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Pollen beetle forecasts

At the moment the pollen beetle forecast indicates that the migration of newly-emerged pollen beetle adults from oil seed rape fields to feeding sites – such as broccoli and cauliflower crops - is likely to start in mid June in the warmest locations towards the south.

The risk of infestation is obviously higher if horticultural crops are close to fields of oil seed rape. Pollen beetles are particularly active when the weather is warm and humid.

Background

Adult pollen beetles (Brassicogethes spp.) are occasional pests of cauliflower and broccoli. The adult beetles feed on the curds or florets causing physical damage. This type of damage usually occurs in mid-summer when new adults emerge from oil seed rape crops and move into other areas to feed. They are also often found in flowers at this time. These new adults feed for a period of time and then seek hibernation sites, for example in leaf litter at the base of hedges. They overwinter as adults and emerge from hibernation in spring, when they can again be seen feeding on flowers such as dandelions. They then move to suitable host plants such as oil seed rape to lay eggs. Once hatched, the larvae feed on flower buds and then drop to the soil to pupate, from which the new generation of adults emerges.

Location

Estimated start of pollen beetle migration into edible brassica crops

Cornwall - Hayle

21 Jun

Kent - Sandwich

16 Jun

Suffolk - Ipswich

25 Jun

Warwick, Wellesbourne

17 Jun

Norfolk, Norwich

24 Jun

Lincolnshire - Holbeach

23 Jun

Nottingham - Stubton

21 Jun

Lancashire, Southport

23 Jun

Yorkshire, York

24 Jun

Perthshire, Scotland

3 Jul