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[nafex] Re: solitary bees, new graftlings & weed control

Hmm, I haven't had the problem with the wasps.  I remember that the 
nests are to be taken in to reduce/eliminate predation by a wasp that 
will drill through the sides of the nests to lay eggs on the 
developing bees.  Those wasps come out in June or so.  I move the 
bees to my basement during the summer and then in September move them 
to my unheated attached garage.  (They're stored in a cheap styrofoam 

Can you identify which nests the wasps are using?  perhaps you could 
remove those nests at night?

Are your young trees going out in a new orchard or being interplanted 
among existing trees?  I know that in the case of grapes, getting 
young vines established among an existing planting can take much 
longer.  I think the nursery thing is because in general you can 
concentrate your trees for care(i.e. watering, etc.) that they may 
not get or get as much of in an orchard planting.  I guess in theory 
a bigger plant can tolerate more varied conditions than a small 

Chris Mauchline
SE PA, zone 6

--- In nafex@y..., tugger@n... wrote:
> Three seperate/related subjects.
> Some of us in SE PA as part of the Back Yard Fruit Growers are now 
> using/raising solitary bees.  I have mine out near the orchard in 
> their tubes which I've put into several 12" long capped pvc holders 
> mounted on several poles that are up prevaling wind from my trees. 
> The bees are now out and seem ok but some wasps have found the 
> containers and are making nests in with the bees. So far no problem 
> but I presume that, even if the insects don't have a problem, that 
> will when the bees return to their tubes and mud up and from what I 
> have read I am supposed to put them away til next Feb. Any ideas on 
> how to get rid of the wasps?
> Re new trees and "graftlings"(is this the proper term?). I have 
> grafted about 150 scions onto rootstocks over the past several 
> weekends and have them now in cool, dark-ish area "callousing(sp?)" 
> til I see some sign of growth- last year that took 3-5 weeks. My 
> questions deal with why not plant them directly into their 
> sites in the orchard versus putting them into a nursery?  It seems 
> like double work and possible more harmful to their root systems to 
> have to dig them and move them yet from what I've heard and read 
> conventional wisdom is to put them into a nursery for a year or so
> and then move them.
> Finally I had problems with my computer- never enough memory- and
> only picked up a bit of the conversation about straw mulch stunting 
> the growth of young trees. I have used straw "doughnuts" around my 
> trees, possibly to their detriment I gather, for the past several 
> years for moisture and weed control. What is the alternative?  ( I 
> it coming-start them in a nursery and weed them by hand). 
> is there an alternative. I instinctively don't want to use weed 
> near them for I suspect that I'll kill as many trees as weeds.
> It was a beautiful weekend in SE PA and great to be outside working.
> Thanks 
> MIke

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