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Discussion Starter #1
I'd put a couple deeps away this early spring in the bee room. Today I was going to pull a few frames from overweight hives today for honey. As I pulled out these drawn frames to get things ready I came across this. Sheesh, what a mess. We harvested honey from supers a week ago and there was no sign of SHB in any of those, I haven't been into the brood boxes of active colonies so I'm not sure what's going on there but everyone looks strong.

So, can you verify it is SHB for me?

With stored frames in this kind of mess what should I do with them?

If these are SHB I guess the holiday is over for us here in Montana.

Thanks folks,
Lee


 

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You have wax moths. If you store frames you will need to take action to keep wax moths from hatching.
Freezing frames overnight will kill any cocoons or eggs on a frame. After you freeze them you can do several things to keep wax moths from getting on the frames while they are stored.
https://bees.caes.uga.edu/bees-beek...rs-non-infectious-diseases-and-pests.html#Wax
I've been dealing with them. They did move in after a weak hive flew away this past spring. Not a swarm- all the bees left except for the dead and dying.
If you have chickens let the chickens eat the worms off the frames since they are very nutritious.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
You have wax moths. If you store frames you will need to take action to keep wax moths from hatching.
Freezing frames overnight will kill any cocoons or eggs on a frame. After you freeze them you can do several things to keep wax moths from getting on the frames while they are stored.
https://bees.caes.uga.edu/bees-beek...rs-non-infectious-diseases-and-pests.html#Wax
I've been dealing with them. They did move in after a weak hive flew away this past spring. Not a swarm- all the bees left except for the dead and dying.
If you have chickens let the chickens eat the worms off the frames since they are very nutritious.
Hey Boondocks, first post here at BeeSource and I'm the lucky recipient! Thanks, really glad it isn't SHB and glad I came here for verification. We can get a bit chilly here so I'm surprised I have em. The bee room freezes, below 0 f for a bit each winter so these invaders haven't been here long. What should I do with these mucked up frames? Can I just hose them off and let the chickens have a nice snack, of should I scrape them down to the foundation?
Thanks!
Lee
 

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I would let the chickens eat the worms off the frames and then scrape them (the frames, not the chickens : ) )
A good freezing will kill any eggs and coccoons left on the frame. Then store them in a plastic bag with no way for a moth to enter it.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I have ordered Bacillus thuringiensis, aizawai, to treat all stored comb. This is the first I've seen of this beast so I suspect it will be a recurring problem. the BT seems like the cure.

Lee
 

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Good response from Boondocks.

I have washed frames/comb with a water hose sprayer, rather than scraping them. It works surprisingly well.
 

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Yes Lee I would have mailed you some. A pound is a lifetime supply and I was only half way thru the last package before it was years and years over shelf life date. I used some of that this summer just to see and it still worked just fine. A tsp in a half gallon of water and mist it on. When I do a mass amount of frames, I set the box on its end bottom toward me. I push the outside frame bottom over as much as I can and spray that side, fan that frame the other way and the next frame opposite and spray in between---repeat as required. It goes pretty fast. The first bite the larvae takes with a spore in it is its last. The bees will clean up those frames amazingly well just mist them and give them to a strong colony to fix. If you put a pan of water in your storage next spring and keep if full, you will know when the moths are back as they will start drowning in the pan of water. Thats not a cure just the indicator. Freeze your polwder to preserve it long term.
 

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I spray the insides of boxes,dip wooden frames with foundation also.It will keep worms from eating your wooden ware also.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good response from Boondocks.

I have washed frames/comb with a water hose sprayer, rather than scraping them. It works surprisingly well.
Yeah, after my chickens had done their thing I took a hose and it worked pretty well. My understanding is that the webs can catch bees so getting the webs off the frame is important.

Lee
 

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You have wax moths. If you store frames you will need to take action to keep wax moths from hatching.
Freezing frames overnight will kill any cocoons or eggs on a frame.
May I say, I believe these moth larvae in the photo are Lesser Wax Moths. Unfortunately, they aren’t easily killed by freezing. Yes, I know. The literature says wax moth are killed by freezing. I’ve found Lessers in stored comb, in the middle of a Vermont winter, with temps in the -10 to -20F, and the larvae we’re still alive
 

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Discussion Starter #13
May I say, I believe these moth larvae in the photo are Lesser Wax Moths. Unfortunately, they aren’t easily killed by freezing. Yes, I know. The literature says wax moth are killed by freezing. I’ve found Lessers in stored comb, in the middle of a Vermont winter, with temps in the -10 to -20F, and the larvae we’re still alive
Michael, what is your go-to strategy for dealing with them in stored frames?

Lee
 

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I was interested in hearing about the Lesser Wax Moth and the Greater Wax Moth. I did not know there were two kinds. So I did some research:
"In contrast, lesser wax moths can cause significant damage to stored wax combs. Fortunately, there are several ways to store wax comb to limit lesser wax moth damage. Either extreme heat or cold will kill all life stages of lesser wax moths, including eggs that may be hidden from view. It is possible to kill lesser wax moths at temperatures of 114°F and above, noting that wax comb melts at 119°F. Freezing is a better choice for treating wax combs. All lesser wax moth stages will die when maintained at 20°F for 24 to 48 hours. After freezing, the materials can be stored in airtight plastic bags to prevent re-infestation. Cold rooms maintained at approximately 39°F also may be used to store materials. At 39°F, the lesser wax moths are not killed, but their activity is severely decreased and damage is minimal."
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1108

Also this tidbit from the article:
"Lesser wax moths are also raised commercially as animal feed, fish bait, and models for scientific research. Lesser wax moth larvae are even suitable for human consumption.

I guess I might try some lesser wax moth stew if I ever have another bad infestation.
 

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I respectfully disagree with UFL. They are obviously repeating long held mistaken beliefs. LWM larvae are not killed by freezing. I have seen and have photos of LWM larvae in mid winter after long periods of very cold...twice well below -20F. After thawing out in the heated honey house, they came to life and crawled away.
 

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I have put similar frames into the open, like stand them directly on grass, well apart, and in sun.
Come back in 2-3 days - there will be nothing left of those WM larvae.
Especially now as it is getting cool AND YJs/wasps/ants are getting hungry and are just looking for easy prey.
Bees will join too, scavenging.
Try and see for yourself.

I did not really look what happens to them, but the WMs will be gone, pretty darn sure.
Those frames are still fine to be repaired by the bees afterwards.
 

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My combs are stored in an insulated building that is only periodically heated. Lesser wax moths indeed live thru some winters here in Great Falls. But that is only about one winter out of five. I think those winters with -30 to -40 cold pretty much ends them. Spraying honey supers with BT as they come out of the extracter pretty much solves any problem. Usually it is dead out or other stored brood comb that slip by being protected with BT that get Lesser wax moth damage. I have never seen the greater here in Montana other than in commercial equipment brought north. Same with small hive beetles which come into Montana but so far have not been able to establish and I doubt they can or they would be here.
 
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