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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    14

    Question Wax Moth Control?

    I have a minimal infestation of wax moths here in Vermont. I mean minimal, caught it just as it was getting started. Not used to them this far North in any great numbers but we have had very warm summer. All my outdoor hives (6) are very healthy and active but in two of them the moths managed to get eggs planted in a small space between the top cover and the inner cover and on the top bars of the upper most super or HB. I have taken all the larvae out that I could find (2-3 in each) and screened the upper ventilation so the moths cannot get in the top. There are a LOT of bees in each of these colonies and wall to wall brood. I did this a month ago and have not seen any larvae or signs of WM's since.

    I then discovered that the only 2 deeps I have stored in my basement have WM worms in the combs that likely came in with the hive body (HB) when I emptied that colony and moved the HB's inside. I cut them all out individually (5-10) and am rechecking the stored foundation weekly. Found just one more last night.

    I have done a lot of reading and there is a wide variety of opinions about prevention and cure. Prevention outdoors in the active hives is closing the top ventilation to prevent the moths from entering by screening upper entrance holes. On the top covers I glued popsicle sticks on the under side where it contacts the inner cover. this creates ventilation all the way around that adds up significantly but is not wide enough for moths to enter. Indoors I am watching and waiting in case more larvae hatch out, so far (one week) only one more I missed. There is no obvious way for the moths to enter the house. I have not had any wax moths in the past.

    My questions are. How does what I did so far sound as a protocol?
    And, what is your opinion is the best way to store the HB's in the basement with drawn comb in them to prevent infestation?
    And, does it make sense to purchase some Bt to spray on the infected frames if I find more WM larvae? I have read that I need to use bacillus thruringiensis aizawai which I have not been able to find. I have only found Bt kurstaki (Thuricide).
    Will that work or do I need to find Bt Aizawai? If so, does anyone know where I can get it?
    One more: Is it safe to assume that the wax moths outdoors are gone for the year once the first frost or certain consistent temperature occurs?
    Thanks for you help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,770

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Starting from the bottom up, I would say it is not safe to assume that the moths are gone once the first frost hits. They need more exposure to the cold for them to be gone. I had a tough year this past fall and winter because it didn't get cold enough in my barn to kill them off and I lost some comb. Colder is better and the longer it's cold, them better. I use BT Aizawai and I can vouch for that. Not sure about the other and yes, I'd spray them on the infected frames and any unaffected brood comb that you have. That will slow and eventually stop the larvae. I typically spray my comb before storage. Last year, I brought in a couple of boxes from a dead out and didn't spray which is how my infestation started. You may consider spraying before storing in the basement. Outside, I'd let a strong hive take care of the moths. I've never had a moth problem in a strong hive. Once it gets weak, I'll combine the colony, bring the boxes and frames inside, spray and store. I'm not sure that it's necessary to worry about the ventilation so much. I use screened bottom boards so the moths can enter in a variety of locations.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Stack em outside after the first frost. A Vermont winter will get 'em all!
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,347

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    I wish I could say that wax moth larvae haven't been a problem for very strong hives. I've found wax moth larvae in nearly all hives, where a few of them adversely affect small areas of sealed brood, either trapping young bees in their cells, preventing them from emerging, with wax moth larvae webs spun around them. And even in some very strong hives, they've done much worse.

    Other forms of Bt can be toxic to bees, especially honey bee brood, so be careful.

    Moths do not need to enter hives to lay their eggs where the larvae will cause problems. The larvae are very tiny, when young, and will go to where the food is, to eat.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Thanks to all of you for your input. Immensely valuable. Joseph, especially hearing yours really helps confirm what I was intuiting. The wax moth lays her eggs somewhere where the the LARVAE can get it. The moth itself does not have to get in the hive itself. My bees were controlling the wax moths except in the very top tiny spaces between the inner cover and the top bars. Even there only a few got in.
    So I am looking for Bt Aizawai for the infected frames.
    The only thing I am hearing different advice on is storage of unused frames. I understand that ventilation is important, but I am not sure why.
    My thought is to use some screened covers top and bottom on stacks of hive bodies.
    Also I know they do not like light, but does that mean I need to go put a trouble light at the top or bottom of the stack for a day? once a week once a month?
    Any help appreciated.
    JJAllen
    Vermont

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Winhall, VT
    Posts
    1,066

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    PDB (Para Moth) will kill anything but some people fear it. You can stack supers from the floor to ceiling and put a 7 ounce packet of PDB crystals on a paper plate on top of the top super with a cover and you will never have a wax moth problem. I put the bottom on a piece of foam and tape any apparent voids due to older equipment.

    In Vermont this works great for supers that arent on the hives in warmer weather. Once it gets below freezing you don't need to do anything.
    Raising Vermont Bees one mistake at a time.
    USDA Zone 5A

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Charlotte, NC
    Posts
    191

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keth Comollo View Post
    Stack em outside after the first frost. A Vermont winter will get 'em all!
    Nature's freezer definitely will work. Down my way I take all drawn frames and freeze them for a day or two before storing to kill off any pests that may be hiding, such as WM or SHB eggs.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Nassau County, NY, USA
    Posts
    4

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    To control wax moths in your honey bee hive supers, you can either exposé them to very cold temperatures or chemically treat them to kill the wax moths.
    http://www.dqpestcontrol.com

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