Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Maybe someone can help solve this mystery. I was going through my equipment today and found what appear to be live wax moth larva. I live in Vermont (growing zone 5a) and this equipment has been stored in an unheated outbuilding all winter. It has been frozen solid for months with long stretches of single digit temps and we've had below freezing temperature within the last week. At first I thought they were frozen larva left over from the fall but I poked them and they wiggled and squirmed. I'm baffled.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you. I had no idea. According to the video, greater wax moth larvae don't survive freezing but lesser wax moth larvae do. Like Mike said, someone needs to rewrite the book.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
My first few years of beekeeping I never had a wax moth problem I stored up in the very cold barn and all was well. Then...it wasn't. I thought it was due to a warmer winter (and my first year of problems with wax moths WAS a warm winter) but now I think I was just lucky. For those first years I had very little to store. But as I expanded and my brood combs increased in numbers, so did my over wintering problem. Now, even very cold winters give me a few headaches. So, as mentioned above, I spray with fresh BT and I'm pretty much good to go.

Wax moths are evil.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
My first few years of beekeeping I never had a wax moth problem I stored up in the very cold barn and all was well. Then...it wasn't. I thought it was due to a warmer winter (and my first year of problems with wax moths WAS a warm winter) but now I think I was just lucky. For those first years I had very little to store. But as I expanded and my brood combs increased in numbers, so did my over wintering problem. Now, even very cold winters give me a few headaches. So, as mentioned above, I spray with fresh BT and I'm pretty much good to go.

Wax moths are evil.
So very cold natural temps are not enough to do the trick, but what about the freezer? Whenever I pull frames out the first thing I do is 2 weeks in the -10°F freezer, and when I pull them out afterward I've never had ANYTHING that moved... Do you think it will even work for these evil wax moth versions, or are they like ****roaches and scorpions, they can survive anything? Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,290 Posts
Lesser Wax Moth larvae, Achroia grisella, survive being frozen all winter at temperatures lower than -20˚F. I doubt some time in your home freezer will kill them. Lesser larvae are small, and pink. The white larvae don't survive. I wonder if pink Lesser larvae have some kind of antifreeze. Thankfully, Lessers don't do much damage. Mostly some webbing on the comb surface and a bit of bee bread mining.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
131 Posts
Lesser Wax Moth larvae, Achroia grisella, survive being frozen all winter at temperatures lower than -20˚F. I doubt some time in your home freezer will kill them. Lesser larvae are small, and pink. The white larvae don't survive. I wonder if pink Lesser larvae have some kind of antifreeze. Thankfully, Lessers don't do much damage. Mostly some webbing on the comb surface and a bit of bee bread mining.
Ugh, just thinking of those things being in the freezer for weeks and then just starting to squirm around after being frozen all that time... Reminds me of "John Carpenter's The Thing"... Horror movie about stuff they found frozen in ancient ice...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
Bacillus thuringiensis. Type "a" is best for wax moth larva.

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,135 Posts
Reminds me of the study showing ticks are changing their gut bacteria allowing them to overwinter farther North. Creatures are fascinating, even the nasty ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
is Bacillus thuringiensis ok to spray on the frames? any legal or health issues to worry about?
It is not approved for use in bee hives, however it is approved for vegetables we eat. Many people use it for Wax Moth Larvae control. It has been openly discussed for so long, I didn't realize it had not been approved, until someone mentioned it here.

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,087 Posts
It is not approved for use in bee hives, however it is approved for vegetables we eat. Many people use it for Wax Moth Larvae control. It has been openly discussed for so long, I didn't realize it had not been approved, until someone mentioned it here.

Alex
i just found it under Xen Tari DF for $25 for a pound bag. Is this the right product?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,178 Posts
I do not know about DF but the zentari strain BT works for me. Nothing scientific required. I add a heaping teaspoon full to a luke warm gallon of water and shake it up. I set the spray bottle to its finest mist setting and sweep both sides of the frame. When doing whole stacks, I sometimes place box on its end and because I run 8 frames in supers I just fan them out from the bottom and spray each seam from the bottom. Brood frames in boxes I remove a couple frames to do the same. But normally as I unload the extractor I spray both sides of each frame to be stored. Where I have a problem is that deadout that I stack in spring busy times and all of a sudden when I turn on the lights in the night I see dozens of little silvery fliers looking for darkness. If you leave a pan or bucket of water in your storage, you will get an early heads up you have a problem because the moths are attracted to the water in their nocturnal travels and you will see little silver fliers on the water surface.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
I recently read Xentrari like product is being evaluated by the EPA for beekeeping purposes. Likely will be approved but the cost of maintaining approval seems weird and detrimental. But I do not know the purpose of renewal approval cost. Maintained approvals do not seems to work for oxalic acid. It would almost seem like EPA cost structure is designed to keep simple ideas and little people out of business. Dare I say we need a bit of socialism mixed in with capitalism? I like the "Free Market" concept.

I wonder if the wax moths are mutating? I just found one larva, first time, on the top of a frame at the top of a live hive. I am buying Xentari for my cabbage and Brussels sprouts and whatever... :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,265 Posts
It works on Tomato Horn Worms, as well.

Alex
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
It works on Tomato Horn Worms, as well.

Alex
I have not had that problem since adding toads and snakes to my garden, 20 years now. But Brussel sprouts are impossible without some kind of help. Cabbage is doable except when a woodchuck and a rabbit grownup in you veggie garden. This Xentari looks acceptable as an organic method.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top