Moths and larvae on the baseboard- how concerned should I bee?

We are in Adelaide, South Australia. Just did a night time inspection of our flow hive last night- just looking through the two ‘windows’ of the super. Bees were active in the warm night- but slow moving. Many bees on the flow frames- and quite a few bees lazing about near the hive entrance. I had heard that inspecting a hive at night was a bad idea- but just checking through the windows with a suppressed light didn’t aggravate the bees at all.

Took out the baseboard to check- and horror! Disgusting ugly wax moths! Saw several small grey moths- look juts like the ones that make weevils in your cupboard. Also at least a dozen larvae wriggling about: Yuck! Horrid little beasties- some around 1.6mm long. Murdered them all- Cleaned the board up and put it back in- we have it in the bottom slot. Should we put it into the top slot?

Did a bit of reading today and it seems moths are mostly only a problem in a weakened/stressed hive or when storing bee equipment/comb. All indications are that our hive is strong- the bees population has increased greatly in the 4 months they have been in the new hive. At last brood inspection there was not sign of any damage infestation on the combs. They have half filled the super in the 6 weeks since we put it on. The weather has been good here in Adelaide…

Would it be fair to say that it is perfectly normal to see some evidence of wax moth on the baseboard? Thatit’s kind of inevitable? How concerned should we be? We will probably inspect the brood box presently to see if there is any evidence of moths on the comb.

I read about a home remedy moth trap- anyone have any experience with something like this:

Take a 2 litre plastic pop bottle and drill a 1 inch hole just below
the slope on the neck, then add 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar, 1 half cup
vinegar and finally 1 banana peel. Wait a few days till it starts to
ferment, then tie it into a tree close to the hives. This trap will
draw the wax moth, they enter the hole can’t get out and drown in the
liquid, this will even draw in and kill the bald faced hornet.

Yes, they live on the detritus there. If you clean it daily you’ll prevent it.
Just have a good look in the hive next time you’re in to put your mind at rest


In case anyone else is not sure what detritus is I had to look it up. Dead particulate Organic matter. It typically includes the bodies or fragments of dead organisms as well as fecal material.

Hope this helps others who did not know what detritus was.


I’ve just had a small swarm colony abscond/die and found many moth grubs and webbing within the hive wrecking comb in the brood area, I’d inspected a week earlier and it looked fine to my newb eyes. On last inspection the strong colony had no sign of moth or grub but the weaker had a grub on the bottom board so I will be keeping a close eye on that one. This was the only colony I bought and has has a grub or two on the BB each inspection.
I’ve read feeding helps and not to hang the moth trap too close to the apiary.

I just found a few in my last inspection. I hate to inspect daily, though, because I am pretty sure I decapitated a couple bees putting the guillotine/baseboard back in place. Using the top slot seems to be the consensus - should I drop to the bottom slot until this is resolved?

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is it winter where you are? I would use the bottom slot if I wanted to remove it regularly- which I would if there was larvae on it. Perhaps you can put it in the bottom slot then tape up the gap if it’s cold?
horrid little things! And bees are so good and clean. The bees are good and represent light, purity of purpose and order- whilst the moths are filthy and represent darkness, entropy and chaos. At least that’s how I see it. In our hive the numbers quickly decreased as it got cooler until there were none and we didn’t see any damage in the hive.


Found these in my Beetle trap under the screen board…they drowned in the oil. Took this action since I did not spot a problem inside the brood box although my eye is untrained…

  1. Cleaned the base and put in fresh oil.
  2. Put screen on the top entrance under the roof.
  3. Will be making the Sempahore mentioned above.
  4. Will check daily…

“Yes, they live on the detritus there. If you clean it daily you’ll prevent it.” But I have a screened bottom board…hmmm, have they been crawling around and the cleaning and new oil I added yesterday just now detecting them? That would mean this tray underneath that screen is a really good idea for my other hive that is a solid bottom board? A local beekeeper makes these…