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Hoping this is not a wax moth


I pulled off the roof today just to peak in, and I found this guy sitting inside the roof. I am praying this is just a random brown moth and not a wax moth but is sure looks like one to me. I smashed it before taking this pic to get it out of the hive one way or the other. And I have an inspection planned for Friday. Should I do one sooner?

What can I do if it is a wax moth?


Looks like a partly squished wax moth to me. It is characteristic for them to enter via the roof. If your colony is strong, the bees will control them. You can make a trap for them, but I am not certain whether it just attracts more into the area. It is a fermented banana concoction, and you are meant to hang it in a nearby tree.


I guess the honeymoon is over… Lol. That didn’t last long. I have seen steady weight gains on the hive however they are still to new to have had their first emergence. So I am still working with the original package counts of bees minus natural die off. So I don’t know if they are strong enough to repel them right now or not. I guess it is a good sign this one was sitting in the roof.

Will screening off the feeding hole in the inner cover help prevent them from coming into the hive?


Yes it can help, but they often find a way in any case… :worried:


Keep your population up and the hive volume down so the bees are a bit crowded. This lets the effectively patrol their hive for parasites.



If you keep bees you will also keep wax moths, Varroa mites, small hive beetles and 170 other mites, 30 or so other insects and 8,000 microorganisms. Wax moths are part of the ecology. No point losing sleep over them. Just don’t spread the bees too thin and you won’t have any issues.


Unfortunately at this point they are just starting out from a package. If I have done my larvae/egg math correctly I should get my first emerging bees tomorrow. So their numbers should be growing steadily from now on.


I suppose their is a fine line between “being concerned” and “losing sleep”. Lol. Would you recommend setting up a trop and trapping them or just let the hive run it’s course? I hear horror stories from the local club about wax moths wiping out colonies in just a few days.


Hi Adam, I have also heard similar horror stories, however the colonies probably dwindled right down before the wax moth did any damage. Although your colony is still relatively small, you wont have any abandoned comb in your hive for the wax moth the breed in.

That’s the point, they breed in abandoned comb & dead-out hives. That’s one of natures ways of turning a dead-out hive into a pile of dirt.


A package should be OK in a single brood box. Many people put a super straight on and wonder why they have troubles. Also, reduce your entrance, I like to have a busy entrance, not blocked but busy. Easier for the bees to guard a busy entrance.



If it makes you sleep better set a trap. I don’t. The first time I saw wax moth damage I was appalled and I hated wax moths. Eventually I came to see they were just part of the ecology of the colony. They probably do the world and the bees a favor by eating up old comb that might harbor AFB. They just are. No point worrying about what is.



Is this a wax Moth?


The yellowish tuft of hair on the head is a dead giveaway imo. My vote is for yes.


I think the the wing form especially edge is different to wax moth?