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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Marshall, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Hive hammered with wax moths?

    Totally new to this. I bought my first hive (1 brood, 2 supers) last spring. The box was fairly old and wasn't in great shape, but the bees themselves looked very plentiful and healthy. They made it through late spring, summer, and fall, but now they are all gone. I noticed no activity weeks ago, so I finally pulled it apart and the bees are gone, but there is plenty of moth eggs/sacks - I mean tons of them. I pulled all the supers apart and pulled the frames out. As I scraped the moth sacks off, I noticed the sacks had actually destroyed some of the wood. I ended up throwing the top and bottom boards and the cover away because they had so much water damage. I have kept the brood and super boxes and the frames, but what is the best way to get all the moth leftovers off and will it be okay to reuse the boxes and frames with the moth damage? Thanks!!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,227

    Default Re: Hive hammered with wax moths?

    Wax moths cause trouble when the bees cannot keep them under control, so you must have had a weak hive during the early fall.

    Scrape all the wax and moth debris off, including the pupae in their silk blankets. Unless the frames are so badly gouged that they won't hold together in use, you can reuse them without problems. There won't be any eggs this time of year, and unemerged pupae won't hatch.

    Keep an eye on your hives in the future, and any time you see signs of significant numbers of wax moths, reduce the hive down to what the bees can keep clear of them and figure out why they aren't strong enough to keep them out.

    You will often see wax moth larvae on the sticky board during the summer -- you can't keep the moths out, and the bees bite the larvae when they find them and drop them through the screen. Only if you see droppings would I get upset and start digging.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,727

    Default Re: Hive hammered with wax moths?

    If you have chickens, they do a pretty fair cleanup on larva and pupae
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Tangipahoa,LA, USA
    Posts
    30

    Default Re: Hive hammered with wax moths?

    I lost a hive last year because of a lethargic queen (bad laying pattern) and a novice beekeeper (me) , then the SHB creeped in overpowering them. It is my understanding that when you see the wax moth a lot else has already gone wrong with the hive and as previously stated that hive is weak (imo, critically weak).

    The hive I lost I set out for bee clean up and when I thought it was clean enough I set it in a empty green house to stay dry and in the light (da, I put frames back in the brood box), bad idea. In short order the wax moths took that box and spun a web that made it hard to disassemble. They pretty much destroyed that brood box.

    bt

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