Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2019
    Location
    Jonesborough TN USA
    Posts
    45

    Default Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?

    I have a dead out with moderately damaged comb from wax moths. I froze the frames for 3 days and then used tweezers to remove the wax moth larvae and as much of the webbing and cocoons as I could. But of course there was only so much I could do. Can I put the frames in the brood area and will the bees clean up moderately damaged comb? Will the bees get trapped in some of the fine strands of webbing that I was not able to remove? Or should I save the frames to use in swarm traps next year or will it repell swarms?

  2. Remove Advertisements
    BeeSource.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    10,137

    Default Re: Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?

    Bees will rebuild comb, if there are enough bees, and if there is enough carbohydrate coming into the hive.

    IE, sounds like you have sufficiently cleaned the combs which will save the bees the work. If you are currently in a dearth, put the combs in an area where there are plenty of bees, feed the bees liberally, and they will fill in those gaps in the combs. If they do not have nectar or sugar coming in, they will not waste stores building new comb.

    But bear in mind, in a typical hive using comb foundation, the hive feels like they are short on drone cells. So if you are placing wax moth eaten plastic foundation, the bees will most likely follow the template and build worker cells. But if you are placing eaten out wax foundation, the bees will most likely fill the gaps with drone foundation.

    A way to get eaten out wax foundation replaced with worker sized cells, is to put it in a weak nuc. The nuc needs all the workers it can get and does not feel it can afford the luxury of drones, so will fill the gaps with worker sized cells.
    "Every viewpoint, is a view from a point." - Solomon Parker

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
    Posts
    1,561

    Default Re: Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?

    Don't worry about the bees having difficulty with wax moth residue - they've been dealing with this sort of thing for a very long time ...

    Assuming that we're talking about wax (i.e. non-plastic) combs here - do bear in mind that repairing comb involves a different procedure that drawing-out new comb, in that the bees are now standing on the comb itself whilst working, rather than hanging down in loops. What this means is that sometimes the bees get 'snookered' should they encounter a bee-space (of their own making) upon the comb face - and so they leave a hole there. Holes in the comb don't bother the bees any, but they may look a little 'untidy' to the beekeeper.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Dane County, WI, USA
    Posts
    3,277

    Default Re: Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alram View Post
    ......then used tweezers to remove the wax moth larvae and as much of the webbing and cocoons as I could. .......
    Next time don't waste your time doing this - this is bee work, not yours.
    They will do it much more efficiently and a better job than you ever could.
    Save the time so you can read the Beesource, what not.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    West Jordan, UT, USA
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?

    Wax moths are nature's way of cleaning out deadouts and abandoned hives in the wild. A good, strong colony will clean up the comb in no time.

    That said, I just can't stand putting all that nasty stuff into a hive. I usually just scrape off the affected area before I give it to the bees.
    Never ask a barber it he thinks you need a haircut.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    6,614

    Default Re: Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?

    They will do most of the cleanup themselves but I like to pull the majority of the webbing off first and not put badly damaged combs side by side. Also, bees will not clean out the cocoons that form between the end bars and box, those you must scrape out by hand.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,102

    Default Re: Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?

    I tap the damaged frames on something. Loose, powdery fragments with cocoons and webbing will pop out and off and I pull those by hand. If the balance of the comb is in reasonably good shape it goes into the hive for the bees to take care of. Otherwise, I put fresh foundation in.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2016
    Location
    Pitt, NC, USA
    Posts
    799

    Default Re: Will bees accept wax moth damages frames and clean them up?

    You cited that you froze the frames; was this to kill off the moths? From bitter experiences -- and what all the old-time beeks tell me -- cold doesn't bother moth eggs at all. I've frozen [for a month or more] and scrubbed frames that'd been infested with moths, and ... voila! Lots of moths, cocoons, etc coming back. Paradiclorobenzene seems like the way to go (although I loathe the idea of using chemical treatments), but it's something you can consider.

    Re: the dead moth maggots (not ones treated with PDB): they're a real treat for the birds. I toss the frozen moth and SHB maggots onto my driveway in the a.m., and .... the birds have a field day.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •