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Author Topic: When to use BT for wax moths?  (Read 1288 times)
House Bee
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« on: October 24, 2011, 05:30:14 PM »

I've read some of the posts on this subject.  Wondering what the latest "right thing to do" would be.  I have one hive in a single deep.  They got a late start but the hive is healthy.  I was doing a follow-up varroa check and found a single wax moth larvae on the board today.  I have not inspected the hive yet...  want to know if and when spraying the frames with BT would be indicated?  Night time temps are upper 40's to mid 50's and day temps upper 70's the next few days.

I understand a healthy hive will normally take care of wax moths but this hive with it's late start (mid July) has me a little concerned.   The stores are good and they are still pulling in pollen and some nectar from somewhere.  Actually I was surprised to find the wax moth larvae.  If there is one there are more.

Galactic Bee
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« Reply #1 on: October 24, 2011, 07:33:16 PM »

When you spray the brood combs, you end up spraying a lot of bees.  Luckily that doesn’t seem to kill the bees.  It didn't in my case at least.  Unfortunately it also doesn’t seem to kill the wax moths either.  They are usually tunneling under the cells and under the pollen where the BT spray doesn’t get to them. 

You can try the BT, but I believe you should also pull all the frames that the bees can’t cover and freeze them.  Pay extra close attention to the pollen frames, the wax moths LOVE those frames.  Replace removed frames with plastic foundation.  Luckily the wax moths can’t eat plastic.  Add back in the old combs over time as the population grows.  Once the weather gets cold, the wax moths should go into hibernation and you can add back in the rest of your frames at that time.
Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2011, 07:59:01 PM »

The wax moths in the hive will just keep going if the bees aren't strong enough to kill them, but probably they will be taken care of by the bees.  The wax moths outside of the hive will no hibernate, they will die.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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