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Author Topic: Newbie in need of a good tutor... (wax moth?)  (Read 1676 times)
klesage121
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Location: Hanceville, AL


« on: July 02, 2008, 10:07:23 AM »

Okay I'm a new beekeeper and I have 2 hives I was just in my hives noticed a possible weak hive.  I opened this hive first and not much honey in the super i put back the frames and sat the super down and looked in the brood hive and saw alot of webbing and this pinkish looking worm suspended in the web it was about an inch long.  From what I have read on here could it be the wax moth has gotten in there and the small number of bees can't cope?  What are your suggestions now?  I was thinking cleaning the frames off of the webbing and I have also noted that not all brood frames are being used.  If my memory serves me right they are only using (when standing behind the hive) the left side of the hive period thats brood area and the super.
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klesage121
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2008, 01:05:46 PM »

Okay I just took an even closer look removing the affected frames and I have both wax moth larvae and the beetles.  I looked at the other frames there no coccoons nor did I see any larvae or beetles but here is the next problem my brrod box area is nothing but honey.  Am I queenless do I need to introduce a queen or attempt to combine strong and weak hives?
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Dr.Wax
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2008, 02:03:08 PM »

I would say that hive is toast. I lost one earlier this year due to small hive beetles- if you have BOTH beetles and wax moths I would write that one off! If you don't take action soon they will almost certainly abscond if they have a queen.

I think you need to look carefully for a queen in there and if you don't find one I would combine immediately. You could place a super with only as many frames as the bees will cover over your strong hive with a layer of newspaper separating the two and brush the bees into it. Take the frames from the weak hive and freeze them at least 24 hours in plastic bags. Later you can thaw them and insert them into your strong hive to be cleaned out.

If you want to have the same number of hives to overwinter you could later do a split and order a new queen for it. I would also strongly consider ordering a beetle trap since you live in the same region as myself and SHB are rampant here.
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Dr.Wax
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2008, 02:09:28 PM »

One more thing. If it is wax moth the portions of the comb they destroyed will need to be removed by scraping or cutting depending on what type of foundation you have.
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klesage121
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2008, 04:13:58 PM »

Thats what I was thinking of doing is joining the hives together.  The weak hive don't have enough bees I don't believe to try to requeen them.  I noticed the hive isn't even attempting to defend themselves not even against me, just ignoring me all together no matter what I do.  I removed the infested frames and left the what look to the naked eye good frames.  Now the other hive on the other hand is chasin them little beetles around. I saw no evidence of any wax moth's.  I'm going to look into the beetle traps though.  From what I was reading that if you get wax moth's most likely you are queenless.  Is there any truth to that cause with the way they are acting and the numbers being terribly small (all I saw was honey in the brood chamber never saw a queen or young) no honey in the super.
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Dr.Wax
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008, 06:38:55 PM »

Quote
I noticed the hive isn't even attempting to defend themselves not even against me, just ignoring me all together no matter what I do.

Yes they are probably overwhelmed with the pests they are dealing with plus they have little to defend in terms of brood it sounds like. You said you found an inch long worm in there and normally they are able to remove them long before they get that size. Seeing one that size tells me the colony is near collapse.

Quote
I removed the infested frames and left the what look to the naked eye good frames.


The key phrase you used was "to the naked eye". I would freeze every drawn frame in there as there may be eggs present which go unseen by the naked eye. You don't want to unknowingly transfer your problem to your other hive.

Quote
From what I was reading that if you get wax moth's most likely you are queenless.  Is there any truth to that cause with the way they are acting and the numbers being terribly small (all I saw was honey in the brood chamber never saw a queen or young) no honey in the super.

Most likely they are queenless but I would still check for one. You might have a virgin queen who hasn't started laying yet and that could be trouble if you try to combine in that situation.

Personally I would combine as soon as possible because things can go quick once it reaches this stage.

I highly recommend the West SHB trap which I got from Dadant. I was only seeing 3-5 adults when I would inspect my hive1 (I have two hives also) but when I pulled the tray after five days guess how many dead ones were in the tray?

Fourty-eight! 

So if you are seeing only a few when you inspect, you can multiple that number several times to get a true picture of the problem.
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klesage121
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2008, 09:45:04 PM »

The frames I pulled and cleaned up were just infested with wax beetles there larvae and wax moth larvae.  I feel so bad cause you know its partly my fault that I haven't payed better attention to whats going on.  I think this hive was like this though when I got it because its had the same activity the entire time I have had it.  I know it was a caught swarm maybe its possible that the queen went out for a mating flight and since I baught was never able to get back to the hive?  The brood chamber is however from what frames I looked at honey I saw no brood at all, and no queen either.  I tried to watch for her and then looked for the dancing little court but never saw anything.
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Dr.Wax
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« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2008, 01:41:05 AM »

That sounds almost EXACTLY like my circumstances down to no queen ever being present. Every single detail you mentioned was just like mine except two things..one is the moths. I think mine was either old and died soon after being hived or like you said a MIA mating queen. The strange behavior I interpreted as being overly defensive was actually them being queenless and I was new and scared to open the hive so I failed to note they were queenless (was waiting on getting a new one) and they became a laying worker hive.

I hope it works out for you. Just keep an eye on that other hive since the pests will surely target it next.
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