Last year, as my apples were finally approaching ripeness, nearly all of them got eaten or burrowed into by wasps.
Is there anything I can do this year to prevent this from happening again?
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I use wasp traps: a PET bottle with apple must, some sugar, few vinegar, and a few drop of dish detergent.
This will reduce damages.
Some people uses nets (if tree is not too big). Only the big wasps are able to burrow apples, or better: only the big wasps could cut the peel (so letting also the other bees and insect to feed).
Ok, I went out to check on this and I was wrongo! This link explained an awful lot. I've never had this problem but it is a real concern. Since we are losing our bees, I have also been protecting wasps. Hornets are a bit different. You'd know if you were stung by a hornet. Feels like a sledge hammer and keeps on going if you don't get that stinger out of your skin. I was putting up a sign in the country and it was like 'on the count of 3 guys'! They were under my shirt, in my hair and running did not help. Finally got in my truck (with the buggers) and my dog (who eats these guys) couldn't understand why I was doing these weird frantic movements. Docs pulled 47 stingers out of me, anaphylactic shock...hornets and wasps love meat and there was dead meat nearby.
I know, TMI, hope this article helps. Be careful using equipment near any nests as they will come out (hornets and wasps) to attack and somehow it is always in the butt cheeks!