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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I opened a hive today and saw a wax moth larva crawling on top of a frame. I squished it, but now I'm wondering is there a bigger problem? I thought the bees keep them under control when the hive is healthy? I am hesitant to open them up too much because I have such a big yellow jacket problem. But should I do a thorough search?
 
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I would go through the hive/hives. From time to time you may see a larva that has found a hiding place even in a strong hive. I did say strong. Healthy only means that nothing bad is going on.

If the hive is healthy, but weak you may want to put it into a nuc. A small hive of bees have a hard time taking care of a larg 10 frame hive.

The yellow jackets may be a problem, but are not as bad as haveing wax moths going through the hive. Go and do a through search, and let us know what you find.

BB
 

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Yep! Ya need to go through them ASAP!
I don't ever recall seeing just 'one' wax moth larve crawling around on the top of a frame - you may not know it yet, but you got problems in that hive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Shoot. I was hoping you'all would tell me things are fine! The hive is full of bees, a deep and a western. We got a break in the rain today and even though it was only 65, the girls were flying. I guess I need to find another break tomorrow. . . .
 

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i've always heard that a strong hive should be able to handle wax moths,my guess is these hives failed or were failing for some other reason when the wax moths got the edge on them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
It has been raining, windy and in the 50's here. It is supposed to warm up a little in a few days, so I'm hoping they don't destroy everything before I get in there.
 

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If a hive is really badly infested with wax moths, I'd kill the queen and shake the bees in front of another medium strength hive and scrap the combs. I don't think it's worth putting them in a strong hive and making them try to clean them up. Once all the webs are protecting them the moths are difficult to get out.
 

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Cleaning up a wax moth damaged hive has got to be one of the nastiest jobs in beekeeping! ....errrr....so I've been told!
;> )

Since they hide in every 'nook and crany' (what's a "crany" anyway?), if you've got a chest freezer, make some room and freeze your frames (and whole super, if it will fit). This is the easiest "sure fired" way of killing all the wax moth larvae.
 

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Freezing is the cleanest way to kill them without any chemcicals etc. Certan will kill them. I'd just scrap the comb, scrape everything clean and leave them outside, here. We've already had a frost several times and will have a hard freeze sometime soon.
 
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The only time I have ever had problems with wax moths is when the hives are weak. Here wax moths realy don't kick in untill the later parts of the summer and the fall. I have seen moths go through a hive in just a few days leaving a mess behind. Depends how weak the hive is.

The worst mess is SHB, if you ever see the mess they leave you will think wax moths are cute little butterflys. lol

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
It is raining and 50 here. It is not supposed to warm up until next monday, but I can't stand it anymore. I spent the night dreaming of moths and robbing and wondering why I didn't notice something was wrong sooner. . . .
 

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What the lowest temperature can we access the hive to inspect for moths?

This time of year? The brood should be lower now, we should be able to go into the upper chambers right?
 

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>What the lowest temperature can we access the hive to inspect for moths?
This time of year? The brood should be lower now, we should be able to go into the upper chambers right?

Look out the window. Are the bees flying full force today? Then it's warm enough. If they aren't, then it's too cold.
 

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>>The hive is full of bees, a deep and a western. We got a break in the rain today and even though it was only 65, the girls were flying

If your hive is full of bees, then the problem should be undercontrol. I'll find WM hiding every once and a while, mostly under the innercover and hivetop. never distroyed any living hive of mine yet. Before I took apart my screened bottom boards, they thrived in the waxy mess on the monitoring board. It is the main reason I got rid of them...

Ian

[This message has been edited by Ian (edited October 15, 2003).]
 

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Ian are you saying screened bottom boards promote wax moths?

I didnt quite understand your statement.

Thanks

Micheal, I meant what was too cool on the brood?

I don't worry about bees.....sorry I had not been clear in my questions...
 

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>>Ian are you saying screened bottom boards promote wax moths?

As long as you keep the boards clean, but they also tend to hide under the boards.
I found it being just one more job. It did not fit into my operation like I thought it would...
Don't have small hive beetles up here yet, but I would think under the screen would be a safe spot for them to hang out

Ian
 

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Thanks Ian

I have not purchased any screened boards yet. I don't think screened boards will work for me either.
 

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>I have not purchased any screened boards yet. I don't think screened boards will work for me either.


Don't be so quick to rule out a very important tool for managing your colonys.

I don't care for wax moths either. I prefer them, like ex-wives, in another state, like New Mexico.

There is a very important role for the moth to take part in nature. Termites return wood back to earth, wax moths clean out the debris under natural colonys and do no harm to a strong healthy hive. Old and unused wax and other proteins are broken down and returned back to nature. They are the garbage collectors and help balance the system.

The SBB's are a tool that you will get more benefit from than you realize. The trick is to be able to manage it in a way that will enable the bees to manage themselves better.

I close them up in the winter by leaving the tray in place. This does not completely seal up the bottom and still allows for air to flow through the hive in a controlled way so as to help vent out excess moisture.

In the summer leave them open for better ventilation and to help dehydrate the honey.

When you want to monitor the contition of the hive reinstall the tray and after a timed period you can 'read' the tray and get a better understanding of what is going on. It is not just mites that fall onto the tray, after studying the tray you will be able to relate to a great many things you find there.

For someone like yourself who likes to tinker with home remedies, the SBB's tray is the most important tool that you could have. Just don't buy the ones that don't have a sliding tray, or just set on top of your regular bottom board, you would have to rework them eventually.



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Bullseye Bill
Smack dab in the middle of the country.
 
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