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Author Topic: Wax moth problem?  (Read 1277 times)
jopo
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« on: September 15, 2009, 09:23:58 PM »

I have two hives.  One is very strong, and I literally cannot keep up with its honey production.  The other is larger but hasn't produced any honey this season.  The larger hive was as strong as the second early in the season but has become markedly slower over the course of the summer.  This evening I checked it and found numerous frames with uncapped honey, no honey, and little to no brood.  I noticed a small larva crawling from one cell, but didn't see any others.  The comb is mostly dark and there was a strong smell of honey.  Is this a wax moth problem?  I didn't see any large worms, wood damage or webbing.

I removed one super from the hive to decrease the amount of excess space and give the bees a chance to rebound. Their numbers are still good.  Is this wishful thinking?  Can I save the hive, or is it on a terminal downward spiral?


 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 01:54:05 PM by buzzbee » Logged
annette
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2009, 11:09:40 PM »

When the hive started to slow in the summer, I probably would have gone in and checked to make sure they had a queen, brood, stores, etc. Perhaps you did check it out.

If it were my hive, I would be going through all the frames right now to see what is up. (do I have a queen, are they otherwise healthy)

If you find it is wax moth, I would remove any frames they have gotten into,  then you need to crowd the bees down into one super or even a nuc so they can defend themselves. Sounds like you have to feed them also so they can build up.

Keep us informed, I am new at this also, but have dealt with the dreaded wax moths and saved my hive.
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jopo
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2009, 07:04:42 AM »

Thanks, Annette.  I'll check the brood box tonight for the queen and remove the remaining supers.  Can I salvage the frames I remove, or does the comb need to be destroyed?
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annette
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« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2009, 11:11:03 AM »

If the frames are really yucky I scraped them clean and cut out the bad webbing.  I froze the rest of the frames that were salvageable.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2009, 11:30:20 AM »

>I noticed a small larva crawling from one cell, but didn't see any others.  The comb is mostly dark and there was a strong smell of honey. 

Strong smell of honey? Could it be the smell of fermenting honey? Dark comb? Dark or a greasy look or just dark from brood hatch cocoons?
Better check closely for small hive beetle. The smell of fermenting honey and comb with a dark greasy look are two signs of shb.

Could be neither wax moth or shb. Occasionally I see a stray inch worm or larva worm of some sort or another.

>The larger hive was as strong as the second early in the season but has become markedly slower over the course of the summer.  This evening I checked it and found numerous frames with uncapped honey, no honey, and little to no brood.

What is the bee population? Could have a queen issue but it also time for the queen to begin cutting back on brood (fall). However a beekeeper more local would be able to give you a better timeline on brood reduction.

And then this year the hives in my area have more brood for going into the fall than they have had in years (according to the local beeks). My hives are very brood strong and will probably not achieve brood chamber preparation due to brood still needing to hatch and no nectar flow.

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John 3:16
jopo
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2009, 10:51:55 AM »

Thanks for the thoughts!  I've had rain for the last two days and haven't been able to get into the hive.  I'm hoping to get inside the hive this afternoon, and I put a jar feeder on the large, reduced hive two days ago.  I took a peek into the top box during a break in the rain yesterday evening and didn't see any webing, but the bees were very active on the frames.

If the problem is the shb and not wax moths, how should I handle it?

Update: added this picture:

 
 
« Last Edit: September 19, 2009, 11:36:12 AM by eivindm » Logged
jopo
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2009, 11:43:03 AM »

P.S.  This a picture I copied off of Michael Bush's Bee Farm website.  I'm using it because it is the same color and look of my comb, i.e. uncapped, a little honey and dark, and I can't get a good picture here with the weather.  Thanks to MB for the great photo!
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