universities in you state that specialize in agriculture, you will probably find useful information for me I tap into Michigan State University. You will find information on all the fruit you are growing there.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Auger Hole, MN


    i agree with previous poster

    i manage 300 hives and 1800 apples trees. some hives sit on the orchard edge all year round and I never have seen any problems or loss.

    here in the wisco/mn region there is little reason to spray before bloom other then a benign oil dormant spray. as soon as bloom is done we spray a fungicide for scab and later Imidan an insecticide. while Imidan is letahl to bees its used well after bloom and actually does not typically kill beneficial insects. do your spraying before dusk as the bees are not flying. keep your orchard floor mowed to keep bees off any forage that could get overspray.

    its not the pesticides that kill bees as another poster said but humans

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Parkton, North Carolina

    Default A few options

    The previous posters offer good advise about timing your spraying. As far as the chemicals you need, checking out your local extension office is the best bet. I am in the humid southeast and take a minimalist approach to spraying and my trees, apple, peach, plum, pear, do fairly well. All of the fruit is not perfect but I'm ok with that and I get more than enough for my puposes. I only use two sprays on my trees. A dormant oil (vegetable oil, dish soap and sulphur powder) before the trees leaf out. Sometimes I repeat this twice, two weeks apart if I start early enough in the season. After petal fall, which is at a different time with each type of fruit, I use a product called Surround. It is patented and you can get it from some organic suppliers. It's finely ground clay that coats the develping fruit and keeps insects from burrowing into the fruit. You have to apply it after it rains to make sure the fruit is always covered with a film of the clay. It is not toxic and does not kill insects, just deters them from eating the fruit.

    This may seem like a lot of work to have productive fruit trees but to me it is worth the extra time to protect my family and my bees from toxic chemicals.


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