[NAFEX] Parasitic wasp forage revisited
Joe and Ellen Hecksel
jhecksel at voyager.net
Sun Jun 1 19:41:10 EDT 2003
I just started to see curculio damage here in South-central Michigan.
I left rows of all many hardy vegetable plants; Chinese cabbage, kale,
tyfon, mustard. I hoped that many would over winter and provide forage
for parasitic wasps. Alas, none survived. It was a rough winter by our
standards. We hit -17F in late November. We had no snow cover. The
few greens that looked like they might be alive were leveled by the bunnies.
The only plants that are robustly blooming in the vegetable garden are
wild mustard, aka yellow rocket. I have not seen much bee activity
around them so I cannot vouch for how effective they are for wasp feed.
Also, the are very near the end of their bloom. So they are finishing
just as my insect pressure is starting.
Autumn olive is in full bloom. I see many bumble bees, honey bees and
butterflies working them. I see no wee-bitty wasps.
The raspberries are just starting to bloom. BINGO! The first ones to
open are the wild black ones. They are VERY heavily worked by bees and
wasps of all sizes! Raspberries look like the hot ticket for parasitic
I want to ask list members for a favor. I want to know if there is
significant differences in length of bloom period between raspberry
cultivars or in attractiveness to bees. It will be really cool if we
can find a cultivar that blooms for three or four weeks.
Optimistically yours, Joe
More information about the nafex