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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had a little damage from wax moths in some stored comb. In order to control it, I froze the frames. They are now wrapped and stored outside in my shed.

Here's my question: I would like to bring some frames inside for various reasons. Can the wax moth reappear? I'm not sure how the heck wax moths overwinter. I'm wondering if the eggs can withstand the cold, and then hatch.

How does the wax moth make it through the winter? I've done an internet search, but can't seem to find an answer to my question.

TIA

Ken
 

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From a piece by Dr. James Tew.




WARNING: Very cold honey combs are very brittle. The minimum temperature and exposure time needed to destroy all stages of the greater wax moth are shown in the following table.


Temperature Time In Hours
20°F (-7°C) 4.5
10°F (-12°C) 3.0
5°F (-15°C) 2.0

http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/2000/2165.html

If the frames you want to bring inside have met the requirements for killing all stages of the moth you should be ok as far as those frames are concerned. I'm cursed with wax moths in any unused super regardless of temperature, light, brood, etc. I'm pretty sure that the cold we've had here will kill them off this winter but that they'll show up again in the summer, having survived in some nook or cranny somewhere around town.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well, mine have been below 20 degrees for about a month now, and last night, they even went below zero :doh:
 

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Around here there are no naturally cold temperatures to kill or even bother wax moths.

In my climate the options for storing idle and empty comb are:

1) Stack them in a storage shed, inside plastic bags with paradiclorobenzene (PDCB) to prevent moth infestation. [First, I chose not to do this, because PDCB stinks, is toxic, and can evaporate away. Second, warm days can happen any time of the year and cause melt-down of comb stored in storage sheds. Third, its too much work.]
2) Stack them outside where natural light can help inhibit wax moth infestation. [I didn't do this, because when I put them in enough light to inhibit wax moths, it usually leads to comb melt-down.]
3) Stack them outside, in the shade where they will stay cool enough not to melt-down, but after spritzing them lightly with a solution of B401 (formerly known as Certan), a formulation of Bt toxins that are lethal to young wax moth larvae, but not to honeybees.

I know my use of the B401 product disqualifies me, in some eyes, from being considered treatment-free. If I could afford an air conditioned storage shed for my empty/idle combs I would freeze them to kill the wax moths, then store them there, but unless I win the lottery, that's not an option.
 
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