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Author Topic: Wax Moth  (Read 1551 times)

Offline Johnny253

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Wax Moth
« on: April 11, 2012, 07:33:27 AM »
I recently inspected two hives which both absconded about a month ago. One was from a cut out, the other from catching a swarm and both were caught 2-3 months ago. I'm not sure why they left but one colony left after I put the lid on properly (I left it ajar for a while as they were previously in a box with a top entrance and were trying to get in the top). I guess they didn't like the idea of a bottom entrance.

Anyway, upon inspection, I found both hives riddled with wax moth. I know wax moth can be a problem but I was amazed at how established they got within this relatively short timeframe. Is this normal? What do other beeks normally do with a hive that the bees have left? I'll make sure I'm much quicker in dealing with empty hives in future.

I suspect that the wax moth may have established themselves in both of these weak colonies which could have been a factor in the bees absconding.

I have frozen all of the frames to kill everything but this has got me thinking. How prone are bait hives to wax moth infestation?

Offline rawfind

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2012, 10:25:34 AM »
I recently inspected two hives which both absconded about a month ago. One was from a cut out, the other from catching a swarm and both were caught 2-3 months ago. I'm not sure why they left but one colony left after I put the lid on properly (I left it ajar for a while as they were previously in a box with a top entrance and were trying to get in the top). I guess they didn't like the idea of a bottom entrance.

Anyway, upon inspection, I found both hives riddled with wax moth. I know wax moth can be a problem but I was amazed at how established they got within this relatively short timeframe. Is this normal? What do other beeks normally do with a hive that the bees have left? I'll make sure I'm much quicker in dealing with empty hives in future.

I suspect that the wax moth may have established themselves in both of these weak colonies which could have been a factor in the bees absconding.

I have frozen all of the frames to kill everything but this has got me thinking. How prone are bait hives to wax moth infestation?


I had some wax moth once, but it only got as far as the small grubs i just killed them with my hive tool and that was the end of it,
Im not an expert and hindsight is a wonderful thing but maybe you would have been better off uniting those 2 colonys to make one strong one?   A strong colony can take care of the moth so i have read.  This year i had 2 colonys and for some reason one  lost its queen and had no brood but plenty of honey, i united them with the other colony and made one strong one those guys are doing really well now, just need a requeen soon. Neil

Offline AllenF

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2012, 11:01:31 AM »
If you put out frames of drawn comb, they will be subject to wax moths.   Bt spray will kill the young and save your comb.   Without spraying, keeping them in the freezer or using Paramoth is 2 other choices to keep the moths out.

Offline G3farms

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2012, 05:06:30 PM »
http://strawberry.ifas.ufl.edu/chemicalinfo/xentari.pdf

Here is the label for the BT, not sure if you can get it in Oz or not but thought it might give you a clue what to ask for. It works pretty good. I spray all of my comb before storage and for swarm traps. Be sure to let it dry before you close up the frames of comb in boxes though.

Although not labeled for use on honeycomb in the USA it is the same thing as Certan (sp?) that is sold in Canada
see my swarms and cut outs at

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!

Offline squidink

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2012, 06:31:07 PM »
Do you know wax grubs are highly sort after by reptile keepers?!

I used to sell the grubs for 10 cents each!

Offline G3farms

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2012, 06:41:12 PM »
that sure is a bunch of worms to pay for an established hive of bees!
see my swarms and cut outs at

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!

Offline Johnny253

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2012, 11:38:36 AM »
Thanks for everyone's advice.

Is it normal for wax moth to make such a mess within such a short timeframe? I am still surprised at how quickly they established themselves.

Neil, I should have at least given them some extra frames of brood but I'm not that concerned in losing the bees. I'm more concerned about the mess the wax moth make so quickly! I am only new to beekeeping and out of the 12 colonies that I have caught / cut out over the last year, I have only lost 3 which I don't think is too bad.

Allen and G3, I'll keep that in mind but I'll stay away from chemicals if possible.

Squidink, no, I didn't realise they were so sought after. That seems like a good price for them.

Offline G3farms

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2012, 12:16:46 PM »
Usually the wax moth takes hold of a hive when something else has happened to them and they get weak and are unable to cover all of the comb.
see my swarms and cut outs at

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!

Offline hardwood

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2012, 01:08:38 PM »
BT is not a chemical...it's bacteria that disrupts the digestive system of the larvae and causes them to become dessicated. It works well on your garden too and is considered an organic treatment.

Scott
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Offline G3farms

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2012, 01:46:08 PM »
What Harwood said  X 2
see my swarms and cut outs at

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!

Offline rawfind

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2012, 09:40:03 PM »
Thanks for everyone's advice.

Is it normal for wax moth to make such a mess within such a short timeframe? I am still surprised at how quickly they established themselves.

Neil, I should have at least given them some extra frames of brood but I'm not that concerned in losing the bees. I'm more concerned about the mess the wax moth make so quickly! I am only new to beekeeping and out of the 12 colonies that I have caught / cut out over the last year, I have only lost 3 which I don't think is too bad.

A


Im new too been at it a full year , we can all learn more nop matter how long we hav e been at it  :)   3 is not bad, i have come to the conclusion that most people lose one here and there, lost a couple over winter last year, this year im going to give them more food

Offline Johnny253

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Re: Wax Moth
« Reply #11 on: April 14, 2012, 08:15:24 AM »
Yeah, exactly Rawfind! This forum is fantastic for learning things and there's always something to learn. I only had one hive last winter which I carried through without any problem. They were from my first cut out which I did in May and I managed to keep them going with sugar water. I had a zip-loc bag full of sugar water on a mat above the frames. I put a lot of tiny holes in the top of the bag so the bees could suck the sugar water out. Worked a treat, though I had to refil a few times. I bought some front feeders since so will probably use them now when I need to. They don't hold so much but it will save opening the hive up.

When I started out beekeeping, I heard that the success rate was about 50% but I've found it to be a lot higher than that.