Temperature to kill wax moths
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
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    Northern Colorado, USA
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    Default Temperature to kill wax moths

    Does anyone have any data or know what the temperature is that you need cool frames/a box to so that wax moths are killed?

    I can easily get 2 full boxes of extracted frames in my fridge right now but I can only get a few frames into my freezer. My fridge runs about 34f, so it is relatively cold. How cold or hard of a freeze does it need to be to kill any wax moths or other bugs on frames before storing them in sealed bags at room temperature for the winter?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Grand Rapids MI USA
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    1,490

    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    I recall seeing a Michael Palmer clip that showed live moth larvae after one of his winters. But that was enclosed box and probably heaped w/ snow. The frames in a deep freeze would be an entirely different matter IMO. I would think 24/48 hrs would take them out.
    Rod

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Location
    England, UK
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    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    I had a root through my 'info which may come in handy one day' directory and dug up the following re: 'wax moth measures' from the original Dave Cushman site:

    Acetic acid fumes have an effect and the method of use is the same as for pdb crystals, but the saucer is filled with 80% acetic acid instead of crystals. The acid is very corrosive and will attack metal fittings and fasteners. This kills the egg stage as well as all others and is useful to sterilise against {Nosema} spores.

    Sulphur dioxide SO2 has been used, methyl bromide fumigation is offered by contractors, but it requires comb storage rooms that are completely moth tight. I believe this method gives protection against many diseases of bees as well as wax moth infestation.

    Carbon Dioxide (CO2) can be used to exclude air, from comb honey that is intended for sale as well as for storing drawn comb in sealed containers or comb cupboards.

    Heat... This needs close temperature regulation ( -0°, +2°) and the air needs to be circulated in the enclosure by several small fans to ensure even-ness of temperature distribution. 47°C for 85 minutes is required.

    Freezing can be used for comb honey or empty combs of any type -15°C to -20°C for 72 hours is my 'belt and braces' recommendation, but I have seen shorter times and higher temperatures quoted. If empty comb is used and the cold air is rapidly circulated by fans, much shorter times, say 5 or 6 hours can be used.

    Bacillus Thuringenisis (BT)(CertanŽ) is available in UK and is a microbial bacteria that can kept alive by culturing in milk after macerating affected larvae.

    {DIY Moth traps} will help, but will not give total control.

    Biological Control... Trichogramma wasps that are used commercially in green houses will control wax moth larvae, but they have to reach a particular size before the wasps will parasitise them, so some damage to combs is inevitable before control is gained.

    This post was made by David Brandon to a discussion group...
    "I have found that by placing a layer of tobacco leaves between boxes of brood comb (in storage) and placing a lid on top, I no longer have problems with wax moth."

    Percussive shock... I heard a story from an old timer that said waxmoth were susceptible to the sharp blast of pressure caused by firing a blank starting pistol inside a hive body. I tried this out on the occasion covered in the {bucket of waxmoth} saga. I used .22 rimfire blanks and 9 mm black powder blanks. Both sizes caused a few adult moths to fall out of the boxes stone dead with their legs in the air. When I tried this I did not have the presence of mind to fire duplicate shots in the same box or to fire a 9 mm after firing a .22. Although this appears to work it is not cost effective and is time consuming. Nor can I be sure that all moths in the box were killed.

    Desiccating atmosphere... It is thought that wax moth eggs need a moist atmosphere to hatch. Therefore the addition of desiccants to the various methods would probably improve them as treatment against the waxmoth.
    Myself, I've only ever relied on the use of one of my freezers, and even then it was set at the lowest temperature - for 2 days minimum.

    Rather annoyingly, since Roger Patterson took over control of the Dave Cushman site, the above information is no longer there.

    Thought you might like the story about the .22/ 9mm blanks - so 'twas included.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,147

    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    HA Ha That's funny about shooting blanks to kill wax moths. The only way to kill them is a scattershot shell right in the middle of a frame.
    I remember the MP video showing a live wax moth larvae after outside temps were minus 20F. But not sure of the details. Were they off of a hive? Stored in a barn? My freezer goes to minus 30F and all I can do is hope a few days in there does it when I can't get BTa. J

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    wnc
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    A little off topic, but I have had beekeepers tell me to put a bug light near the apiary at night. Said honeybees do not fly at night so will not get zapped. I am a little skeptical, but what do y'all say?

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,147

    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    They don't generally fly at night unless they see a light. But, not sure about the black lights used with bug zappers.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    Thanks for the information. It sounds like it is time to clean and organize the freezer.

    I could probably do this some days since I almost live in a desert, but I dont want to count on it. The humidity gets below 20% here some days during the heat of the day.
    Desiccating atmosphere... It is thought that wax moth eggs need a moist atmosphere to hatch. Therefore the addition of desiccants to the various methods would probably improve them as treatment against the waxmoth.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,095

    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    Well I don't buy the bug zapper stuff. I suppose it'll get a few but if it were effective we'd instead have a thread discussing models of zappers and their relative benefits. I will add that freezing frames can be effective to control wax moths so long as their post-freezer storage is also cold and / or closed off to flying moths. I use BT because I can't guarantee that. If you freeze frames (and let's assume the freezing is 100% effective) you still have to button them up to prevent them from becoming infested again. My barn is nice and cold MOST winters. It's the ones between MOST and ALL that I've had problems when I didn't use BT.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Garden City S, NY
    Posts
    90

    Default

    I was thinking of storing comb in my garage and laying a piece of window screen on the bottom and top to prevent anything from getting in. That would work right?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    564

    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    Quote Originally Posted by HillBilly2 View Post
    A little off topic, but I have had beekeepers tell me to put a bug light near the apiary at night. Said honeybees do not fly at night so will not get zapped. I am a little skeptical, but what do y'all say?
    Depends..... Mine fly at night when there is full moon. Often see bees coming back an hour after dark. I use a yard light, after an old timer told me the bees use the light as a landmark to find the way back late. I would Timer it to a couple hours after dark , using the Off switch for the 3 days before and after full moon. Place a tarp under the zapper and stop if the dead bees get too thick.
    GG

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2018
    Location
    Northern Colorado, USA
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Temperature to kill wax moths

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeDuto View Post
    I was thinking of storing comb in my garage and laying a piece of window screen on the bottom and top to prevent anything from getting in. That would work right?
    I am going to put my supers in bags/syran wrap and seal them up. I am then going to place them in my basement after cycling them thru my freezer. If I let the bees pick them clean, seal them up on a dry day (20%RH here is not uncommon) and freeze them I think this will work for me. I dont know if this would work as well in your climate.

    If you try this I would use a metal screen to keep any mice out if they find the way into your garage.

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