Hello.I have a 20 year old orange tree growing from the ground in my North London garden. Up until 2 years ago it produced an abundance of fruit, but last year wasps or Bees were attracted to the blossoms and they started to bite or cut them off. This mean't my fruit crop was reduced. This year when the tree blossomed the bees/wasps were again attracted and cut ALL the blossoms off! I would find the blossoms, intact, scattered around the tree. Of course this now means I have no oranges growing on my tree. Does anyone know why this is happening or how I could prevent the same thing happening next year? The tree appears otherwise healthy.
Last Edit: Jul 20, 2022 19:32:30 GMT -5 by nataliauk
" last year wasps or Bees were attracted to the blossoms and they started to bite or cut them off. This mean't my fruit crop was reduced. This year when the tree blossomed the bees/wasps were again attracted and cut ALL the blossoms off! "
Can you work out which insect is doing this, Bees or Wasps ? The control or prevention methods might be different. With Bees, are there urban hives in your area, i.e. garden or rooftop Bee Keepers ? Their might be excessive bee numbers, overworking your tree ? If it is Wasps like Hornets, is there a hive nearby. You might be able to have a Hornet Nest removed ? Not sure how that works in UK, European Wasps are a declared pest in Australia, maybe not in UK if they are a native species ? With Bees or Hornets, they are large insects. You may be able to Net Cover the tree at flowering time to exclude them, or reduce their activity on the flowers. You may be able to use a light floating cover with a weave size for bees/wasps, or drape the cover over a structure to avoid rubbing some flowers/fruit off at removal. Not sure if fully excluding Bees will affect fruit set level without any Bee pollination ?
In Australia, Feral Honey Bees also cause problems, as they are much larger than many Native Bee species. They can rip open many flowers designed for the smaller Bees, causing pollination / seed set problems for native plant species, and at the same time disrupt the feeding of the Native Bees.