Bee hives are set up in the orchard in May at apple blossom time to insure fertilization and setting of apples. These honey bees supplement the work of native bees. Trees are protected by wire at the base against the winter gnawing of mice and rabbits.
Fertilization of the apple
In foraging for food for the young bees, the bee picks up pollen which eventually is carried in the pollen baskets on the hind legs. As the bee lights on the flower, some pollen grains fall on the pistils. By absorbing sugars, pollen tubes grow through the pistil to the embryo sac where a nucleus of the pollen tube fuses with an egg cell. Growth of the egg cell then produces the embryo plant, which gradually is surrounded by hard layers and becomes a seed.
(Circle on top-right)
Hind leg of Bee Showing the Pollen Basket (enlarged)
(Box on bottom-right)
(Top) Enlargement of the tip of the pistil
(Bottom) Enlargement of the embryo sac
Spraying is carried out at least three times a year as a protection against the codling moth and other insects. The second spraying usually takes place in July, after the apples are well developed, to control the second brood of codling moths.
Life History of the Codling Moth
The codling moth is one of the commonest enemies of the apple. About the time that the petals fall, the codling moth lays an egg within the calyx of the flower. On hatching from this egg, the larva makes its way down into the fruit and eats as the apple develops.
In the fall, emerging from the apple, the" worm”, (larva) from the second brood hides under a piece of loose bark on the trunk of the tree and spins a cocoon in which it spends the winter.
In the spring, the moth emerges from the cocoon to start the life cycle all over again.
(Inside top-left circle)
(Left) Codling moth egg in calyx of flower (enlarged)
(Right) Codling moths (enlarged)
(Bottom) Codling moth (enlarged)
Cocoon of codling moth (enlarged)
"Worm" (Larva) of codling moth (enlarged)
The Apple Orchard in Dutchess County, New York
Part of Hall of New York State Environment.