DNR - Entomology Weekly Review, September 1

Entomolo weekly

Weekly Review for September 1, 2021

This informal report by the Division of Entomology & Plant Pathology is a commentary on insects, diseases, and curiosities division staff encounter on a week-to-week basis. Comments and questions about this report are welcome and can be sent to your respective Inspector.

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

This is the last regular issue of the Weekly Review for 2021. If you missed an issue, you can find the archives on our website. We will send out an occasional update this winter, then start back weekly in April 2022.

In finishing up some inspections in Elkhart County, I’m finding pockets of some pretty heavy bagworm. If you see something like this, be sure to look at the surrounding plants for stragglers. I found bagworm on white pine, Fraser fir, and serviceberry, but the common factor was these were near heavy infestations on arborvitae. Other than picking off the bags, there’s not much to be done except survey the sites and make plans to treat it next spring.

It seems like every year I see a little bit more cedar-apple rust on apples and crabapples. This is something I want to keep an eye on in the future.

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

I inspected in Whitley County this past week. Tar spot was moderate to heavy on Autumn Blaze, Fall Fiesta, Armstrong, and Marmo maples. The high heat and humidity is really helping this disease proliferate. The weather is also perfect for powdery mildew, which was light to moderate on London plane tree, serviceberry, and tulip tree. Spider mites were light to moderate on bald cypress, Autumn Blaze maple and honeylocust. Japanese beetle damage was present on zelkova, linden, swamp white oak, red oak, pin oak, Winter King hawthorn and all varieties of elm. White pine weevil damage was moderate on blue spruce and whiteflies were present on honeylocust and serviceberry.

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

I’ve included a couple of interesting photos from homeowner calls. In the case of the carpenter ants, they don’t actually eat the wood, but they do take advantage of rotting fibers to excavate a nest.


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

Hives can be a little feisty right now due to the heat and low nectar sources. Only go into the hives in the mornings so you can be done before 11 a.m. After that it gets a little hot for the bees, beekeeper, and the inspector!

The bees that I inspected last week looked good. A few beekeepers needed to get the honey supers off, extracted, and put back on the hive to give the bees enough room. Any frames not drawn out need to be replaced or moved to the outer frame in the super. Foundation will be no good for bees in the winter. Make sure there is room for the queen to lay in the bottom super.

Check on your queens. It is nearing the last chance to get new queens to replace poor queens. If a hive has gone queenless you need to decide if you requeen it or combine it to a queen right hive. This will depend on strength of hive that is queenless. If there is no worker brood left in hive and the population is going down or if the hive has turned into a laying worker hive, it is best to combine it with a queen right hive. If you have a nuc with a good queen in it, you could put this on top of the laying worker hive. If you still have capped and uncapped brood, but the queen is gone, you could introduce a new queen. It is getting a little late in the season for the hive make its own queen. A healthy and strong queen is important for the hive going into fall and winter.

Don’t forget to treat for varroa mites. Choose a mite treatment and get it started. In August, the mite population is high while the bee population starts slowly to decrease. That is why it is so important to treat for mites in the fall. (Yes, in beekeeping August is the start of fall)

Get honey supers off and don’t be greedy for the goldenrod/aster honey. By the end of September that top deep super of a two deep hive should be full of honey. The bottom super should have three to four frames of brood and some pollen and honey.  

Any stored honey frames or brood frames not on a hive needs Para-Moth crystals to protect them from wax moths. Keep the Para-Moth on these frames until next spring when you are ready to air them out for a couple of days and put them back on the hives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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