Corn tassels being eaten?!

My staggered planting s of corn threw out tassels a few days ago and the tassels are being eaten down to a strand. All the hanging pods are missing. I did spot black bees harvesting pollen--they look just like bumble bees but definitely smaller than the ones we normally find burrowing holes under the porch. I think I caught one pulling the hanging pods right off the tassel and flying away--or maybe it fell to the ground.
Is this something that afflicts corn? I assume with the tassels being eaten by bees or some other bug my cobs are not going to get well pollenated. The rest of the plants looks healthy. It seems to be happening to every plant in the patch. DiGiTAL ViNYL (no email) Zone 6b/7, Westchester Co, NY, <1 mile off L.I.Sound 2nd year gardener http://members.aol.com/DigitalVinyl66/Garden2004.html
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| My staggered planting s of corn threw out tassels a few days ago and | the tassels are being eaten down to a strand. All the hanging pods are | missing. I did spot black bees harvesting pollen--they look just like | bumble bees but definitely smaller than the ones we normally find | burrowing holes under the porch. I think I caught one pulling the | hanging pods right off the tassel and flying away--or maybe it fell to | the ground. | | Is this something that afflicts corn? I assume with the tassels being | eaten by bees or some other bug my cobs are not going to get well | pollenated. The rest of the plants looks healthy. It seems to be | happening to every plant in the patch. |
Japanese beetles may be the culprit. In any event, I would spray the silk with Sevin or dust with Rotenone. Without the silk, you won/t get any corn.
--
TQ

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DigitalVinyl said:

In the past I've had problems with house sparrows (AKA English sparrows) eating the anthers in the tassels. And yes, this is an affliction, leading to poor pollination of the ears.
I've been lucky (?) enough to see a large decline in house sparrow population, so the past couple of years the tassels have been safe.
The birds tend to fold over or break the very top of the tassels.
--
Pat in Plymouth MI ('someplace.net' is comcast)

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