June 7, 2002
An interesting recent development has been an increase in calls concerning carpenter bees in southern Iowa. Inquiries about carpenter bees, a "southern" insect, were very rare until a year ago. Now, there have been 2 calls this week.
Carpenter bees resemble bumble bees but the upper surface of their abdomen is bare and shiny black; bumble bees have a hairy abdomen with at least some yellow markings.
A springtime favorite of many Iowans is the lilac. Though they offer mainly one season of interest, their spring flower displays are greatly appreciated after a long, hard winter. If you have lilacs or if you are interested in planting one, there are several factors to consider.
This spring the ISU Plant Disease Clinic has received several inquiries regarding peach leaf curl. Cool, wet, humid weather is perfect for the fungus Taphrina deformans to infect and produce disease symptoms.
Small fruits, such as raspberries, are highly perishable. Harvesting the fruit at the right stage of maturity and proper storage are vital to insure high quality. If possible, harvest in the early morning hours before field heat builds up in the fruit. Small quantities of fresh fruit can be stored in the refrigerator for a short time. Surplus fruit should be canned or frozen. While personal preferences vary somewhat, the following criteria should help you decide when to harvest the small fruit crops at their peak of quality and flavor.