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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Wax Moth? Not sure.

    So my hive is rather weak. It has superseded twice this year (and it was a new colony installed from package at end of May,) and is in the middle of the second supersedure. As a result, the numbers are rather low in the hive, and they are fairly weak. Today, I noticed a small patch (4 inches square, give or take) of decimated comb that had been eaten right down to the foundation, and in several of the surrounding cells were little brown worms wriggling around. I'm not 100% certain these are wax moth larvae, but I'm not sure of what else it could be. So, what I'm asking is:

    1. Do these sound like wax moth larvae?
    2. Should I pull this frame and freeze it? There are only 5-6 frames of drawn comb in the hive, and I'm worried about killing a bunch of bee larvae by freezing them.
    3. Should I pull these frames and put them in a nuc, or will that really not help the bees much at all?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    Were their webs? Is their slime?

    If slime and no webs, probably SHB (small hive beetles). If webs and no slime, possibly wax moth larvae.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,999

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    Joseph, don't the larvae come before the webs?

    bobbarker stated "...in several of the surrounding cells were little brown worms wriggling around."

    To my newbee mind these sound like juvenile larvae of some kind that has just recently hatched and that haven't started their march across the combs. I was under the impression that the older larvae that are actually tunneling leave the web behind them, then when the time comes to pupate they spin and attach their cocoons to the wood.

    It seems to me that bobbarker may have caught a problem early (no great damage *yet*) and is trying to determine what pest he needs to be fighting.

    ???
    Ed

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Pineville, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    Wax moth. Just had this happen. I didn't catch it in time and my bees left. I'd pull any frames that have larvae or tunneling and freeze. If the hive is small transferring to a nuc would be a good idea. Wish I had caught mine sooner.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,408

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    Wax moth larvae begin webbing as soon as they hatch from their eggs, (if you can see larvae, and they are wax moth larvae, you should be able to see webs), and they continue web production until they use webbing to spin their cocoons. They remind me of tent caterpillars with the way they use webbing to protect themselves as they feed. So not actually, before, but with -- though it depends on how you look at it, "chicken or egg".

    No matter the size, wax moth larvae aren't usually visible unless their webs are pulled away from them.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,999

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    Thanks, Joseph. So as soon as the larvae hatch they start spewing silk? After looking at my recent wax moth massacre of a hive and at the amount of web in it to get that much nastiness into a hive I would almost say that they spew silk from the egg...it was a NASTY, NASTY MESS!!!! It makes sense that they start making web from the time they hatch.

    Have you observed any locations in the hives that the moth prefer to lay their eggs on? I've read that the spot where the end bars touch is one favorite place for the moths. But, I've also heard that most any crack or crevice attracts them...just as those spots attract SHB. Then there is the eggs that are laid in the comb... Any significant difference in the number of eggs laid in these different spots?

    bobb, reach into the "chewed up" part of the comb and see if you can pinch a wad of it out...see if there is any web hidden toward the comb's center. I found that the web could be tough to pull apart. Also, hold the damaged comb up to the light and see if you see and lighter colored straight lines in the comb....wax moth tunnels.

    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    My biggest problem is when the wax moth's lay their eggs on the comb.

    This season, when I was growing top bar nucs, the top bars were a little longer than Langstroth frames, so I rested one end (the same end) on the frame rest on one end of the nuc supers, and let the other end of the top bars protrude, at a slight upward angle, out the other end of the nuc box. They drew comb quite quickly, and filled it with brood. Several combs in some of these nucs had wax moth larvae attack in a crescent following the contour of the comb. All the area affected by the wax moth larvae were, at the time, occupied by honey bee brood. Most of the brood in the affected areas never successfully emerged (usually because the wax worm webbing trapped them in their cells), and afterwards the bees tore out the areas and rebuilt them.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    moth 1.jpg102_1228.jpg
    The first picture here is the larvae. This isn't the only spot on the two frames I found larvae, but it's the worst. I've circled all of those I can see at a glance. The second picture is the damage on that same frame. As I said, it's only on two frames for the moment. my hope is that it stays there, and there aren't eggs that have been laid on another frame waiting to hatch out. I still don't see any webbing anywhere, but I don't know what else these little buggers could be.

    The two frames are resting comfortably in the freezer right now. How long should I freeze them for to ensure that the larvae are killed? I want to get the frames back to the bees in the Nuc for the food that is stored there and so that they can get started on repairs, but I want to make awfully sure that the moth larvae are dead. Thanks.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    There seems to be a small spot of webbing just to the left of the larvae in the first photo, but I've never seen wax moth larvae group together in honeycomb cells, like the larvae in your photo do. I have seen other photos of SHB larvae that looked similar to your photo. Perhaps both wax moth larvae and SHB larvae are present.

    Link to photo of SHB larvae in honeycomb - SHBpic1 and SHBpic2.

    Hopefully your freezing them will alleviate the situation.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,483

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    Agree with JC, could be both but I lean heavily to SHB.

    Freeze it for 48hours.........
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Vermontville, Michigan
    Posts
    101

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    Yeah, those pictures do look pretty close to what I've got going on. Looks like it may be SHB after all. Thanks for the input.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Pineville, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    IMG_0348.jpgIMG_0349.jpg

    Here is a couple of my frames.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    2,483

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    Pictures from Tim show wax moths. See BS member (no pun intended ) Sundance and purchase Agree Bt Aizawai and treat your other comb. Depending upon whether the foundation is wax or plastic will determine if you can scrape it all off back to foundation and let the bees start again........
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the Varrox Mite Killing
    OA Vaporizer "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Pineville, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    75

    Default Re: Wax Moth? Not sure.

    That colony is gone there were a lot of problems, the two biggest problems were the wax moths and me. This was a Nuc from around April, I transferred it to a deep hive body. A couple weeks later I noticed it was queen less(probably because of me) so I bought a Russian to put in there a week later the pictures show what I found on all but three frames. I tried to transfer the remaining to a nuc at about 8:45 one night and I did a lot of things wrong. I went out the next morning and there was lots of dead bees and what was left didn't recover.

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