Some of the leaves of my Japanese plums are being eaten by a small very pale lime green caterpillar, which binds two leaves together for cover – does any one know what it is? See above picture.
The second finding in my orchard is that this is not a pear midge free year. The incidence with me is slightly down on 2011 - but there is still plenty of infection – in the picture the big infected fruit-let is Catillac. This is disappointing after almost no pears in 2012. (For more discussion on pear midge on this blog – see here).
There is also an abnormal level of aphid in the growing tips of the pears, which I think is pear bedstraw aphid.
My third observation concerns bees. My bee keeper supplied me with, I am told, buff tailed bumble bees, which came off an allotment. The following day I tracked down these bees to my Winter Gem apple and I observed them for several minutes on more than one occasion. These bees were in a hurry, they seldom spent more than two seconds on a flower, some times only a second. I decided to compare them to the honey bees, which very often spent as much as eleven seconds before they moved on to another flower. In comparison the buff tails were doing around five times the work.
Can these buff tails be bought, if so where? And how can I provide over-winter accommodation for the ones that I have already. The buff tails’ accommodation could supplement the solitary bee accommodation I have made out of short bamboo canes, which were occupied over the winter.