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Post  Uprooted on 7/22/2011, 11:22 pm

I was going to spray some neem oil insecticidal soap on my squash this evening when I saw a bee hovering near. I know the spray is harmful to bees and beneficials as well as my enemies, the squash bugs, so I held off. Just wondering if there is a rule of thumb about how early/how late it's safe to avoid bees?
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Post  camprn on 7/22/2011, 11:33 pm

I have had pretty good success hunting squash bugs by watering heavily with the hose, the squash bugs head for dry areas. That is when you can catch or spray them directly with an insecticidal soap. I am also looking often for squash bug eggs on the underside of the leaves, these, when I find them I destroy them. Most of my bees are really out until after sunset. They are busy and know winter is coming. Spray in evening when they are less active and avoid spraying on the buds and blossoms.
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Post  littlejo on 7/23/2011, 7:40 am

The bees that for the most part have been doing my pollinating are a med, type of bumble bee. I went out one night after dark with a flashlight. Low and behold, I think they were sleeping on the underside of the leaves of my cucumbers. I don't know when I'd ever be able to spray anything.
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Last edited by littlejo on 7/23/2011, 7:46 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Post  Uprooted on 7/23/2011, 9:20 am

Thanks to both of you. I have been using the water/catch/drown method but I'm never sure I'm getting them all and like to use the neem as backup. I drowned three more squash bugs this morning but I think one other one escaped. I found some more eggs -- seems like the squash bugs around here all lay eggs on the top rather than underside of leaves, which is certainly nice for search and destroy missions.

I'm growing my vine vertically and it's about 3 feet tall and so far I haven't seen an open female flower. I've had three that died so this morning I tried forcing the female flower open and hand pollinating. don't know if I did it right but we'll see if I get a squash from it.

I've never seen bees sleeping anywhere near my plants, but I have seen them active early in the morning and late in the evening and normally they say that's when it's safe to spray. I'm thinking maybe it never is.
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