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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    2

    Default Lost a hive to wax moth, what now?

    I opened my hive last week to find the entire colony dead from a wax moth infestation. This is only my second year in beekeeping so I'm not sure what to do from here. There were the tell tale empty moth cocoons, a lot of the comb was destroyed and had white flakes all through it. The webbing was mostly all at the bottom and on the bottom board but there was definitely a lot of it. At first I suspected that AFB had weakened the hive, making it vulnerable to the wax moth, but I have investigated the remains and don't think that is the case. There was no foul smell and no ropiness when I punctured the sealed cells with a stick. There is still a lot of honey and comb that was not destroyed. Probably 10 frames totally destroyed and 10 that seem quite in tact. I have cleaned out the dead bees and scraped out all the moth webbing and cocoons. There remains a small amount of maybe 50-100 live bees. I'm not sure what they're doing, I watched them for a while yesterday and some of them go in and out of the cells, both the white flakey ones and the healthy looking ones. The others are in a cluster on one of the frames.

    So here's my questions. Do I scrape all the damaged looking frames down and re-use them? Do I leave the un-damaged looking frames in the hive for re-use? What do I do with the remaining bees? Can I repopulated this hive with a swarm at this point or do I need to get rid of the existing bees to do that? And would I put a swarm in with the existing honey/frames/comb? Would the remaining bees rebuild if I got a new queen?

    I'm sort of lost on my next steps here so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you!
    Anne

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Evansville, IN
    Posts
    2,225

    Default Re: Lost a hive to wax moth, what now?

    Scrape out any wax with webbing in it, as the bees have trouble getting rid of it. Get rid of all the cocoons, and you are ready to put a swarm in it -- in fact, you have have bees inspecting it at the current time!

    You lost the hive to something other than wax moths -- they just invaded after the bees couldn't keep them out any more. If there are tiny white flakes in the empty brood cells, it was varroa mites that weakened your hive, the white specs are mite droppings that the bees didn't have a chance to clean out.

    Peter

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,492

    Default Re: Lost a hive to wax moth, what now?

    It is far too early to have wax moths in Denver CO. Your colony got weak last year, probably in late summer (before any frosts) and then the wax moths ate the comb.

    >Do I scrape all the damaged looking frames down and re-use them?

    Yes.

    > Do I leave the un-damaged looking frames in the hive for re-use?

    Yes.

    >What do I do with the remaining bees? Can I repopulated this hive with a swarm at this point or do I need to get rid of the existing bees to do that?

    You can combine them.

    > And would I put a swarm in with the existing honey/frames/comb?

    If it's not too full of webs, yes.

    > Would the remaining bees rebuild if I got a new queen?

    100 bees is not enough.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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