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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    276

    Default Wax Moth in honey supers

    Hello ,

    I've got a pretty severe wax moth infestation in a couple of hives. My fault entirely... they were weak hives. I should have combined them but anyway... I've seen wax moth larvae invade brood chambers with their silky tunnels, but never honey supers. So I took the hives apart and put the boxes on top of each other kitty corner in the middle of my bee yard so the bees from my other hives could rob out the honey. In all theres about 100lbs of honey. Kitty corner stacking introduces light and apparently wax moth hate the light. But the real reason I did this was to try and recoop some of the honey . But then I read that the honey might be bad. Is this true? If so I will just burn the frames, honey and all and count it as a loss. Please advise. Maqny thanks.

    Luc
    Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you`ll be among the stars!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Pinellas County, State of Florida
    Posts
    32

    Default Re: Wax Moth in honey supers

    Quote Originally Posted by MichelinMan View Post
    But then I read that the honey might be bad. Is this true? If
    Luc
    Luc - if you have WM in your honey supers, then yes, the honey most certainly is "bad" (i.e. contaminated with WM debris (read feces), and should not be considered for human consumption. That being said, you may want to save it to for the girls this winter. I hear those Ontario winters can be really long. Also, yes, sunlight! is what the nasty little buggers don't like, so the hives into full sun. I wouldn't burn the frames though, just torch them to get rid of any bug eggs. See what the others say - I'm only a 3rd year bk.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    5,927

    Default Re: Wax Moth in honey supers

    No need to burn any gear.

    Have the frames had brood in them and is there any pollen stored in them and are they plastic or wax foundation?

    Also, the hives should be strong at the moment so do you know why they have stored honey but are now so weak that wax moths have got in? Mostly, wax moths are more a symptom of a bee health issue, than a cause.
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Wax Moth in honey supers

    > I read that the honey might be bad. Is this true?

    You don't want the honey that has the actual webs or larvae in it. They smell bad and I'm sure they taste bad and they leave a trail of webs and feces. But if it's just a web running through a comb of honey, you can cut the honey out and crush and strain it or cut the web out and maybe extract it if it's still sound enough.

    > If so I will just burn the frames, honey and all and count it as a loss.

    There are only two reasons to ever burn equipment.

    1) AFB
    2) it's too rotten to repair anymore...

    Wax moths are not on the list. You can let it get robbed out if it's too far gone to harvest or just cut out the combs (or if it's plastic, scrape off the combs) and leave the sticky frames out to get robbed.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    276

    Default Re: Wax Moth in honey supers

    Thank you for the replies. Sorry I couldn't get back any sooner. I left them out and the bees did their robbing. I guess I should have asked this before I took action. I sometimes do things on the spur of the moment without thinking it through completely. Anyway what is done is done. The honey has been robbed out and the contaminated supers are now empty. I'll cut out the webs and debris and salvage what I can. But when the bees do their robbing, they eat the honey... honey goes in their stomach and is then passed on to another bee or deposited directly into a new cell or consumed right away. I'm hoping they would avoid any WM debris and the eating/transfering/regurgitation will rectify any bad taste.

    As for how did honey end up on a weak hive... I don't rightly remember. Unfortunately, I'm not very methodical or keep records. It probably came from another stronger hive and was placed there for them to finish capping and for storage. Not overly brilliant but I thought this might actually encourage the weak hives. The WM infestation was no doubt well underway and I hadn't noticed it. I dont'always have time to check all my hives frame by frame.
    Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you`ll be among the stars!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Coatesville, Pa, USA
    Posts
    832

    Default Re: Wax Moth in honey supers

    If the bees rob out the honey won't they "clean it up" in the process? I have read of the fact that their probiscus is so shall in diameter that it actually filters out bad stuff. My thought is that if wax moths or whatever were in the frames and you remove the webbing that the honey inside once other hives rob it out it should be fine. Am I wrong? I thought this would be the same with SHB larva also. Is this wrong?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,925

    Default Re: Wax Moth in honey supers

    I can't say about SHB. But yes, with wax moths, the bees will clean it up. With SHB it's fermented...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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