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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    149

    Default Wax Moth Infestation Help Needed.

    I opened up a hive today, and noticed that it is infested with both the lesser and major wax moth. 3 weeks ago this hive was strong and healthy, and they must have swarmed or something.

    However, this hive is unsavable due to the large amount of damage. I will take pictures if requested, but I know there is nothing I can do at this stage.

    What do I do with the remaining bees in the hive at this time? There are only around 2# of bees in this hive, and it was booming at around 60k bees at the beginning of the season. Didn't look for a queen as I was overwhelmed with the wax damage and the large amount of larvae and cocoon that I saw in the hive.

    What should I do?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    I would check for a queen and if you see her then put whatever clean frames you have in a nuc box and then feed them to get them re-started. They will do better with less comb to protect. Then freeze whatever comb you have left to kill the wax moth larvae and eggs.

    If you don't have a queen then the only choice this late in the season is to combine with another hive.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hokie Bee Daddy View Post
    I would check for a queen and if you see her then put whatever clean frames you have in a nuc box and then feed them to get them re-started. They will do better with less comb to protect. Then freeze whatever comb you have left to kill the wax moth larvae and eggs.

    If you don't have a queen then the only choice this late in the season is to combine with another hive.

    To be honest, with the extent of damage, I do not believe the wax to be salvageable!

    There is no good wax or frames in the hive. I do not think you can understand the extent of this damage. There is not one single frame that isn't completely over run with wax moths in a total of 20 deep frames and 9 Medium/ Super frames. This hive is toast!!!!

    There are maybe a total of 1000 bees in the entire hive with no queen visible.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,381

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    Going forward, I would highly recommend: Bt "Aizawai".
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Owensboro, KY
    Posts
    149

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Going forward, I would highly recommend: Bt "Aizawai".
    I don't want to spray that on my salvaged frames ... do I? I can understand that I want to destroy the wax with the moths, but I want to keep my wooden frames. What's the residual affect of this stuff?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,381

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    I use it on idle combs and on foundation, both plastic and beeswax. It seems to be effective for at least a year after applying. I apply it as a solution in water, then let it dry. There are directions at the other thread. It is said to be effective on very small/young wax moth larvae, not as much once the larvae are grown, so it works better as a prophylactic rather than something to eliminate adult wax moth larvae. Besides, by the time the larvae are adult, they've already done their damage.

    If you're doing foundationless, it can be difficult to treat the combs, unless they are idle/empty and being stored.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,098

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    Find the queen if there is one (likely not) make up a nuc with brood-food-comb if you have it. Foundation if you don't. Put the queen (old queen, new queen, queen cell, open brood - your choice) in the nuc in the same location, and shake out all of the bees in front of it.

    If you don't have a queen and/or don't want to get/make one combine the nuc with a queenright hive after they move in. Freeze the frames, and do what you will with them. You might be amazed at how nicely a strong hive will fix them up.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Going forward, I would highly recommend: Bt "Aizawai".
    I dunno, my jury is still out on the Bt. I think that if you are going to expect protection from it that you have to have *all* the equipment in the hive sprayed with the Bt. I've got a thread started about moth damage (destruction), also. The brood chamber was established and untreated...the two supers were both treated. The entire hive was destroyed. Here's a picture and a link to that thread. BTW, roostershooter...those belly crawlers work fast, don't they! Nasty suckers!!!

    Notice the marks on the frame on the left where the cocoons stayed with the frame that was removed from above...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,381

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    Common comments I hear often, and perhaps it is true for those persons making them, but it's never been true for me - and that is, "wax moths are never a problem for a strong hive", or statements to that effect.

    I've been keeping honey bees since I was ten, and in many different parts of the U. S. A., but for the past couple of decades, right here in the Tucson/Marana, Arizona area. It seems that, for me, no matter how strong a hive is, they can be victimized by wax moth larvae and for me, Certan/B401/Bt "Aizawai" can help the bees defend against them. It certainly doesn't have the effect of an invisible wax moth force-field, but definitely helps them defend themselves from the invading wax moth larvae.

    I definitely realize that it is very difficult to ensure that every bit of comb and equipment are protected by the BT, and it is easy to see how the moths take advantage of any unprotected area. But, unfortunately, I don't have to imagine how bad it can be without any Bt.
    Last edited by Joseph Clemens; 07-01-2012 at 09:15 PM.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    2,001

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    Joseph, I agree that anything we can do to help the bees combat these glop-filled worms is worthwhile.

    "I definitely realize that it is very difficult to ensure that every bit of comb and equipment are protected by the BT, and it is easy to see how the moths take advantage of any unprotected area. But, unfortunately, I don't have to imagine how bad it can be without any Bt."

    I agree with this. My comments above about all the equipment needing treating to be protected stems from the fact that in my case the single deep brood chamber and frame/combs was not treated while the two supers, and frames/foundation were treated. The (untreated) brood chamber was completely devastated to the degree of adjoining combs being knit together with webbing. The two (treated) supers on the other had were damaged...wood damage, comb damage, cocoons attached to wood, but very little webbing in the wax. I will reclaim about 12 frames from the two 8-frame supers.

    My thoughts are that the brood chamber became so infested that the larvae overflowed into the Bt treated supers. There was some brood in the supers but mostly honeycomb. I wish that I had let some of the medium frames remain intact with cocoons on them to see how the Bt affected them. Finally, I think that spraying Bt on the foundation may be of marginal use as the larvae probably won't dine on much of it. But, I would think that initially spraying the woodenware with Bt would be a proactive thing to do...as you can see in the picture I posted the larvae definitely chewed on the Bt treated wood...but I didn't give them a chance to die in the cocoon before killing them. There were only one or two moths that I found still in the cocoons...these were small, appeared not to be completely formed, and they were dead.

    I think that if the brood chamber (established hive when I got it) had been sprayed with Bt the moth invasion may not have been as severe and the weakened hive might could have handled the number of moths present.

    The salvaged comb that I have will definitely be getting sprayed with Bt, as will all the new comb in my other hives.

    Link to my thread about my wax moth destroyed hive... http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Bt-work-or-not

    Best wishes,
    Ed

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Louisville, MS
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    Beginner's question.
    I saw moths in my hive today, but no cocoons or webs, etc. Is the wax moth the only moth that will be present in a hive?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Collinsville, VA
    Posts
    447

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    I've never seen wax moths in the hive unless they were just hatching from cocoons inside. I've always seen wax moths outside the hive, but that's my limited experience. I understand they lay eggs between the boxes and the larvae hatch and move into the hive from there.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,147

    Default Re: Wax Month Infestation Help Needed.

    I've seen wax moths leave a hive when removing the cover, if the hive is strong they aren't a problem.
    We also use BT on our stored frames, its worked well for us the last 5 years.
    If you don't want to use something to protect the frames, store the frames in the open so light & air get to them. Moths like dark boxes.
    Dan

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