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Question: Is it possible to save my hive?
Yes - 4 (100%)
No - 0 (0%)
Total Voters: 4


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Author Topic: Wax Moths HELP!  (Read 593 times)
TheNewBeekeeper
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« on: June 16, 2013, 12:34:15 AM »

I just noticed some minor damage from wax moths in my hive.  They were queenless, I just got a new queen for them.  What can I do to get rid of them without hurting the bees?  Is there any Organic way?  Please tell me if you know.  I need information fast.  It's not to bad yet, no webs, just a bit of wax eaten away and wax moth larva.  I killed as many larva as I could.   What should I do?
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Bees In Miami
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2013, 03:04:16 AM »

Going by your explanation, I am assuming your population is quite low??  Do you have a 5 frame nuc you can put them in to give them a more manageable space?  A strong colony will keep the moths at bay.  You can remove the troubled frames and freeze them 24-48 hours to kill the larvae.  The bees need less space to manage/defend until they can build up.  If you are just introducing a new queen, it's going to be a minimum of 3 weeks before you have new bees emerging.  You will have to act soon, or the moths will quickly win the battle. 
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TheNewBeekeeper
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2013, 03:10:16 PM »

Okay, thank you!  Is it okay if there is honey and bee brood in the wax when you freeze it?
I'll give them less space and freeze the wax.  Got it.
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kathyp
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2013, 06:27:31 PM »

if the hive is down in numbers why would you want to freeze brood??  less space is fine.  the wax moths make a mess, but they don't kill the bees.  as the numbers go up, the bees will rip the moths/larvae out and repair the damage.

a couple of years ago i had an observation hive that was 2/3 wax moth.  as the queen got busy, the bees took care of the problem.  soon the moths were gone.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2013, 06:47:25 PM »

I don’t disagree with Kathy’s point, by Bees in Miami’s point is more critical in this situation IMO.  It’s going to be a race between the reproductive rate of the moths vs the bees.  The bigger the moth larvae get the quicker they win the race.  The bees will abscond if the moths get the upper hand.  It sounds like you’re a long ways from that yet, but it can happen.

If you want to be totally organic, you should be able to simply squish the larger moth larvae over the next couple of weeks to keep them in check until the bee population goes up.  The moths don’t instantly grow to a large destructive size; it takes them time too.  They start out really small (smaller than rice).  Just squish any you can see when you inspect.

You could spray with BT, supposedly a natural soil borne bacteria : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bacillus_thuringiensis

But simple routine mechanical squishing is just as effective if we’re just dealing with a hive or two. 

Pull any frames the bees aren’t covering as others have said too.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2013, 09:14:57 PM »


Here is the strain(aizawai) of bt you need and yes you can spray it directly on the bees. The other strains are for different pest.
http://www.entomology.umn.edu/cues/mnla/MNLAnewsletterApril08/index30march08_t/GreenHouseInsecticides_files/xentari.pdf
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wouldliketobee
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2013, 11:35:08 PM »

I'm sure it barely puts a small dent in the wax moth population but I make up wax moth traps from clear plastic bottles and place in my bee yard ,the traps also catch yellow jackets and nats. At least I get the satisfaction of seeing dead wax moths. I haven't had any trouble with wax moths for a couple of years in my hives , but the hives have all been strong enough to fend off the wax moths. When I had a weak hive a few years ago the wax moths did major damage to my woodenware, its really disgusting to see feces from wax moth larva in your hive and nice drawn comb ruined. Hopefully your hive will rebuild and overcome the waxmoths.     
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GSF
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2013, 07:24:05 PM »

Wouldliketobee, Could you describe your traps? I use green plastic Mountain Dew bottles to catch yellow jackets around the hummingbird feeders. I tie a string around the top (cap on) and then to a nail for hanging. I take my pocket knife and cut several "U"(s) and fold the bottoms up a little. Most of the U(s) are around where the neck meets the body of the bottle. I then put sugar water in there and slosh it so some will splash out on the bottle. The yellow jackets will find the sugar crawl up the bottle, through the hole, down to the liquid, drink their fill, then fly up to the top. They eventually get exhausted from flying and drown in the sugar water.

Is this the same set up you are talking about?
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wouldliketobee
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« Reply #8 on: June 18, 2013, 02:29:33 AM »

The traps I make I'm pretty sure I got from this forum, I use 2 liter clear pop bottles or juice bottles , put in a cup of sugar, a cup of vinegar, a bananna peel, fill bottle with water until it is about half full , shake well , then I drill a hole about  1/2 inch in diameter, (some people drill a 1 inch hole) ,about 3/4 up the side of bottle then place a few feet off ground by tying string around neck of bottle and hanging.
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RC
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« Reply #9 on: June 18, 2013, 09:21:54 AM »

I used those traps last year. They catch a lot of wax moths, but they catch a lot of bees, too.
The best thing to do is keep a strong hive. Knowing that's not always possible, when the moth moves in, pull the frames and drop them in the freezer or an ant bed. Either one will kill the larvae. Put the frame back in a strong hive and the bees will clean them up.
In my area, if the bees are not covering every frame, the wax worms will. They are my worst pest.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: June 18, 2013, 11:11:51 AM »

It's all about the density of bees.  You need to compress the colony down to just what the bees can densely cover with bees.  Remove all the empty comb, all the foundation, all the boxes of drawn comb that the bees are not covering and freeze them.  You can use Bt on the remaining combs, even with bees on them, if you want.  But once you have the density of bees up, the bees will usually clean things up.  Leave them like this until they start to build back up and then give some of that frozen comb back to them.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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wouldliketobee
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« Reply #11 on: June 18, 2013, 11:32:09 AM »

I definitely agree on keeping strong hive , as far as catching honeybees in the wax moth traps I never have seen any in my traps , they don't appear interested at all. Maybe geographic location makes a difference on bees taste in nectar?
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