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I have a small orchard, I also have a problem with curculio beetles. My bees hives are located about 10 ft upwind of the apple trees and I am wondering if spraying for the beetle problem is likely to harm the bees. Post blossom drop I don't see any bees on the trees so I am guessing not. I could spray after dark and expect the spray will have dried overnight. Of course dew might have some influence.

Any thoughts?
 

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I have a small orchard, I also have a problem with curculio beetles. My bees hives are located about 10 ft upwind of the apple trees and I am wondering if spraying for the beetle problem is likely to harm the bees. Post blossom drop I don't see any bees on the trees so I am guessing not. I could spray after dark and expect the spray will have dried overnight. Of course dew might have some influence.

Any thoughts?
Just fyi - the curculio beetles only do superficial damage to the apples - minor scarring.
I am not concerned of the curculio damage to the apple even a bit.
Growing apples crush the curculio larvae.

Plums, on the other hand, the curculio does real damage.

BTW, now is the time to bag apples.
You may want to look into it.
We bag our apples into ziplocks - no pesticides on my fruits and no damage to the bugs.
 

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Thanks for that reminder GregV. I've never done that but I've heard of it. My problem here is Japanese beetles. I'm in corn and soy country and they are a major problem. I have 3 apples trees that are 5 years old and bear ok now. I'd be happy to harvest some apples this fall.
 

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Take a look at the products available for your target pests.
Then look them up here:
https://catalog.extension.oregonstate.edu/pnw591
Ideally there are pesticide solutions that are safe around bees.
If not, shoot for the one with the shortest "Residual Toxicity" and spray in the evening when your bees have settled down.
Usually one does not have to wait until pitch dark. Just watch the entrances.
Of course; read and carefully follow the label.
 

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Thanks for that reminder GregV. I've never done that but I've heard of it. My problem here is Japanese beetles. I'm in corn and soy country and they are a major problem. I have 3 apples trees that are 5 years old and bear ok now. I'd be happy to harvest some apples this fall.
I had a detailed post about how I zip lock the apples.
Don't remember where exactly; probably under my own thread.

All in all - spraying apples against the curculio beetles is pretty much pointless (unless you are commercial produce and want the perfect apple appearance).
What does make sense - measures against coddling moth and apple maggots.
These will damage the fruit.
I solve this particular problem by one-time zip-locking my apples - which must be done now (when the fruit is the size of a grape).
The end result:
DSCN2374.jpg
 

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Guess I waited too long already. Inspecting the apples show a lot of damage. I might try keeping the ground under the trees completely free of debris and apples that drop prematurely. Maybe set out a few sticky boards in the trees to see what other pests might be an issue. Maybe I ought to get a propane weed burner and just systematically do a scorched earth bug war. Simulated forest fire to burn the hiding places of the beetles.

I haven't gotten a single plum. They all drop every year. The pears are fine some years and other years suffer similar damage but to a lesser degree.

Commercial growers use neonic's and that is not an option for me, don't want the residual poison around.

Bagging is not practical considering the number of trees. Maybe just make cider and move on.
 

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I'm using plastic drop sheeting to cover hives during spraying. My hives are under fruits trees. Preparing cover during afternoon and covering like curtains during spraying (almost dusk). (I'm using motorized mist sprayer). Uncovering them in early morning. I have used spraying table from Mass extension, fungicides and insecticides from box-store (mostly "organic"!!!!). No problem with fruits or with bees.
 

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I had a detailed post about how I zip lock the apples.
Don't remember where exactly; probably under my own thread.

All in all - spraying apples against the curculio beetles is pretty much pointless (unless you are commercial produce and want the perfect apple appearance).
What does make sense - measures against coddling moth and apple maggots.
These will damage the fruit.
I solve this particular problem by one-time zip-locking my apples - which must be done now (when the fruit is the size of a grape).
The end result:
View attachment 56469
That's a lot of plastic.
 

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That's a lot of plastic.
That was my thought. Showed the wife and she said "that is what you do when you want to have a few apples compete in the state fair, not an entire orchard" I have 3 reasonable sized apple trees and one mother tree that is massive, 30 ft easily. She is easily 80+ years old. Anyway, there are so many apples there is no way I could even think to do this.
 

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I have a small orchard, I also have a problem with curculio beetles. My bees hives are located about 10 ft upwind of the apple trees and I am wondering if spraying for the beetle problem is likely to harm the bees. Post blossom drop I don't see any bees on the trees so I am guessing not. I could spray after dark and expect the spray will have dried overnight. Of course dew might have some influence.

Any thoughts?
It will absolutely harm the bees.

I'd pick a day with zero wind and be very careful about making sure the poison doesn't drift. You don't need to screen the bees, but you need to to be extra careful about drifting pesticides.
 

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That was my thought. Showed the wife and she said "that is what you do when you want to have a few apples compete in the state fair, not an entire orchard" I have 3 reasonable sized apple trees and one mother tree that is massive, 30 ft easily. She is easily 80+ years old. Anyway, there are so many apples there is no way I could even think to do this.
I have 5 semi-dwarf apples that we completely bag - head to toe.
I would not do this on the full-size tree, of course.
But dwarf/semi-dwarf we do bag completely.

Yes - it takes "few" sandwitch-size bags (by college kid is doing it now days, it is his annual chore).
But - once done, you are done for the entire season - no more work until harvest.
This bagging is combined with manual fruit thinning, which you should do anyway for have consistent crop and well-sized fruits.

Consider how my spays you must do to control coddling moths and apple maggots (while also killing other innocent bugs, already vanishing).

Bonus - the apples keep wonderfully directly in the zip locks.
I keep them just like that.
They don't shrivel and don't pass rot around, if anything occasionally occurs.

Finally, consider doing few apples (say a 100) for experimentation.
Only do the easy ones within reach - try for yourself and see.
 

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That's a lot of plastic.
First - this plastic is food-grade, non-toxic and is not killing insects (people should really be considering this).
Second - these bags last 2-3 years; we reuse them.
Third - this is one-time deal - do it now once and harvest in 2-3 months later - you are done (proper spraying takes repeat applications with very precise timings too, not exactly trivial or cheap or effective, if not done precisely and correctly).
Finally - you don't have to bag the entire tree - at least do some of it and see what it takes and what you like/dislike about it.

Of course, do-nothing is another option that I also practice on full-size trees.
Those do-nothing apples fine for drying and cooking and cider (and still some eating).
 

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Guess I waited too long already. Inspecting the apples show a lot of damage....
Like I said, curcullio beetles do not really damage the apples outside of some superficial external scarring.
Very quickly growing apple fruitless crush the curculio larvae (due to very hard and dense tissue).
It is too much noise over nothing.
Here is what the curcullio damage looks like on ripe apples (very, very minor blemish):
DSCN2385_Edited.jpg

Unsure if burning under the trees will help or not.
But it is, surely, like dropping an atomic bomb on the city so to kill off few criminals (contained within the general population).
 
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