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Thread: Wax Moths

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default Wax Moths

    I got them......

    What do you other Warre people do with Wax Moths? Im not sure at the level of infestation or how to monitor it since I cant pull frames easily.

    When I opened my hive and pulled the top cloth I caught one or two larva on the top of the top bars. There is moth poop and limited cocoons in the nooks and crannies around the top bars as well. I have also noticed poop collecting/being pushed out of the hive between my top box and the middle box (three box high hive) so I suspect they are in the second box down as well.

    Any help would be much appreciated as I am new to this and dont want to lose my bees.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    Kelbor, I have been keeping bees since the late sixties. I have never seen wax moths in a strong hive. If you have wax moths then your bee colony is probally to weak already to defend themselves. I live in Wisconsin now, but originally from Florida. I currently have a Warre that is almost empty of bees. and there is no sign of waxmoths in it. Have not had a problem with them in my Warre's. I see that it has been 6 days since you posted this. Have you looked any further into your hive since?
    Ralph Waldo Emerson "To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage". John 3;17

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    Yeah, and although I am just a newbee I feel like the hive is fairly strong - It survived the winter just fine without ever being fed or babied or treated with anything. I have noticed bees with mites on them from this hive last year and was sure the hive would not make the winter but they did just fine and I have not seen a mite yet this year. Tons of bees flying every day. Lots of brood and pollen. Three boxes high with the top one full of capped honey. More bees then one can count enter and leave the hive constantly.

    I am actually surprised it took six days to get a single response -it seems like whenever there is a issue with a Warre all the advocates for them shut down........

    So, I guess the question is what to do now? Can I strengthen the hive somehow? Turn my back and see if they all die? Pull one box at a time and place in my chest freezer to kill them and then replace the box? Move all the bees to a new Warre and hope they build up by the winter? Im scared the wax moths will spread to my other two hives in the area.

    Any help or suggestions would be great - I cant be the only person to ever get wax moths in my warre!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    The chest freezer would probally be your best bet. And to be honest with you, i have never had a problem with them since I started with Warre's. The only time I ever had them was an empty deadout warre. And they did not spread to the one next to it. Same back in the early seventies, I had a weak hive that they infested. 11 other hives in a row and none of the rest got them. And as far as shuting down, not many of us been keeping Warre's more than 6 years. So take one off freeze it and do another the next day. Just by removing one box you will increase the number of bees in the other boxs left. Maybe that will help run the moths out too. When replacing the froze out box, wait until you remove the other before placing it back in stack. I hope this helps, keep me informed as to how it works.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson "To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage". John 3;17

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    One beek placed about one inch of cedar shavings under the hive (on the ground) and found that it not only deters wax moth but SHB larvae also. It's worth a try.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    I went and cracked all three of my hives. Found Moth larva in both the Warres. I also noticed that the top box on both of the Warres still has some brood and empty comb in the middle bottom (from the top it looks all capped). I guess the freezer trick is out of the question until all the brood hatch......

    Im not seeing any webbing other then a cocoon here and there....just wax poop and a few worms (which I destroy) on the top bar or in the cracks where the top bar rests on the hive body.

    On a side note - How do you get them to cap all the comb and to stop laying brood in it? Ask real nice? The bottom box is only about a 1/4 full of newer comb while the top two boxes are the same ones they had last year and wintered over in......I would like to harvest something this year but do not want to hurt the brood or possibly remove a box with the queen in it.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Franklin County, PA
    Posts
    468

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    This is more of a question on if this could be an option as opposed to freezing the frame. Could you take a barbecue lighter and burn the areas of the wax where there is evidence of moth larvae? I would think the bees would clean it up then. I have some frames that got moth larvae in one hive so I grazed the areas where there was evidence of moths with a torch killing the moth larvae and then put them into a strong colony. I already did it so I'm thinking it should work but I can't be positive because I just did it. Does this seem like a viable option? Just throwing it out there.
    I wish you well with the moths

  8. #8

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    Kelbor, what do you have in your quilt box for insulation? Check them for moth larvae, maybe you could also add the red cedar shavings Virginiawolf was talking about to the quilt box on both the hives. And see what that will do for your bees moth problems. Or maybe a mothball or two to the quilt box next to cloth. Yes you will lose the bee larvae if you freeze it. And the queen will eventually move down by the end of summer. And yes Virginiawolf to the lighter, thats how I clean all my beeware is with a propane torch. Bees dont mind the smokey smell at all.
    Godspeed Kelbor
    Ralph Waldo Emerson "To map out a course of action and follow it to the end requires courage". John 3;17

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Eugene, Or
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    Thanks for the responses all,
    I now have some ammo for my experimenting cannon! Im a little scared of the moth ball in the quilt box and have been advised against using cedar shavings in my quilt boxes (I actually had a hive abscond last year and at the suggestion of the local Warre guys I replaced all my shavings with pine......but I think the cedar I had was the smelly pet store type - Incense cedar maybe?) Im going to throw a empty box under each stack and hope they decide to start building comb in it and move on down...I sure would like at least a pound of honey.

    As far as the moths go.....well....I think I will let the bees work it out. I will check my quilt box more thoroughly for moths but I dont recall seeing any in there the last time I looked. I will also try the red cedar shavings under and around the hive area.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Rock Port, MO. USA.
    Posts
    161

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    I highly recommend you put 2 "ladders" (foundation nailed between halved topbars) in your bottom box to reallly encourage your bees to build at the bottom. I have the same problem with my bees not building down so I added a super with ladders and that box is almost 1/3 full.

    With regards to bees absconding because of cedar, my hive is made of cedar and the bees stayed. So I'm not sure why your bees absconded.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Richmond, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    227

    Default Re: Wax Moths

    I got a tip from some a great video on traditional German bee keeping series http://youtu.be/VrehDfkazO0. A small piece of comb on one of the bars and the bees move down no problem.

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