Are you sure its wax moths and not beetle larvae? Are there webs present?
I haven't used it, but you should technically be able to spray the comb with the bees on it.
The hive needs help if it is too weak to fend off wax moths. Reduce the comb down to what they can defend. Also, if the combs don't have lots of brood on them, you can freeze a few, put them back, then freeze some more, until they have all been frozen for a 24 hr period. This won't get them all as they can jump over to the previously frozen stuff before your all done. Also switch out the box, bottom board, and top as there may be some larvae in the nooks and crannies.
If its beetles its likely too late. You can "bank" the queen, dump the bees in a empty box with newspaper for a "newspaper combine" on top of another hive, and freeze all the comb. Then put the comb in that empty box to let the hive clean it up, then later make a strong split with the queen you saved.
I might have a mixture of SHB and Wax Moth...but the major larvae seems to be WM. I had installed two packages on aor 8th and everything seemed to be going well. one was stronger than the other(drifting on installation). I had killed a few small larvae in both hives and I thought for sure SHB. There were tunnels in some of the comb but not any webbing that I noticed. The strong hive seemed to have taken care of the problem and repaired the comb. Then the weaker hive absconded. I caught them and put them in a new box with frames with starter strips and a frame of brood from the stronger hive, but in their original location. About 5 days later they absconded again and I caught them again into the third box and a different location! They are still there 2 weeks later..small colony but staying put (for now). I'm not sure what happened to the strong hive. They had 7 frames of brood and I expected to be able to see a really big build up. Then there appeared to be a decline in activity. I did a powdered suger treatment and there were a few mites 3 in the weak hive and thirteen in the strong one in 2 1/2 hours. So I opened up the strong hive and started pulling frames. Large ugly larvae webs and three frames totally destroyed.Only a couple full frames of bees ,very little brood, no queen and 2 supercedure cells. I had 3 frames of comb left so put them in new box with a follower to make it a 4 frame nuc. I suspect that 1) they swarmed and left the hive weak or 2) they absconded and I've had some brood hatch since they did so. At any rate, to make me feel better, I cut all those destroyed frames into a bucket and set them on fire just to watch the larvae squirm! Sorry for the long post but I'm one dissapointed and frustrated old timer right now. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
What "I" would probably do would be to combine the two hives and have only as many frames as they can cover. If its 4 frames of bees then use 4 frames. Cut the queen cells first. With the problems, your present nuc likely won't be able to survive till the queen is mated and brood raised. By combining, you risk introducing beetles into the other hive, so you could just shake your bees out infront of the other hive. I did that a couple days ago in a similar situation and all the bees went in the other nuc. Then I froze the comb, and later put them in another nuc.
Freeze any extra comb after combining and minimizing frames and give it too them as they build up, using your follower board.
BT is probably a good idea, but won't help with any hive beetles.
And I would keep some feed on them to help them out, unless you see a full frame or more of stored honey in there.
GardStar will kill the SHB larvae as it migrates from the hive to the ground where it changes to the adult form. It won't get rid of the larvae in the hive. At best, it will reduce the number of beetles that your hive produces. However, the wild hives in the area don't have anyone managing them to reduce SHB populations. Considering that the SHB can fly a great distance, I'm not sure how much GardStar will help keep them out of our own hives. BUT, I do think it is our responsibility to NOT add to the population.
I use the West SHB trap with veg. oil. I get a great kill with all hives showing a marked decrease in SHB's after it is installed. Where one day I was seeing 6-12 on the inner covers, now I might see 1 or 2 at best. It kills the adults in the hive and it kills the larvae attempting to leave the hive. Plus, it doesn't constitute spreading chemicals around.
I'm considering changing to top entrances and covering the bottom entrances in order to make it even darker down where the trap is located. SHB do not like the light, and by changing the entrance location, I hope to herd them toward the trap.
The beetles found my apiary on their own. I did not bring in any bees that could have had beetles. So I'm not going to use gardstar because its not going to keep beetles from finding their way here again even if it was effective at eradicating them, which I doubt.
I'm using the wrong terms here. The WM desroyed comb, built webs and cocoons and generally messed things up (all within a few days). The bees responded by, in large part, leaving. One hive I captured (twice) and the stronger one I didn't see leave. One definitely abscounded--no bees remained-- the other may have swarmed (stronger one) because 2 or 3 frames of bees remained. In that one there was no queen, but a couple of suprcedure cells on the middle of one of the remaining good brood frames. Right now I have used follower boards to reduce the area that they have available. There is a more shade than I anticipated where I originally placed them and that may be contributing to the problem. I moved the abscounder to full sun after the second capture and they seem better satisfied. Don't know how I'm going to do this for the next one but an convinced I need to. I used a couple of sheets of small cell foundation and the rest were small cell starter strips. The comb they drew was beautiful at approximately 5mm.
Freezing comb kills the larvae. I freeze any comb that comes out of the hives and will be stored for any length of time. Moths don't like light, so that may be a method for storing the comb. I've frozen whole supers and then sealed them with tape. (must be dry or they'll mold which isn't too much a problem to the bees either). If you use a light source as a deterent, go with energy efficient florecent ones (SHB don't like light either).
Some people will space the combs 9 or even 8 to a super and stack them cross-ways to get more light and make travel from comb to comb harder.
For an infestation where the supers should be on the hive, you could freeze a few at a time to reduce the infestation to a level the hive can manage. but as was already stated, find out why the bees can't keep up. Sometimes that happens when we give the bees too much space to manage too soon. They simply can't keep up.
To hive a swarm, you can give them a frame of brood from another hive to "hold" them. If you're hiving a package or a swarm with a mated queen, you can put a queen excluder Under the hive to keep the queen from leaving. After she's laying and got open brood (a week or so) you can remove it.
You asked about Bt. some spray the foundation before installing it and have great results. I'm curious: not having a wax moth effected comb in front of me, do the moths stick to the midrib of the comb where the foundation is? if so, then it makes sense that they are trying to stay out of reach of the bees with this tactic, And it makes sense to spray the foundation. But if they rarely do this and are usually among the cell walls, then only spraying the foundation will be a wasted treatment.
"do the moths stick to the midrib of the comb"
They start by chewing through the center. you can see a trail (a tunnel in the middle of the comb) across the frame. They seem to chew out an area about the size of quarter occasionally along the tunnel. There is a little webbing in the chewout areas. I had several frames like that which i removed to the freezer. They end up by chewing large sections of the comb. Building webs and cocoons and depending on the brand of WM, producing large white or pink larvae. It can happen in a hurry-the time from egg to large adult larvae is only about 14 days.
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