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Identification - advice required please


#1

I’ve recently noticed some droppings on the white board - the squares in the picture are 50mm square and the dark brown droppings are about 1-2mm long. Close up they look like very small barrels.

The hive is in the South of England so we’ve only had a few days of frost, and its almost always gone by mid morning. A few bees take flight every day, but on a sunny day it can be very busy. The pollen they return with is bright orange.

The colony has clustered down but they are very active in the block of candy at the top of the hive.

Any thoughts or comments on the droppings would be very welcome.


#2

Looks typical of wax moth to me. :wink:


#3

Feces from greater wax moth. Galleria mellonella.
http://www.bushfarms.com/beespests.htm#waxmoths
http://www.bushfarms.com/beeswaxmoths.htm


#4

Just noticed some in my trap also. What is the cure please? Obviously the moth is in there or its larvae?
So glad I found this forum!


#5

http://www.bushfarms.com/beeswaxmoths.htm
http://www.bushfarms.com/beesspace.htm


#6

The cure is simple. A healthy and well-populated bee colony deals with the problem. They can’t remove it totally, but they can control it.

The droppings are from the larvae, not the adults.


#7

I believe the cure for this is to convert to a solid floor base. Especially a solid floor with no gaps at all. With a solid floor with no gaps at all, the bees will remove all of the hive debris out of the entrance.

It has recently occurred to me that you can judge the strength of a hive (the worker population) by how clean the floor is. A hive with a strong workforce will keep the floor spotless, whereas a hive with a weak workforce will not have the time to do all of the chores in a hive, leaving the floor unclean.

With a solid floor with no gaps, there’s no food in the gaps for wax moth larvae to consume. The presence of wax moth larvae is really nothing to be concerned about anyway. It’s the presence of SHB larvae we need to be concerned about.


#8

I am also wondering with the stand flowhive brood box is the opening to wide? If I close it up to a small hole will that make it easier for bees to guard against SHB?


#9

Thomas Seeley’s research has show that bees prefer an entrance of about 15 square centimeters. As the flow entrance is about 1cm high, I have closed mine to a gap about 12cm wide, and my bees seem to do well with that. I don’t think it makes a difference to SHB, but it does help with other pests like wasps and robber bees.


#10

Hi Ken, I don’t think making the entrance smaller will help in regards to SHB. I have all size entrances. Most are as wide as a 10 frame super. Some are 2/3 the width. Some are as @Dawn_SD describes. I see lots of beetles but I don’t use any traps. The trick is to keep the worker population up & the drone population down & don’t have any frames that contain brood or pollen that doesn’t have a good covering of bees on them. Another thing I just remembered is not to segregate the brood. I have seen other new beekeepers do that. Keep all the brood frames together.


#11

We had 16 degrees C today (60F), so I took advantage of the unseasonably warm weather to inspect my hive.

The hive was completely packed with bees, with no sign of webs. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that nature has sorted out the problem.

Thank you everyone for your input.