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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
    3,772

    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
    5,408

    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
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Hi Keth,

    What are your thoughts about Para Moth? From what I have read it is best to avoid using it if possible due to its toxicity.
    I do not fear it, but anything this toxic I try to avoid. If I had a larger operation I would probably use it, but I only have 40+ hive bodies.
    My plan is below on the next reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keth Comollo View Post
    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.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    My present plan is to move all my hive bodies to a screened porch where they can get light and ventilation but not robbers nor critters and hopefully the bears will not be drawn enough to go through the screen. If I end up having to use PDB then it will ventilate outside.
    Once the cold nights set in I will move them downstairs.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,179

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Personally I wouldn't use paramoth its nasty, & not legal in California. Although I do use BT on my stored frames, then I store them in a dry place with the top, & bottom open.
    So far the BT has worked well for us, minimal moth damage.
    Dan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    14

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    Personally I wouldn't use paramoth its nasty, & not legal in California. Although I do use BT on my stored frames, then I store them in a dry place with the top, & bottom open.
    So far the BT has worked well for us, minimal moth damage.
    I live in Vermont. Do you have a good source for finding Bt Aizawai? All the other Bt's are not approved for hives because they are dangerous or potentially dangerous to bees.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    I think you would do well if you searched for the combination of aizawai and sundance, on this forum.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,179

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    As Joseph mentioned Sundance here on the forum buys it in bulk. Check the for sale area.
    Dan

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Montpelier, Vermont, USA
    Posts
    14

    Question Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Quote Originally Posted by KQ6AR View Post
    As Joseph mentioned Sundance here on the forum buys it in bulk. Check the for sale area.
    I tried Sundances link and the link is inoperable.
    Can anyone tell me how to reach Sundance?
    Thank you

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,408

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Simply click on his forum name >> Sundance <<, anywhere inside the forum and it will give you the option to "PM", private message him. He usually responds quite quickly.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjapple View Post
    I live in Vermont. Do you have a good source for finding Bt Aizawai? All the other Bt's are not approved for hives because they are dangerous or potentially dangerous to bees.
    Amazon have it, search for XanTari BT.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    I only made the mistake of storing supers in the basement once. That was 12 years ago. The wax moths are still flying throughout my house and particularly in the basement.

    Store them where they will freeze. Hard and often.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  17. #17

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    Quote Originally Posted by jjapple View Post
    I tried Sundances link and the link is inoperable.
    Can anyone tell me how to reach Sundance?
    Thank you
    Look here:

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...i-Powder/page5

    go to the end and work backwards.
    Greg Whitehead, Ten Mile, TN
    Blog - http://gregsbees.blogspot.com/

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Livingston County, NY
    Posts
    542

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    BT is for brood frames only?

    How/when is it applied?

    Any suggestions for combs w/infestation....strip & startover?
    Last edited by lakebilly; 09-20-2012 at 05:59 AM.
    Rmns 1:16/Prv.3:5,6/ Beegan BK May 09/ Zone 5b
    I have NOT failed. I have only found many many ways that do not work!

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    4,179

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    #1 Bt is for honey and brood frames its approved under the naturally grown standard. Don't know if its approved for organic standards.
    #2 We spray the frames when they are going to be stored off the hive, then store them indoors with the top & bottom open for ventilation.
    #3 depends on how bad they are. Judgment call.
    Dan

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    zanesvile, ohio, usa
    Posts
    104

    Default Re: Wax Moth Control?

    If you have freezer space, freeze them for 36-40 hours the spores will then be dead. I then store them stacked on top of each other and then every 5th box I put a couple teaspoons of moth crystals (blue can from walmart) on a piece of wood or news paper. at the top I put on a telescoping lid and thats it. I have never had a wax moth doing this. If its going to be awhile I sit the super or brood box on its side so light shines thru it.
    I've never brought them in the house so I cant tell you how they do in the basement..

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