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Author Topic: Hived a nuc -- and found something  (Read 1346 times)
Kris^
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Location: Williamstown, NJ


« on: April 10, 2006, 10:23:10 PM »

Hey all --

The nuc I made from the very weak hive last month from a queen and a handful of bees exploded into a hive with 6 frames of bees and a couple frames of brood, and foragers all over.  So Saturday morning (when it rained all day) I closed up the entrance and moved it, planning to open it again this evening.  The bees found a different way out though (through a gap in my top boards) and sent the foragers out.  Most of them reoriented to the new location, and they were buzzing around trying to find their way back in when I got home this evening.  The few foragers that went back to the old location went into the dummy box I set there, and I just dumped them in the new location after dark.  I moved the colony into a full-sized deep and filled it out with more drawn comb with a couple frames of starter strip foundation.  It's nice being able to bring a colony back from the brink into a strong, healthy hive again.

But as I was moving the frames into the deep, I noticed what I thought was a hunk of wax on top one of the frames.  I scraped it with my tool and it flexed and fell off.  It wasn't wax; it was a cocoon, and it burst open when it hit the pallet.  Out crawled a caterpiller about an inch long.  Like a horror sci-fi movie.  I squished it.  Was this a wax moth larva?  I inspected all the frames and found no sign of moths on them, i.e., no webbing, dameged comb, etc.  So I went back and inspected the frames on all my remaining stored comb, and saw no signs of moths there, either.  But I tend to believe that bee parasites are like cockroaches -- if you see one, you have plenty.   Sad   angry  

Did I just catch something before it went really bad, or is there something I'm not seeing?  I'll certainly keep my eyes open for these from now on!  What else should I do now, if anything?

-- Kris
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mick
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Location: s/e melbourne australia (-)37.50S 145.0E


« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2006, 06:17:44 AM »

Sounds way too big for a wax moth. Probably a moth of some description tho.
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2006, 07:42:03 AM »

Most likely the reknown WAX MOTH  smiley

If you killed it, good. Once the bees get up to speed they will take care of the problem.

Now that larva you found is supposed to be good eatin'  smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2006, 07:51:05 AM »

Depending on the size, some kind of caterpiller.  A wax moth, though, had to tunnel through a lot of wax before it makes it's cocoon.  Either way, you're a beekeeper.  You best get used to seeing wax moths.  Not that I'm against killing them when I see them (I do) but it probably doesn't make much difference.  Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Apis629
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« Reply #4 on: April 11, 2006, 08:34:29 PM »

Quote
Now that larva you found is supposed to be good eatin'


They also make good bait for trout and bass.
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Kris^
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Location: Williamstown, NJ


« Reply #5 on: April 11, 2006, 08:53:34 PM »

I can believe it -- this thing was big and juicy!

This site: http://www.blessedbee.ca/encyclopedia/honeybees/diseases/waxmoths.php
has pictures of the wax moth larvae and pictures of damaged comb.  I think it was the white one, the greater wax moth.  The cocoon was definitely similar, if not identical.

-- Kris
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