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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    Default 1. Put wax moth comb on strong hive? 2. Did the Bt not work...or did it?

    I'm trying to decide whether to re-use some medium drawn frames that went through a wax moth invasion. I don't have a freezer to put the comb in but I do have a strong hive I could at least put a super of the damaged comb on. This has been a sobering experience for me...

    When I went to pull supers for my first extracting I thought I would have a good four, maybe five supers...instead I only had three. I was staggered when I opened the hive...wax moths! The hive was a total lost, the bees having already absconded. The frames had cocoons stuck to them and you could tell where they had chewed the wood. This had been a problematical hive with swarming and becoming queenless. I had requeened it back about a month ago...I got this colony back in February. It had only been about two and a half weeks since I last inspected it and regardless of the problems it had encountered it still managed to put up almost two complete supers of honey. In the last inspection I only went down to the bottom super being as everything was looking good with two supers about filled and much of them capped. Apparently the moths were down in the brood chamber then. My fault. My fault.

    The brood combs are a total loss...nasty, nasty, nasty. The only up side is that that takes care of half of my 10-frame deeps, only one more to go and I'll be all 8-frame mediums.

    The medium combs have damage but some only appear slightly damaged with others damaged enough that I've already pulled what decent looking wax was on them off and got it in my little styrofoam wax melter. Most of the ones that "look ok" have some frass and web along the bottom bar groove and I've dug larvae out of the grooves. There may be a little frass and web hanging on the end bars.

    My question is in regards to using the comb that "looks ok". Naturally I'm worried about putting an overload of moth eggs into a healthy hive. Will the bees clean these frames up sufficiently? Would I be better off to just take my whipping and scrap the comb and solarize the frames?

    A side note: The brood chamber was a total lost and had NOT been treated with Bt. The two supers had both been sprayed, along with the frames and *foundation*. These were still damaged, but not as severely as the deep frames of the brood chamber. There was some pollen and brood in some of the medium frames and these were damaged the worst. The new boxes and frames with pollen had all been sprayed with Bt to the point of dripping. Reading back through things it appears that the wax moth larvae has to take a bite of *something* with the Bt on it...spraying the foundation appears to be useless. I'm curious about those chewed places on the frames, though, I should have kept a few with the cocoons intact to see what happened to the larvae.

    This has been my worst honey bee so far...

    Anyhow, should I ditch the comb or stick on top of a hive?

    Thanks.
    Ed

    Here are some of the frames I'm curious about. I've cleaned them up some more and cut a few bad places out. That blasted web is hard to get off in places and they are very adept at burying/hiding those cocoons. In the first picture below there is (was) a larvae beneath that crumbled up looking frass tucked up under the comb in the bottom groove. I ended up cutting the bottom 1/3 of comb out of some of the frames...






    Last edited by Intheswamp; 06-30-2012 at 05:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Crenshaw County, Alabama
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    Default Re: 1. Put wax moth comb on strong hive? 2. Did the Bt work...or not?

    Here are a couple of shots of when I was pulling supers.

    I had already seen some cocoons on the top bars of the top super...I removed that super and a couple of frames to uncover the top bars of the brood chamber. Talk about a bad feeling coming over you *real* quick!!!


    Here's a shot of a brood frame...disgusting and my fault. I could reach into the comb and literally pull out web, nasty, nasty. Note the straight lines where some larvae had bored their nasty little wormy bodies through the comb, eating and crapping and spinning web...


    While I was pulling the supers to go extract them I took time to pull most of the cocoons off of the frames in the supers. Here's a shot of them in an ice cream bucket with a little oil thrown in...figured it'd help their complexion...especially after I put the lid back on and left them in the sun. Nasty.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
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    2,505

    Default Re: 1. Put wax moth comb on strong hive? 2. Did the Bt work...or not?

    I'd ditch the brood comb with the tunnels. The bees will just rip it all out anyway, fresh foundation is better.

    The other frames can go back in, the bees will run the wax moths out with no problem and take care of any hatching larvae.

    It's aways frustrating to lose a hive, but in this case you had a weak hive that the moths finished off -- the failure on your part was putting too many supers on them too soon, I think. Not enough bees on the brood frames to get rid of the wax moth larvae while they were small, and they then drove the bees out.

    I lost a hive to a combination of wax moths and EFB this spring -- the moth larvae caused the bees to rip out all their stored pollen and I think killed off enough brood that they just dwindled away with the EFB from last summer making it worse. Should have cut them back to a single nuc early this spring, probably would have saved them.

    Another lesson learned, I guess. Next time do a full inspection, just like I should have last year -- I would have put the feeder back on a fed them a protein patty, too, and would have had a bumper honey crop this year instead of an empty hive.

    Peter

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Grayson, KY
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    286

    Default Re: 1. Put wax moth comb on strong hive? 2. Did the Bt work...or not?

    You cooked some good fishing bait in that bucket.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
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    Default Re: 1. Put wax moth comb on strong hive? 2. Did the Bt work...or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by BigGun View Post
    You cooked some good fishing bait in that bucket.
    Yes, but they were wonderful on a bed of black rice with a glass of warm bordeaux!!!

    Ed

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Chilhowee, MO
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    94

    Default Re: 1. Put wax moth comb on strong hive? 2. Did the Bt work...or not?

    why not after you take most of the wax off. bake the frames in the oven at about 150 to 200. put them on a cookie sheet tho to catch drippings.. a lipped cookie sheet works.. if not put them on tin foil.. bake about 30 min.. it will kill everything on there.. and makes the house smell bee wonderful lol.. i did that to a bunch of frames i got from someone as i didnot know thier history and wanted to sterilize them as best as possible.. keep an eye on them.. as you don't want them to burn.
    Smart man knows that the road is a one way street..
    Wise man looks both ways anyhow.......

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