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  1. #1

    Lightbulb Controlling Wax Moths

    Is there anything that could be bought at the stores (wal-mart, walgreen etc) that could be used to control wax moths?

    So far, I have lost two supers to them and could use some advice.

    BillyH

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Panama City, Florida, USA
    Posts
    552

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    wrap your supers up in a plastic garbage bag, seal it real well to insure than nothing can get in (possibly double bag it) then freeze it for 48 hours. Remove from the freezer and leave in the bags until you need it. Otherwise buy some BT from Sundance here or some Paramoth from a bee supply place.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Murray County, Georgia
    Posts
    210

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    Enoz moth crystals can be found in the section where there are brooms and ironing boards. It should have the ingredient Paradichlorbenzene. a couple of table spoons per super and seal them up. Will kill larva and moths.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Phoenixville, PA
    Posts
    579

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    Okay, and now for a totally different point of view.

    Where I live in south TX, WM are one of my 2 biggest problems. Varrora are not an issue for ME, but WM are. They don't go dormant here, and they WILL take down a strong hive, I don't care what the other beeks around here say.

    I do not, and will not, use any of the moth crystals. I don't want that stuff in my honey supers, plus, the bees don't like it. When I stored supers over winter, and let them air out for 2 weeks, the girls would NOT use them. I tried the BT, and they would not touch those frames either. Some bees will. Not mine.

    My multi-pronged approach has been this: Many of the same things that work to deter WM will also deter SHB, my other enemy. I bought a cedar oil spray and sprayed the wood of the supers and frames with that. Bees like cedar in my area -- at least 75% of the swarms I see are in cedars. I keep the ground beneath my hives bare, and the hives in full sun. I keep the hives off the ground on stands. I have also been experimenting this summer, with some success, spreading "snake" repellent around the hives. This is stuff I bought at Tractor Supply, and is heavily impregnated with cedar, clove, and cinnamon oils. Smells great. It *has* cut down on WM and SHB around my hives. Don't know about snakes. And I feel much better about essential oils in and around the hive than the moth stuff.

    But my concerns are not universal. You do have options, and you should check them out.

    Good luck to you!
    Summer

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,994

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    Summer, have you noticed a decrease in ants after using the snake "repellent"?

    Ed

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Freeport,Pa. USA
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    I also make wax moth traps using old 2 liter plastic bottles witha 1 inch hole in the neck filling it with one cup of sugar disolved in 2 cups of water and add one cup of white vinegar and one banana peel. After this gets fermenting it catches a fair amount of moths and other nasty bugs....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,236

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    go to this thread and order some BT. Mix it up in a hand sprayer and mist it over each frame. It works quite well and doesn't have the issues that come with moth crystals.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...Aizawai-Powder

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,324

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    Quote Originally Posted by summer1052 View Post
    ... they WILL take down a strong hive, I don't care what the other beeks around here say.
    I can certainly agree with that. So often I hear how, "wax moths are no problem for a strong hive". Well, for me too, that's been totally bogus. Quite regularly, I find their larvae, spinning their webs through areas of capped brood, where they don't only eat pollen and wax, but also some honey bee pupae, as well. They also frequently ensnare honey bee brood, preventing them from successfully emerging, once the bees begin attempting to do so. They do this in many colonies, no matter their strength or population density.

    Fortunately, for me, and my bees, pre-treating combs/foundation with the appropriate strain of Bt seems to have a strong inhibitive effect against the wax moth, and little, if any deleterious effect on honey bees.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Crenshaw County, Alabama
    Posts
    1,994

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    I'm a first year beek...got my first bees back in December of 2011. My worst experience so far was the day I pulled supers for extracting. I was expecting four, maybe five supers of honey but when I got to my second super this is what I found...supers and frames had been treated with Bt.

    ETA: The brood chamber was a deep and it had NOT been treated. Could have the moths started below and came up into the supers. I saw no dead larvae or any that appeared to be sick (what would a sick larvae look like? ). Should the Bt have killed the larvae that were in the supers? I'm going to continue using the Bt, there's too many folks that swear by it not to use it, but I'm wondering how the moths got such a good foothold in the treated boxes. ???





    Last edited by Intheswamp; 08-07-2012 at 12:48 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,324

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    They say that the normal dose of Bt is only effective on very young larvae, hence it works best as a preventive treatment, not a cure. Once the larvae have grown large enough, a typical dose of Bt might only give them a tummy ache, and not paralyze them. Perhaps a more concentrated dose of Bt could be effective, but such high dosages might create other problems.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Lavaca county, Texas
    Posts
    497

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    Joseph --

    THANK you!!

    I was getting tired of being told my hives just weren't strong enough. Since one hive is notably cranky and obviously AHB tainted, (tho incredibly productive) and THEY had some trouble with WM, I knew it's more a matter of numbers. I just wish the bees would work frames with the Bt. My girls won't have anything to do with it.

    No, I have not noticed the snake repellent affecting the ants. BUT, the only ants I have are Fire Ants, and they are also a category unto themselves. I use pie tins filled with Amdro granules under the legs of my hive stands to get them. Tried all the usual ant remedies, and with Fire Ants, Amdro was the only thing that worked. We are still dry, though not as drought stricken as last year, and that slows them down, too.

    I have come to realize that the days of "this treatment will work for ALL beeks" are gone. Beekeeping is very local, and we need to acknowledge that as we counsel each other on the forum. Enough numbers of ANY pest can take down ANY hive eventually.

    Good luck!
    Summer

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,324

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    This publication by the government of Australia --> wax_moth_and_its_control.pdf, seems very assumptive and prejudiced against beekeepers who have wax moth trouble, but seems to require very large and expensive refrigerated storage facilities in order to implement one of its main wax moth control premise - cold storage of equipment/combs. And makes further assumptions that beekeepers afflicted with the pest are not keeping their apiaries tidy enough, or not inspecting frequently enough, because they're relatively easy to control if you just inspect your hives often enough. Wow! Do the beekeepers there in Australia actually believe what is written in this document?
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,489

    Default Re: Controlling Wax Moths

    The wax moths larvae developed in the brood box and just migrated up into the supers to pupate. They only infest frames with cocoons or pollen as a general rule, although the will sometimes tunnel through empty storage comb. They need the protien, they don't just live off wax.

    Wax moths are ubiquitous, and it's nearly impossible to screen them out without screening your bees in, but there are some things that can help.

    First thing is to keep the empty space in a hive to a minumum -- no empty brood frames if you can help it. BT helps. but it is not a cure-all as wax moths can develop immunity to it, and as noted larger larvae won't eat enough of it to kill them.

    If you are having problems with strong hives getting wax moths, you can try screened bottom boards if you are not using them -- the larvae will fall through when the bees dislodge them and they then cannot crawl back up onto comb. May not cure the problem, but cannot hurt. Eliminating cracks and crevices may help too -- taper the ends of the top bars at a 45 degree angle to get rid of the space the bees cannot reach (cuts down on propolis there too).

    Moth traps can help -- put them a distance from the hives if you can, not right next to them. I learned that with Japanese beetle traps! Close to what I wanted to protect just meant more beetles in the area and more damage.

    Generally here we only have trouble with wax moths in weak hives or unprotected comb (I lost a hive to them this spring, along with EFB the bees got overwhelmed). However, we have winter here usually, so once we've had a hard frost they go away. Very short winters or frost free I imagine they are a real problem.

    I don't know that more frequent inspections would do anything, since it's difficult to eliminate the larvae when you see them. Might let you remove and freeze some affected frames, but they usually don't do much in areas where there is no pollen or brood comb, and you won't want to freeze brood just to kill the moth larvae.

    You might want to try one of the hygenic strains of queens on the off chance they are more aggressive toward moth larvae. One of the unfortunate side effects of breeding for gentle bees is less aggression toward pests, I think.

    I don't know of any in-hive treatment for them.

    Peter

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