What's the Buzz with ATTTA # 7 All about blueberry maggot & planting bee forage.

Friday 24 July 2020

Blueberry Maggot

Figure: Yellow coloured sticky traps for monitoring blueberry maggot

As the adult Blueberry maggot (BM) (Rhagoletis mendax) emerge with the first ripening of the berries in late June to mid July , monitoring for this significant pest becomes important. One to two weeks after emergence the adult females mate and lay one egg per berry and the developing BM consumes the pulp of the berry causing it to collapse. Infested fields will have an abundance of fruit on the ground, punctures holes will be visible on the skin of berries and collapsed berries will be common.

For monitoring, yellow coloured sticky traps are placed one per acre, in sheltered areas plentiful with blueberries, suspended from a rod about 10-15 cm above the blueberry plant, (Figure). Traps should be check three times a week. If an average of six or more BMs are found on all the traps in a field during a single visit or an average of the cumulative total of ten flies or more are captured on all the traps in more than one visit, actions should be taken to reduce crop loss. If thresholds are exceeded, but no fruit has ripened in the field, there is no immediate danger of fruit infestation.

For more information, please visit the factsheets in WBPANS website:(https://www.nswildblueberries.com/members/factsheets/download?path=fruitfly.pdf
and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency:

More information or questions, contact:
Hugh Lyu, Wild Blueberry Specialist, Perennia Food and Agriculture Inc.
Email : hlyu@perennia.ca; Mobile : 902-890-0472

Start planting, stop mowing, that’s not a weed!

Honeybees rely on nectar and pollen for healthy colonies. In some areas, lack of bee forage during certain times of the season creates a challenge for beekeepers to maintain colony health and to yield a sufficient honey crop. Agriculture crops, such as wild blueberries, are only in bloom for a short period, and do not provide the diversity of pollen and nectar that is crucial for bee health. Some farmers, beekeepers and friends of pollinators are helping honeybees and native pollinators by planting and/or preserving fields with flowering plants that are beneficial to bees. The aim is to improve nutrition throughout the season, improving colony health, while also increasing honey yield. It is important for beekeepers to maintain yearly records of the forage availability near their apiaries and if needed, consider the possibility of planting or preserving additional forage to support their buzzing livestock. Spreading the word about creating additional pollinator resources generates a buzz in both people and bee communities! 

Dr. Nancy McLean and Dr. Robyn McCallum identified some useful plants families that are best for pollinators (mustard family, legumes, and rose family) and a pollinator mix was developed - 10% Timothy, 10% Alsike clover, 20%, Red clover, 20% Sweet clover, 20% Birdsfoottrefoil, and 20% Phacelia (% by wt.). For more information about the pollinator mix, contact the ATTTA.

A planting guide was also produced by Pollinator Partnership Canada which lists many plant species that can be useful for honeybees, their bloom times, and those that may yield a honey crop. The full planting guide is available on the following link: https://pollinatorpartnership.ca

Check out what these PEI potato farmers are doing to not only increase pollinator habitat but to also improve their soil and future crops of potatoes.

Connecting with ATTTA Specialists
If you’d like to connect with ATTTA specialists or learn more about our program, you can:
·       Visit our website at https://www.perennia.ca/portfolio-items/honey-bees/
·       Email abyers@perennia.ca

Thanks for following along with our blog and keeping up with the ATTTA buzz & don't forget to subscribe!