Boris the Duck is in the dumps because his partner Beatrice just started sitting on a clutch of eggs and won’t have anything do with him. It’s going to be a long month.
A Western Yellowjacket (Vespula pensylvanica) queen mating with a male. The fertilized queen will eventually go into hibernation for the winter. She will re-emerge in the spring, find a spot for a nest and lay a few eggs that will hatch and become her workers. She will spend the remainder of her time laying eggs. Alas, the male will die.
I had noticed these bugs on my red currants for a number of years but didn’t give them much thought. A couple of days ago I decided to look them up and see what their story was. I already knew they were stink bugs and I thought that was their claim to fame. Unfortunately, I found out they also like to chew on tender shoots. I had noticed quite a bit of fruit drop on my red currants and had always suspected it may have been bird damage. I’m now convinced it was caused by the Green Burgundy Stink Bug (Banasa dimidiata).
We don’t use pesticides in our garden so I resorted to the old tried and true method of hand picking the bugs off. The first day I got about 50 bugs, the second day 20 and today about 10. I’ll continue picking each day until I see the last of them. I also use this method for slugs and sawfly larva and while a little tedious, it is effective. When picking I’m always coming across beneficial insects that would be killed by spraying so the time taken far outweighs the convenience of a quick, easy and deadly spray.