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Wax Moths???

2112 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
First of all I'm in North Florida and have six hives. This is my second year beekeeping.

I had hive that had good activity for the past few months coming in and out of the entrance(bearding and washboarding). A few days ago I noticed that there was barely any activity. Today I opened it up and there was clearly a SHB infestation that had "slimed me".

My question is that there were some large larvae in there with cocoons. As I was scraping the sides of the box they had actually eaten some of the wood. Is this a wax moth? There was some webbing but not a ton. The larvae were about pencil size around and 1.5". Almost looked like a corn earworm.

I burned all of the frames but not the boxes. Is this the right course of action?
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Yep. wax moths. Just throw the frames in the freezer for a couple days will take care of them. Bees will clean up the frames afterward.
Can,t say much about SHB. Haven,t had to deal with them yet. Perhaps it's necessary, but burning gear, wow. Sorry to hear that.
You didn't have to burn the gear, but absolutely, wax moth cocoons will actually 'eat' the wood away. It leaves a divot. A couple days in the florida sun will help greatly as long as you discard the wax/comb. And I do bag, and get rid of the combs! Don't leave damaged frames to touch one another, like in a pile. Bake them is the sun. As far as hive got lucky...they make a DISGUSTING mess! Your hive got weak, and our two worst enemies down here got the best of what was left. The hive probably went queenless, and before you realized, the hive started to decline, and the bastards took over. I lost a deep hive and a full super of honey to SHB in a WEEK! NASTY suckers! I love the sound of a smashed hive beetle under my thumb! Sorry for the loss, but it is Florida beekeeping! I have virtually no Varroa...knock on wood...but SHB and Wax moth....errgghh!!! Just make sure you keep all 'waste/discards' firmly bagged and chucked! And do the removal of comb on sweep-able surfaces! Remember...those larvae need the ground to pupate in....Use a concrete surface and let the larvae squirm and bake in the sun. (No...I have never had to do it....ha!) It's GROSS. NASTY suckers!
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It was super nasty, three full supers of honey full of SHB larvae. Once they burrow into the honey it starts leaking out and makes a hell of a mess. There was no saving any of it!
>I burned all of the frames but not the boxes. Is this the right course of action?

There is only one reason to ever burn any equipment (other than complete disintegration from rot) and that is AFB. It is not wax moths. It is not Nosema. It is AFB. Stop wasting equipment. I think the books create an impression on people's mind that burning is a solution and they don't get it firmly connected in their minds to the problem. The problem the requires burning is AFB.
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