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Pollen Beetle found in OSR buds at Rougham

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Pollen Beetle in OSR bud
Pollen Beetle in OSR bud

Variety – Palmedor

Growth Stage – Green Bud

Date – 23/03/2016

Pollen beetle are a common pest of Oilseed rape in the UK.  They can be identified by their metallic appearance which can appear a greenish-black and clubbed antennae (AHDB, 2016). They attack in the Spring and crops are most susceptible to damage during the green to yellow bud stage. Damage can result in bud abortion and reduced pod set, inevitably having an adverse effect on yield.

The earlier flowering plants will attract beetles to the fields and feed on the remaining buds on the less advanced plants. To reduce risk choose varieties with short and even flowering periods. The beetles are most likely to attack during periods of warmer, dry weather (above 15°C).

New thresholds have now been introduced and are supported by AHDB. These are determined by the number of plants per square metre. Crops with a lower plant density are able to compensate better as they produce more branches, thus the application threshold is much higher.


– If there are fewer than 30 plants/m2 the threshold is 25 pollen beetles per plant

– If there are 30–50 plants/m2 the threshold is 18 pollen beetles per plant

– If there are 50–70 plants/m2 the threshold is 11 pollen beetles per plant

– If there are more than 70 plants/m2 the threshold is 7 pollen beetles per plant

Pollen beetle resistance to pyrethroid insecticides is now widespread throughout the UK. Consider PLENUM as an alternative to pyrethroids. To limit the spread of resistance and any impacts on non-target pollinators, only look to control pollen beetle during the green/yellow bud stages.

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