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Old 09-14-2018, 12:56 PM
 
1,311 posts, read 3,055,744 times
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I have an apple tree, and some of the apples on the ground are rotted. They are filled with wasps or bees or possibly yellow jackets. I want to pick up these apples but I can't. Will these creatures leave if there is a sudden rain? My plan is to turn on the sprinkler from a safe distance. Then when they're gone I will pick up the apples. Will this work?
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Old 09-14-2018, 01:53 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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No, in fact if they are nesting in the apples, they will have "guards" that can attack you from afar. I have removed a few nests, one just a few weeks ago in the eaves of the house, and it's tricky. There is a spray that shoots 20+ feet, that is what you should use, it will kill them from a safe distance. Water sprayed will just make them mad at you, and they live through rain all the time. Another alternative is to fill a 5 gallon bucket about half way with hot soapy water. use a shovel to quickly pick up the apples and drop them into the bucket. Be prepared to drop it and run, though, if they attack.
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:13 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
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Chances are, if they are feeding on the fallen apples....they are yellow jackets. Wait 'till dusk when they have retreated to their burrow for the night, then collect the fruit.

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 09-14-2018, 02:29 PM
 
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I think they are actually living in the apples at night.
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Old 09-14-2018, 03:49 PM
 
Location: Swiftwater, PA
13,137 posts, read 10,568,819 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcdguy View Post
I think they are actually living in the apples at night.

Generally you are 'fairly' safe just getting close enough until they fly away and picking up the fruit. I would wear leather gloves in case you don't see one on the back of the apple. But why are you picking the crushed ones off the ground; don't you have good fruit in the tree? They do make fruit pickers so you don't even have to climb for many of the fruit: https://www.staples.com/Flexrake-LRB...akamai-feo=off.

PS If I used an insecticide on the bees; I would not be quick to eat the fruit. The old apple presses were swarming with bees all over. Many of us used to take our apples to have them 'pressed' for apple juice and apple cider many years ago.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:40 PM
 
Location: Boydton, VA
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Please do not use an insecticide on bees. Wasps, yellow jackets, hornets....yes, not bees. It would be highly unusual for bees to be feeding on downed apples.

Yellow Jacket

Wasp

Hornet

Bee

Regards
Gemstone1
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Old 09-14-2018, 06:50 PM
 
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This is the first year we have lived here. We had no idea the tree would produce so much fruit! And we assumed the apples wouldn't taste very good. We were wrong. Next year we will use the suggestion fisheye gave. No reason not to use these apples. Seems wasteful not to.

We waited just before dusk and picked up the apples that didn't have yellow jackets in them. The few that had them we dropped into a bucket of soapy water. All apples up.
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Old 09-14-2018, 07:22 PM
Status: "Even better than okay" (set 8 days ago)
 
Location: Coastal New Jersey
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If the apples are rotted, why do you want to pick them up? Why not just let the wasps have them?
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:04 PM
 
Location: Kalamalka Lake, B.C.
2,966 posts, read 3,761,042 times
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Default wait untl cool off or spray 2% bleach

Quote:
Originally Posted by cdcdguy View Post
I have an apple tree, and some of the apples on the ground are rotted. They are filled with wasps or bees or possibly yellow jackets. I want to pick up these apples but I can't. Will these creatures leave if there is a sudden rain? My plan is to turn on the sprinkler from a safe distance. Then when they're gone I will pick up the apples. Will this work?
During the long hot summer I sprayed 2% bleach solution lightly. Then picked up the fruit.
or if you have cool evenings where you are, pick up then.
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Old 09-14-2018, 08:28 PM
 
Location: S.W. British Columbia
6,017 posts, read 5,795,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fisheye View Post


......... But why are you picking the crushed ones off the ground; don't you have good fruit in the tree? ....
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mightyqueen801 View Post


......... If the apples are rotted, why do you want to pick them up? Why not just let the wasps have them?

I think the OP wants to do that because otherwise it's more difficult to harvest good fruit off the tree or from the ground when you are being attacked non-stop by angry wasps who are trying to protect their rotten fruits that they've claimed on the ground. The rotten fruits need to be disposed of entirely or else moved elsewhere far enough away from the tree to discourage the wasps from hanging around the tree.

Under the same circumstances as the OP said and myself having been there and done that too, I also would be removing the rotten fruits to get them out of the way because of the danger their 'resident' wasps represent to me and other pickers. In past instances I've always collected up and put the rotten fruits onto the compost pile. Then the wasps abandon the vicinity of the tree to follow the rotten fruit away to the compost pile. It's a good compromise between wasps and human pickers, everyone gets what they want that way. And an added bonus is that drunk wasps are hilarious to watch staggering around and falling over on the compost pile after eating fermenting fruit.


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