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Honeycrisp Whizzbanger

Posted by Michael Phillips 
Honeycrisp Whizzbanger
October 16, 2017 07:15AM
Occasionally I have seen one to two to even three holes "drilled" into the stem cavity zone of various apple varieties over the past few seasons. These holes are always clustered together. Nothing much seems to happen so I've imagined some insect sucking juices in midsummer and then leaving behind a small dried up hole going no deeper than an eighth of an inch.

This year however Honeycrisp seems especially attractive. Maybe ten percent of the crop has entrance holes you can readily see. And activity is ongoing in the harvest window. And somehow, the flesh of Honeycrisp responds with up to a dime-size volume rotting out. I have cut open dozens of apples and have not seen a larva. This is definitely not apple maggot fly for the damage does not wind throughout flesh and end at the core. One can almost sense a larvae feeding about a half-inch deep by the appearance of the rot zone but it is either microscopic or out of the apple very fast. The other thing about the Honeycrisp Whizzbanger is damage now occurs not just in the vicinity of the stem cavity but anywhere on the apple where a bright red cheek faces the warm sunshine. The only bug activity I'm seeing now in the harvest window is a narrow, medium-size black fly. Not necessarily the culprit by any means.

What I described on other varieties may well not be what's banging the Honeycrisps. Anyone know anything more?

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: Honeycrisp Whizzbanger
October 27, 2017 08:28PM
sorry, Michael, I draw a blank on this one!

Hemlock Grove Farm
Zone 5 in New York
Re: Honeycrisp Whizzbanger
December 23, 2017 03:15PM
Hi Michael,

I have heard other's describing similar phantom piercings and the rot that is left behind makes me think of BMSB.

Any chance they are starting to set up camp at your place?

For our HON members and guests, here is a link to a well done trial of various BMSB traps and pheromones by the USDA*-ARS in Kearneysville, WV

[www.stopbmsb.org]

Good luck my friend!

Gopher Hill Apples
Zone 8 in California
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