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Author Topic: Help please!! More wax moth trouble!!!  (Read 10259 times)
Cindi
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« Reply #40 on: July 24, 2008, 01:32:22 PM »

I have to make a comment that is slightly off topic, but I feel compelled to speak.  I was using screened bottom boards, but went back to solid bottomboards because I use oxalic acid vapouring for mite kill.  I have never looked back.  One nuc that I had made I had to use a screened bottomboard on because I had run out of solid ones. 

When I was working the hives last week, I found several earwigs on the top of the inner cover on all of them.  I squish them, there was a very minimal amount.  There was no earwigs inside these 9 colonies.  The nuc, which is now a big, strong colony, which had the screened bottomboard on was another story!!!  It was disgusting.

The outside comb was inhabited by hundreds of earwigs.  Dreadful and I had a field day shaking these little pukes out all over the grass.  Another good reason to also keep the grass short around the colonies.  I killed most of the earwigs.  Not a doubt in my mind that the screened bottomboard was the culprit for the infestation of ear wigs that the colony obviously had not noticed or with simply co-habiting with.  Which, by the way, strikes me as rather odd.  I thought for sure that they would have removed these nasty little critters.

Anyways, to make this long story short (oh dear, I do so ramble, now don't I?), this colony now has a solid bottomboard.  I will not use screened bottomboards ever again, this was a testament as to my preference.  Period.

Now I am hearing that wax moths can hide under the screened bottomboards.  Even more testament of not using them.  To each their own.

My Husband spent long hours converting all my bottomboards to screen bottomboards last year.  He just shakes his head when I asked him now, when he can find this time, to re-convert them to solid.  He has done this to a few and has done a marvelous work and a wonder.  My hat off to this fine man.  Have the most wonderful day, love our life, live it to the fullest that you can.  Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #41 on: July 24, 2008, 02:26:41 PM »

If your using SBB,  you might want to check under them.  This becomes a safe breeding haven for wax moths with all the food they need falling from the sky.   They are poised to expand into the hive whenever there is an opportunity.    Another negative of SBBs.

OK I will take the hive apart and check under the SBB and see what is going on there, as well. I will try anything at this point.

I understand your feelings Cindi, but right now, I really love the SBB. This is the first time in 3 years that I have had any trouble with the wax moths. I feel good about letting the mites fall down naturally through the SBB. To each his own.

Annette
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« Reply #42 on: July 24, 2008, 07:03:32 PM »

With Annette's hive stands, there's not a confined space under the hives in which the wax moths could breed though, it's just open air under there.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #43 on: July 24, 2008, 08:04:10 PM »

I have a pretty even mix of both solid (converted to feeders) and SBB.  I like them both.  The solid I like because I'm too cheap to buy feeders Smiley and the SBB I like because of the ventilation and the ability to monitor mites.  Not to mention that they stay dry no matter how much it rains or how much the stand settles.  I only have the trays in in winter and wax moths have never been a problem.  In a feral hive the whole bottom of the hive is always full of detritus which is always full of wax moth larvae.  It doesn't cause a problem.

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Michael Bush
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« Reply #44 on: July 24, 2008, 09:02:18 PM »

I wasn't trying to say it caused the problem.  I have had wax moths being raised under the SBB and others have mentioned it as well.  It did not cause me a problem because the hives where strong and kept them from advancing.  I suggested it in this case since the hive is already weak and has been infested,  if she is continuously inspecting and cutting out wax worms, I think it would only be prudent to check under the SBB as well.
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« Reply #45 on: July 24, 2008, 09:23:51 PM »

The thing you may not understand about her setup though, is that unless she has the sticky board in, there's nothing under the screen for about a foot down to the ground, and it's open on all sides.  I only know this because of her hive stand design... which I don't believe allows for any safe haven for wax moths (unless it's that small groove where the sticky board would slide in on... or unless the sticky board was left in).
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« Reply #46 on: July 24, 2008, 09:41:58 PM »

The thing you may not understand about her setup though, is that unless she has the sticky board in, there's nothing under the screen for about a foot down to the ground, and it's open on all sides.  I only know this because of her hive stand design... which I don't believe allows for any safe haven for wax moths (unless it's that small groove where the sticky board would slide in on... or unless the sticky board was left in).

No, the thing is YOU don't understand.  Don't take this as harsh or demeaning, but this is yet another discussion that shows you have never owned bees.  Wax worms build webs and can actually bore through wood.  Although they prefer confined spaces, mainly because of light,  they can and will take up residence out of the bees reach on the bottom side of a screened bottom board if the conditions are right. Now I'm not saying it happens a lot, but it does happen. I have had them build cocoons right in the corner where the mesh and wood meet.  Since Annette seems to be having a continuous battle with them,  I just thought it would be worth checking, that's all.  If they aren't there then great.

This is the danger when someone well read tries to give advice to others when they have no practical experience.  There is a big difference between book smart and real life experience.
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« Reply #47 on: July 24, 2008, 10:17:06 PM »

 Hang in there Annette!
You'll see a lite at the end of the tunnel soon! Then you can show us what works if we have the moth problem later!
 Does anybody have a picture of a wax moth to put here by any chance?
Well, I guess i could google it.
your friend,
john
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #48 on: July 24, 2008, 11:09:09 PM »

It comes down to hive strength and hygenic behavior of said bees. 
I'm using bottomless hives and top entrances without screens but do use mite boards to reduce the entrance or monitor mite load.  I have not experienced any wax moth, earwig, ant, SHB, or othe rinvasion pests.  The bees festoon below the hive from the slats of the slatted rack on real hot days. 

BTW, I have yet to find a single mite.  I didn't have any before the prolonged winter starvatiion and certainly don't have any now. 

One thing I've learned is that you can prove and disproved something scientifically depending on how you access the data, so I take most single season studies with a minute grain of salt.  A multi-seasonal study, using the exact criteria each season, would be more believeable but those types of studies usually don't get funded because the results take too long.  The shorter the test period, the more suspect the results.
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Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
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« Reply #49 on: July 24, 2008, 11:15:34 PM »

Thank you all for the concerns. I will take all this advice to heart. Will check in a few days under the SBB to see if anything is there. Yes there are grooves where the tray slides in and I noticed that I had trouble getting that tray in a few days ago when I wanted to do a mite count. Perhaps there is something there. Doesn't hurt to look.

I appreciate all the help here from everyone.

Take care
Annette
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #50 on: July 25, 2008, 06:29:13 AM »

Actually another wonderful thing about a SBB is you can put a tray in and come back in a couple of days and tell so much about what is going on.  If there are wax moths there will be those little square ended wax moth feces pellets on the tray.  If they are eating, you'll have those rough pieces of wax they chew off.  If they are building comb you'll find those nice flakes of new wax on the bottom.  If there are Varroa you'll find some of them.  A nice window into what is happening.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #51 on: July 25, 2008, 07:14:56 AM »

>Actually another wonderful thing about a SBB is you can put a tray in and come back in a couple of days and tell so much about what is going on.

This really works---I use mine to monitor my hives activities and not just the mite.

                                                        Corinne
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Cindi
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« Reply #52 on: July 25, 2008, 09:59:21 AM »

This thread has become very interesting.  I have comments to make about the screened/solid bottomboards, again.  As mentioned, I am using the solid bottomboards, for reasons I won't mention again.  I am fortunate that I live in a climate that does not have those extremely high temperatures, as so many of my forum friends have. Our temperature in summer rarely will get over 27 C (80F), we average moreso around 25 C (27).  I have colonies that are all very, very strong, and I have not seen any bearding, due to heat related issues.  Once I had festoons hanging around the upper entrance, I posted a picture of this.  THis was a direct result of a colony that was proceeding with swarming, which I intervened with a cut down split, (I had to split the cut down split a couple of weeks ago, gangbuster colony).

With my solid bottomboards I can also monitor mites using a sticky board.  I have a black mesh that goes over the sticky board and I simply insert it in the front of the colony and push it into the hive.  Works well.

The wax moth.....back to what the thread was originally about.  Yes....when I got that used equipment there was a massive wax moth issue.  All the frames were frozen, the boxes scraped and sprayed with a weak bleach solution.  I saw wax moth larvae in those boxes, inner covers and lids in the weirdest places and they can really hide very well.  But I believe I got them all.

About the boring into the wood.  Yes, they can do that too, I witnessed that.  Holes straight into the wood and reasonably deep "tunnel" shaped borings.  I was so intrigued by this, I took a picture.

Also, just for interest sake, I am putting a picture of some of the inner covers.  They are made from what it looks like to me as pieces of wood, not the typical piece of plywood, interesting to say the least.  Beautiful, most wonderful day, love our lives, so worthy to live.  Cindi

The inside of this box was particularly bored out with the worm



The inner cover, must old as time itself

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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #53 on: July 25, 2008, 10:18:28 AM »


Also, just for interest sake, I am putting a picture of some of the inner covers.  They are made from what it looks like to me as pieces of wood, not the typical piece of plywood, interesting to say the least. 




Hey, they look like some of my covers tongue  Some of them are probably 40+ years old and haven't been painted in 25yrs.   Who said metal tops won't last shocked
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Cindi
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« Reply #54 on: July 25, 2008, 10:25:14 AM »

Rob, yep, yep, so they are old like yours.  I guess that was the method that the covers were made 'in those good ol' days".  These are not painted, the metal is still 100% good.  I wonder why people paint inner covers, that doesn't make any sense to me, the metal protects the wood, hmmm, strange things done in the midnight sun.  Beautiful and most wonderful of these days, Cindi
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There are strange things done in the midnight sun by the men who moil for gold.  The Arctic trails have their secret tales that would make your blood run cold.  The Northern Lights have seen queer sights, but the queerest they ever did see, what the night on the marge of Lake Lebarge, I cremated Sam McGee.  Robert Service
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« Reply #55 on: July 25, 2008, 03:20:21 PM »

What's your humidity like up there? 

Down here it's rare that we drop below 95% humidity in the summer... and covering unprotected wood with metal is a great way to have the wood fall apart in your hands after just a few years.  Guess it goes back to the whole, what works for one beek doesn't work for another thing...
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« Reply #56 on: July 25, 2008, 11:58:05 PM »

Does anybody have a picture of a wax moth to put here by any chance?


I don't have any pictures of the moth,  but here is one of the worms.....

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SgtMaj
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« Reply #57 on: July 26, 2008, 01:37:13 AM »

Here's a pic of the moths.  It is NOT my pic... I just googled it.

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« Reply #58 on: July 26, 2008, 08:10:48 AM »

That's a good picture, especially since it shows the feces (black spots).   it is peculiar because they don't have the common rounded shape, but have distinct ridges down them.  You can often spot a small area of them on the SBB insert long before you notice any damage in the hive.  A small quantity is nothing to be alarmed by in a strong hive, as the  bees will keep them in check.  But in a weak hive it is a good heads up.
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« Reply #59 on: July 26, 2008, 09:48:11 AM »

So lets say you find some from a carni hive at the height of their colony size that year, would you be at all concerned about them due to knowing that even though the colony is strong now, their numbers will soon decrease, and will eventually decrease down to a small cluster?  Or is the fact that the hive is otherwise healthy, (and assuming that you manage the space appropriately), enough to ensure the moths won't become a problem?
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