DNR - Entomology Weekly Review, Aug. 3


Weekly Review for August 3, 2018

Indiana Department of Natural Resources
Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology
Phone: (317) 232-4120
Our Website
Inspector Territories

This informal report by the Division of Entomology and Plant Pathology is designed to update the Nursery and Greenhouse industry of insect and disease pests the Division has been encountering on a week to week basis and as a way to give a “heads up” of things to be on the lookout for. 

Links can be found at the bottom of the page to manage your subscription to this list. Comments and questions about this report are welcome and can be sent to Eric Biddinger or to your respective Inspector.

Ken Cote (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KCote@dnr.IN.gov

I do not have anything new to report this week regarding pests or disease. However, I would like to comment on some plants in my garden. During past weekly reviews I spoke very highly and raved at the performance of blue mist flower or hardy ageratum. This native perennial has performed very well in my garden and produced a late summer color display as well as attracting butterflies. However, the performance of this plant this year has been less than desirable. The dry weather that has been occurring in my region this year has only allowed the plants to grow to a size of approximately 6 inches. Typically this plant is 18-24 inches by this time of year and getting ready to flower. Stokesia also seemed to suffer from the dry weather this year and has produced very few flowers. Rudebeckia and Echinacea are doing well in my garden this year. Then there are my Shasta daisies. They just grow; no matter how much rain I get. The cultivar I have in my garden is Becky. I have also grown cultivar Alaska, but Alaska gets too tall and often falls over after heavy rain. The cultivar Becky is a bit tighter in growth habit but still reaches a height of 24-30 inches. My only complaint about Shasta daisies is that their bloom is short compared to Rudebeckia and Echinacea. 

Being a nursery inspector requires a broad range of plant knowledge. I need to know a little bit about many different things.  However, once in a while I come across a new cultivar or unfamiliar plant. One year I thought I was seeing a leaf spot on Gaura. However after seeing the same pattern on multiple plants at multiple locations I soon learned that it was a new cultivar with a unique red spotting on the leaves. There are also many types of yellow and variegated cultivars of plants that appear very different from the species form. I have seen variegated Ginkgo, sweet gum and Zelkova. I also love to see variegated and yellow forms of evergreens. One particular plant that threw me for a loop in my younger days was the bristle cone pine (Pinus arsitata). This plant typically has resin flecks that can look like scale insects from a distance. But close inspection will reveal that they are not scales at all, merely resin flecks that are a normal part of the plant. Some gardeners are purists and love the simple elegance of the natural plant species. I, on the other hand, love to see what crazy new, cultivars are being introduced into the industry.


Ren Hall (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) RHall@dnr.IN.gov

During the last few weeks I have continued to see a lot of Japanese beetle infestations. At a nursery in Madison County I took this shot of a wheel bug feeding on an adult Japanese beetle.


Kathleen Prough (Chief Apiary Inspector) - KPrough@dnr.IN.gov

I was busy with inspections and survey work last week. I am seeing some strong hives with lots of capped honey and a few hives with queen problems. Not much nectar being brought in right now, but I do see bright yellow pollen coming in. Indiana has a dearth period when little nectar comes in due to a lack of plants to forage on. This dearth period can last from two weeks to two months depending on rainfall and what is growing in the area. I hope for a short one!

I am seeing more adult small hive beetles (SHB) in hives. Strong hives with lots of bee and situated in full sun will have fewer SHB in them. Hives in too much shade tend to have more SHB. A weak hive in shade can be the ones that get the most SHB and could have SHB larvae show up. SHB adults do not harm the hive, it is the larvae that destroy honey and brood. For more information on SHB I recommend beekeepers read the Mississippi SHB Information Sheet. 

As of Jan. 1, 2017, beekeepers need a prescription from a veterinarian to get antibiotics for treatment of bacterial diseases. This federal law is intended to help track antibiotic use in animals for food production. Bee hives were included with other livestock since honey bees are food producers. Some reports of misuse or overuse of antibiotics in swine, cattle, dairy, ducks and chicken production have been made. This law allows antibiotic use to be tracked more closely. The increased worry about resistant strands of bacterial diseases also increases the need to track antibiotic use. 

I was one of three presenters at a veterinarian beekeeping workshop on July 27. We had 30 veterinarians in attendance. This workshop was put together by Purdue Extension to help educate veterinarians about beekeeping and their role in prescribing antibiotics. Attendees learned about honey bees, hive interaction and how to identify diseases in hives. In the afternoon we were able to get hands-on with the hives and see good brood patterns, what healthy brood looks like, and much more. 

There are two bacterial diseases that will kill honey bee brood (larvae mostly) that beekeepers use antibiotic on: American foulbrood and European foulbrood. It is also recommended to treat hives that have virus symptoms with one treatment of antibiotics to help boost hive health. However, the main thing with viruses is to treat for varroa mites. 

American foulbrood (AFB) is the brood disease that is regulated in Indiana and other states.  Beekeepers are not to move hives with AFB. They are required to destroy the bees and burn the hive.  Large commercial beekeepers use antibiotics as a “preventative” for AFB, usually treating spring and fall. If they find a hive that did break down with AFB, they burn it on the spot. Before bees can be brought into Indiana and other states, hives are to be inspected and found free of AFB. If the apiary does have AFB, it will be quarantined and the beekeeper will not be able to moves bees out of that apiary until all hives are found free of AFB. 

European Foulbrood (EFB) does not require the beekeeper to destroy the bees and hive. They will need to treat with antibiotic to help clear it up. There is more EFB being found in hives in Indiana and other states nearby.  This may be due to varroa mites weakening the hive enough that they get EFB. 

Eric Biddinger (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - EBiddinger@dnr.IN.gov 

This time of year I’m pretty much seeing the same things over and over again. A few Japanese beetles are still around, but most of the damage has been done. I’m seeing a real pop in spider mite damage. I don’t usually see much damage on crabapples, but at one nursery the cultivar ‘Firebird’ was showing some pretty heavy damage. Various maples are also showing some pretty heavy damage from maple mites. I also found a bit of cyprus twig gall midge on bald cyprus this week. 


Jared Spokowsky (Nursery Inspetor & Compliance Officer)Jspokowsky@dnr.IN.gov


No reports this week

Megan Abraham (Division Director & State Entomologist) - MAbraham@dnr.IN.gov

Eric Bitner (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - EBitner@dnr.IN.gov

Kallie Bontrager (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KBontrager@dnr.IN.gov

Vince Burkle (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - VBurkle@dnr.IN.gov

Phil Marshall (State Forest Health Specialist) - PMarshall@dnr.IN.gov

Angela Rust (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - ARust@dnr.IN.gov

Kristy Stultz (Nursery Inspector & Compliance Officer) - KStultz@dnr.IN.gov 

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