I am a new beekeeper. I lost my first & only hive to wax moths this past week, and am trying to look for ways to prevent it from happening again.
I didn't want to give up, so I bought 2 more.
I have found some info. on certan, but am not sure if I should try it, etc... .
This is the information I have found so far on Certan ( B401 ) =
Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai which is a treatment for Wax Moths:
Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai strain NB200 is a naturally occurring bacterium that is toxic to many moth larvae. No harm to humans or the environment is expected from use of Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai strain NB200 as a pesticide active ingredient.
Archived Discussions about Certan ( B401 ):
B401 or Certan for $19.25 @
B401 previously known as Certan is the only known preventive against Wax Moth. A form of BT or Bacillus Thuringiensis formulated to kill the larvae when it tries to feed on the comb. Use 1-19 water in a pressure sprayer will treat 120 frames in storage. Will not harm you, honey or the bees. Well worth the expense to keep those valuable frames free of damage.
B 401 (also known as Certan) is a safe and environmentally friendly product based on a concentrated solution of Bacillus thuringiensis, a microorganism. B401 is used after the honey harvest, when the frames are stored. A single application will provide 100% efficacy against wax moth right up to the installation of the frames again the following season. As B401 only kills young wax moth larvae, it must be used as a preventative, before the combs are infested
You most likely lost your hive to a cause other than wax moths. A strong, well managed, healthy hive will not succumb to wax moths. Try to look for other problems that may have lead to the decline of your hive or you may have the same thing happen to the new hives.
I failed to say that it had previously had been affected by a carpenter ant problem ( I even had to get a new queen ), and that's probably why it had been weakened enough to be affected by the moths.
now I have never used certan myself but I do believe it is primarily used for storing comb over some short time period. when stacked up againist other 'honey super' wax moth controls it is not 100 percent effective. if I was going to rather quickly reuse the salvaged frames from a dead out I would freeze for a minimum of 24 hours to kill everything including the eggs. at your location I would be as much concerned with the potentials of shb problems (the larvae are very small when compared to wax moth).
persistance pays and good luck...
What I had wondered: could I spray the certan on the ground around my hives? From what I had read, it's not supposed to affect the bees, wax, or honey.
Yes, we do have SHB in our area, most of the beekeepers in my area say it's a fact of life here, and we can't escape it.
They suggest using the smoker at the front entrance, then removing the covers, and looking in the corners where the SHB will gather, then squirting vegetable oil on them ( to suffocate them I suppose ).
I just don't want this to happen again with the moths, it happened so fast, and the destruction is devastating.
Are you even sure it was wax moths? If you saw a lot of larvae you may have assumed they were was moth larvae when they were really SHB larvae.
I am in Orlando and yes, the SHB is the bigger problem here. Keeping colonies strong and populous is important in July-Sep.
Once the weather cools down and the humidity drops the SHB are less of a problem.
I have seen a number of reasons a colony can collapse during the summer months and results in SHB and wax Moth attack.
One I had in a moist environment (low area and not enough ventilation) they got chalk brood and lost most of their brood. They looked like they were trying to make a comeback when I found them, but their population had been so drastically reduced that they could not patrol all the comb, and the wax moths and SHB were gaining ground on them. I reduced them to just a couple useful frames and gave them new frames and foundation to fill one deep and started feeding them and I think they are going to make it.
Several other hives have shutdown brood production in the heat and so their populations are dropping too. Same thing could happen to them. Watch the amount of comb they have to patrol and keep clean. If there is not enough bees to carry off all of the larvae from the SHB and Wax Moths that naturally occur they will succumb.
Last edited by Troy; 07-24-2007 at 11:33 AM.
Hi Troy, Yes, they were wax moths. I saw the adult moths too. I took one of the frames to an experienced beekeeper, and he confirmed it. Thanks. - Jamie
what I would suggest to you jamiesandhillcrane is that both the wax moth and shb are effect and not cause. the cause being most typically lack of resources, pathogen or disease.
in regard to using certan on the ground... I would not since it is suppose to only work on the larvae.
as far as I am aware there is a whole list of moth (species) that fall into the list of what bee keepers generally call wax moth.
Thanks for the info., I am trying to do everything I can to learn as much as possible.
I have just registered with the Florida State Beekeepers Assoc., and with the State of Florida itself ( am now waiting for a Bee Inspector to inspect my 2 new hives ).
One of the hives has more SHB than the other, and I have one those SHB traps that is built on a frame, and you either put apple cider vinegar, or mineral oil in it. I am going to try that out soon. I am thinking about buying a trap for the bottom board too.
So far, I haven't seen wax moths. I hope I don't anytime soon, if not ever.
P.S. I had discussed my problem with 2 local beekeepers, one of them also owns a pest control company. They both feel that the original problem was that carpenter ants got into the hive, and weakened it. I actually lost the queen due to this. I had gotten another queen, and set up my original hive a little better, by sitting it up on blocks, which were put in big pans of water. I guess it was all a little too late, and the hives were already weakened enough for the moths to get a foothold in the hive.
I sincerely hope that this doesn't happen again.
Last edited by jamiesandhillcrane; 07-27-2007 at 02:27 PM.