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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    madison heights, mi
    Posts
    19

    Default wax worms in my honey

    For the last couple years, I have been having a hard time keeping the wax moths out of my hives. I extracted my honey last Saturday. I had a few honey supers with wax moth damage and wax worms. The most severe frames were laid outside for the robber bees to have their way with. Some made it into the dumpster which was a robber bee heaven until the garbage man took them away. I extract directly into 5 gallon buckets with no filtering so there are some cappings in each bucket. I warm the honey to around 100 degrees and run it through a double nylon strainer that I bought from betterbee about ten years ago. It works well and keeps the "raw"ness of the honey. I opened one of the buckets yesterday to bottle and there were a lot of wax worms swimming in my honey. I thought they would die there. I skimmed off the cappings last night and this morning found a couple more swimmers. Needless to say, this grosses me out, severely. I am sure my customers would not be happy either.

    I have two questions...
    1, Will the double nylon strainer filter out any wax moth eggs?
    2, is it possible eggs are hatching in my 5 gallon honey pails? some of the worms were very small.

    Thanks for looking,
    Tom in Michigan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    fresno county ca usa
    Posts
    17

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    I don't know its very possible that they are but what I do know its gross lol

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Portsmouth, NH
    Posts
    92

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    Is it possible for you to freeze your frames before you extract them?

    You can also try getting filter which sits on top of a 5 gallon bucket. You can then empty out the extractor into the bucket. You can buy the filters from a plastics company or from some bee supply companies.

    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com...oductinfo/804/
    Backyard beekeeping and honey bees.
    www.BlueLineApiary.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    owensboro,ky
    Posts
    2,240

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    The best practice is to filter the honey as I comes out of the extractor before it goes in the bucket- much simpler, no heating,less steps,no worms in the honey.
    Kelley Bees sells a cheap nylon strainer fits in the top of a five gallon bucket and has two screens.
    I use the kit from them includes strainers and bucket with honey gate and bottle directly from the gate, works well for me.
    Good Luck, Mike
    "Wine is a constant proof that God loves us and loves to see us happy" Ben Franklin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    madison heights, mi
    Posts
    19

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    Quote Originally Posted by mike haney View Post
    The best practice is to filter the honey as I comes out of the extractor before it goes in the bucket- much simpler, no heating,less steps,no worms in the honey.
    Kelley Bees sells a cheap nylon strainer fits in the top of a five gallon bucket and has two screens.
    I use the kit from them includes strainers and bucket with honey gate and bottle directly from the gate, works well for me.
    Good Luck, Mike
    I tried that once and it went slower than my extractor filled the strainer and overflowed. too cold and thick I think.
    back to my current situation, is it possible for worms to live in honey and is it bad?
    Tom

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    North Salem, IN, USA
    Posts
    84

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    I agree with Mike. Get a few bottling / filtering buckets. Usually there are filters in the kits. The ones I bought from Mann Lake went down to 200 mil. I use two of the buckets for the reason you mentioned, slow. These buckets are also good for those customers who insist on filling their own containers, they can get it straight from the tap and you aren't out any jars or bottles. I haven't had issues with wax moths in my supers and tend to leave mine out for a few days while wet for the bees to clean them up. I know the moths get in there at night and lay eggs but they don't live long enough after hatching to cause any damage. The wax moths are attracted to the "stuff" in the cells. If it is only clean white wax in the frames, they will die off because they don't have anything to eat. I'd go as far as to cut out the comb from the frames you pulled that honey from and let the bees start over again next Spring. Like you mentioned, you have had this problem for a few years. Cut that comb out and go foundationless or add a new sheet of foundation. If the queen lays in my honey supers, those frames get yanked or that part will get cut out and trashed. I think the taste of the honey gets effected from these frames plus I don't want to attract moths. Not sure what to do about your swimmers. If it were my honey, I wouldn't eat it and certainly wouldn't sell it. Good tequila should have worms, not good honey. Sounds like a good Fall food source for your bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,845

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    If you had cappings in it, the eggs were probably on them. I would think they would drown though once they hatched and you wouldn't notice them. Are your buckets sealed? The only thing I could think is that by setting the wormy frames aside, some abandoned them and are now attracted to your buckets of honey, climb up and fall in, unless they're totally moved from that location (your buckets), then the only explanation is your getting new hatchouts in your honey because eggs are there.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    filter to remove the worms. heat in small batches and jar to "remove eggs" it may not be raw honey but it should still be good and the gross factor removed. this is a food source made by bug vomit if it looks okay and tastes okay I wouldn't worry after the steps above... Worse case you have raw material to try mead or new baking recipes with or honey soda or candy for holidays...

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
    Posts
    3,659

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    Goto your favorite paint store and get some 5 gallon paint strainer bags. Get a 5 gallon bucket with a honey gate installed. Put the paint strainer into that bucket, and pour your honey into it. Then put the bucket on a chair or stand to elevate it and open the honey gate so it empties into your clean storage bucket or into jars. No heating and so is still raw honey but filtered to get out the bugs and bee body parts.
    “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” – John Muir

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,204

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    when you say the worms are small the first thing I think of is shb. wax worms are fairly large. If you have wax worms there will be a fair amount of web on the comb. no web with shb.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    Quote Originally Posted by danmcm View Post
    this is a food source made by bug vomit
    "Bug vomit"? Really?


    I've been mislead...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Maryville, tn, usa
    Posts
    208

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    Just saying no reason to get squeamish about small worms so long as they haven't caused it to go rancid shb slime.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    581

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    I had someone question if the bees wiped their feet before they walked all over the hive. Honey is bee vomit processed by another bee in their gut. But it still tastes good.

    If someone really looked at where their eggs and chicken comes from, they would never worry about honey! That nice slab of ribs was marinating in a pool of crappy mud the day before it was slaughtered. That nice steak was standing knee deep in a feedlot of slop many days before it was carved out of a slab of meat.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Four Oaks, NC, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: wax worms in my honey

    In the bee class I took at NCSU, the instructor said wax moth larvae could not survive in the honey. But, who knows - maybe they've adapted.

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