Anyone recognize this larva and is it a problem?
I was removing some comb from a frame from a hive that had died over the winter to put the comb in a new TBH I'm starting this year. When I pride the strip of wood that held the foundation in place at the top of the frame, I found one larva of some kind and another that appeared to still be in a cocoon of some kind.
I have no idea what it is, but it was not in the comb itself and the frame had been removed from the hive about a month ago, so I thought that comb itself was probably safe to reuse and I have done so in my new TBH. However, if anyone yells "WAITE!!! That's one of those Nasty watcha-ma-call-its! DON'T USE THAT COMB!" and can probably still pull it out since they were just installed today.
Here's what it looked like:
Last edited by Bizzybee; 05-18-2009 at 07:19 PM.
Reason: Please reduce image size to 640x480
That's a waxworm larva. A strong hive will control these, but before putting into a weak hive deep-freeze the frames for 24 hours to kill all stages of waxmoth eggs and larva.
So, I should pull that comb out ASAP and do the deep Freeze on it then?
There was only this one visible. Are the earlier stages of the life cycle too small to see and subsequently might still be there?
The frame came out of a hive where the colony died earlier this spring. It was healthy last fall but about a month ago when I opened it up to rotate the brood boxes I found a very week hive. I compressed the hive down to just 1 brood box and started feeding 1:1 and the queen did start laying but the colony just progressively got smaller and smaller until about two weeks ago it was completely gone.
I found the larva while I was cutting a frame of empty brood comb and attaching it to a top bar for a new TBH I'm starting from a new 3lb box of Italian bees.
So... is it a strong colony? Probably not yet but hopefully it will be soon.
I just installed the bees today. I thought the drawn comb would give them a headstart. Of course I hung the Queen cage between this old comb and a new top bar so I'll have to disturb the queen cage to get the comb out.
The only other evidence I saw of the wax moth, which I didn't recognize the significance of until I just now since I read something about them, was some kind of "trails" of cobwebby type stuff through a few of the empty cells.
I would definately remove that frame and freeze it for 24 hours, then you can give it back to them since it does not sound like the wax is damaged too much yet.
Just an update.
Since I had cut the comb out of the original Lang. frame and attached to a top bar and since there was no sign of any wax moth larva actually in the comb, I decided to take the chance and just leave the comb in the hive.
I feel it's still too early to actually pull the bar out and inspect it (the weather's been really crummy since I installed box). However, the colony appears to be doing quite well. So, I'm currently encouraged and hopeful that even if there might be some wax moth larva in the comb that I missed some how, my colony should be able to take care of them for me.
If you can get it in the States, Certan will clear this up in no time.
Howdy Tom --
If the affected frames contain capped brood which you don't need to lose by freezing,
here is an old trick:
Shake off the bees and strike the bottom bar over the end bar sharply with hive tool about a dozen times. Reverse and strike the other end. It is surpriising how many larvae
will crawl out.
I had cut this comb out of the original langstrom hive frame and attached it to a top bar. So, there was no wood transferred from the old frame to the new hive. Also, all the comb was uncapped and there hadn't been any brood in that comb for at least two weeks.
There were some signs of wax month web trails through the comb, but no other signs of them. So, I took the risk and just left the comb in the hive untreated. So far it appears things are going OK. Last week I check the hive and I had some new bee larva in the old comb, which was very reassuring since I hadn't spotted the queen since I had manually let her out of the cage about a week before.
I've checked the hive a few times since that inspection, though only by removing the follower board and seeing what I could see from the back (didn't feel it necessary to disturb them by actually lifting bars out) and all seems to be going quite well. Though there is one possible exception: in the corners of the hive at the bottom (I'm using a sold bottom not a screened bottom) there has been accumulation of what looks like very fine saw dust mixed with what almost looks like sugar or salt crystals. I have no idea what this might be. I'll try to get a good picture of it and post to see if anyone else recognizes it.
Here's a close up of the stuff that's accumulating in the bottom of the hive. What the heck is the white/clear chunks? they are a little bigger than standard sugar crystals from refined sugar... maybe the size of the crystals in the unrefined cane sugar you can by. They don't seem hard as rock, but they don't real "squish" either. I haven't had the nerve to give them a taste since I have no idea what they are.
Any else have any ideas?
Just for grins, here's a shot of the inside of the hive. This was taken around may17th... so what's that? ... about 2 or three weeks after I put them in? I forget now.
Last edited by Bizzybee; 05-18-2009 at 07:18 PM.
Reason: Please reduce image sizes to 640x480
I would like to know what that is in the corner too.
Do you get the same kind of stuff in your hive?
Never mind.... I found it.
They are "wax scales". Did a google and somewhere in Wikipedia it says that the wax scales are initially glass clear... which is exactly what I'm seeing in my hive.
Watch google videos.
If they drop them they leave them. Will remove when hive is larger and more cleaner bees are around.
Comb looks good, deep hive!