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Lesser Wax Moth getting into my hive?

So i saw this in my pest tray a little bit ago. didnt think a whole lot of it. I thought could be a wax moth but wasnt too sure.

Then a few weeks ago found a couple of larvae in the best tray. see attached photo and to me thats saying wax moth. today i looked again at the fresh oil and there was about 7 of the same larvae.

I finally got to do a full inspection of my 1st hive. this is 1 brood and 2 supers.

When i took the lid off there was a few bees but i wouldnt say “packed” So ive removed this whole super so their numbers better fill the hive. i now have 1 brood and 1 super with a good amount of bees in the hive. I also moved 2 frames up from the brood which i stupidly didnt put full foundation sheets in which means they have been going crazy with drones on those 2 frames so i wanted to stop that habit of laying drones to feed them.

My question is where are these moths laying? i couldnt see any silk or any damage anywhere in the 3 boxes. are they laying outside the hive? maybe i left the hive a bit defenseless by having 2 supers when not fully packed? would the moth get up to the top there alright?

i will do another count tomorrow of both trays and then see if there are any additions since dropping the super.

The brood was solid and plenty off bees in the broid and 1st super.


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I’ll leave that for skeggley and he’ll come up with a list of theories.

I do occasionally find a handful of wax moth larvae on the corflute slider, if I do not clean them regularly. They will be feasting on the debris that falls through. Colonies are rather strong and never came across larvae on the frames. Knock on wood.

Not an expert but don’t think wax moth, think SHB larvae. :thinking:

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Top one is wax moth bottom is SHB.

Looks like yours have the spines like the SHB’s larvae.

You might also have wax moth if you found the adults as in your photo.

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images (14)

This is a better one.

I have never seen a photo pf a 2cm SHB larvae. they only get to about 1cm? i dont really have an issue with SHB. to the point where i dont even see them when doing inspections. i only find them in the trap.

i will pull them out of the trap tomorrow and try and get some better shots but just on the fact they are 2cm rules out SHB?

I just wasnt sure if i could have Wax moth larvae in the traps with no damage to any comb or frames?

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All the legs and gaps line up for Wax moth larvae?

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As Wandjina pointed out its the debris that they are in and in the original Flow hives at least, there are many nooks and crannys in the screened bb where the debris collects that the bees can’t get to whereas the comb can be protected by the bees. Some of my frames have a groove in the bottom bar where I have also found cocoons.
Fortunately I have zilch experience with SHB so can’t comment on them.

That makes sense so maybe they are laying close by and they are going in to eat everything on the floor of the hive. I use hive dr smart bases on my hives so i dare say the fall almost straight in. with majority of larvae in the front trap that would make sense. i just wasnt sure if i was missing something and should be finding some evidence inside the hive or some other sign. i want to tackle the problem straight away if it is a problem.

I think it’s common to have the odd grub in the hive and is only really a problem when the numbers increase, who knows they may even be beneficial. Due to the fact that my screened board leaked bees I didn’t clean the coreflute as often as I should have and this contributed to my moth problem, all sorted now with the solid bb’s. :wink:
I see your point size wise and maybe it is WM?

Definitely wax moth larvae without looking at the tape measure. Looking at the tape measure confirms it. They feast on chewed brood cappings.

I have no doubt they are. Nature is a fine tuned machine. They are consuming waste and they recycle old comb. I feel a bit guiltily whenever I squish one.

Make sure you do not discard any burr comb on the ground and keep it in a sealed container.

If your hive is strong I really won’t worry too much. Just keep an eye to make sure numbers won’t explode.

Thanks all for the suggestions. Yes i never leave burr comb around. actually my girls are pretty neat and dont make a whole lot of burr comb so I’m lucky in that sense.

i just wasnt sure if i should be trying to find something inside the hive. obviously when searching was moth larvae pictues it mostly show severely damaged comb and everything i saw was really good in my hive.

Ok so another quick look. most grubs are in the back tray. i did see 1 SHB larvae. first one ive seen. geeze way smaller.

I will clean the trays today and see if by dropping a super i have less of these larvae.

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I can also see the hive beetle larvae. Just be careful with all that crazy comb containing drone brood. Beetles will lay eggs in that if it’s not properly guarded by workers.

Be particularly careful not to squash any bees that workers find hard to remove while putting your hive back together again. Beetles will lay eggs in the dead & dying bees.

One beetle larvae worries me, especially one that big because there could be a lot more equal size & smaller up in the brood combs.


Thanks Jeff,

Yes i didnt expect to see that. I dont got many beetles as most get trapped so a rarely see them. when doing inspections.

I did have 2 frames where i made the mistake of only having half foundation in there. Why? because i ran out so i thought i would halve it to fill the 2 last frames. so both end frame were half drone brood. yesterday i moved these to the super so they can hatch then only use this for honey and not keep laying drone.

I’m normally pretty good with not crushing bees but the ones i do i try and flick away from the frame that crushed it. sometimes they fall to the bottom so maybe thats what they laid in?

I could always go through the brood again and take photos of it all?

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No worries John, have a look at those 2 frames you put up in the honey super. The drone brood up there could be where the odd beetle can lay eggs. The bees may not be caring for it as much as they care for worker brood.

I always cut drone brood out before placing the frames into honey supers. The #1 priority for that strategy is on account of hive beetles. If the beetles don’t lay eggs in the drone brood, they could lay eggs in the dead drones that die trying to squeeze through the QE. You can leave an opening for them to escape if you don’t want to destroy the brood.

There’s probably no need to take photos unless you see something unusual. Beetle damage looks like the comb has been chewed out. The comb should look nice and even around the edges & have no dips in the face of the comb unless the dip corresponds with something else. Fresh beetle activity will be evident by gagged edges around the comb with corresponding wet areas.

Thanks for the tips Jeff. I was originally going to take out one if the vent holes so they could escape through thr roof. But now that you mentioned chance are that they wont take much interest in the drones and the beetles can get to them so i might duck in tomorrow and take out the drone brood from those 2 frames.

I just finished inspecting my 2nd hive and that had the same wax moth larvae in the traps and beetles but didnt see any shb larvae.

This hive is really strong and packed with bees so the defence on this one should be pretty good. this one is the flow hybrid super on it. couple of photos for number of bees but this is the number i have in all 3 brood boxes. if i sae different to this i wouldnt have super and be slightly worried. as long as i keep it like this i will be happy. the super isnt up to this stage yet with bee coverage. one if the queen here


Well done John, nice looking frames, bees & that queen is a ripper.

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