After inspection of the brood box in preparation for winter, we found this on the bottom tray on the corflute. I only inspected a few frames as they looked super healthy and after closing up the hive, I then checked the bottom tray to find this. Im guessing Wax Moth from the research I have done. After checking it daily since and closer inspection of the corflute, turns out they have been nesting in the corflute itself, aswell as underneath the bottom mesh and in the grooves the corflute slides into (This is without a closer inspection of the frames after finding this problem). The corflute is on the lowest groove. We have a 10 frame Brood box with an empty an empty super, which they are currently working on ( I will take this off in pack down for winter). I have pressure washed and soaked the corflute in boiling water. Do I replace the whole bottom tilt tray of the brood box where it appears they are nesting? and if they have infested some frames should I remove the healthy frames into a new brood box? the healthy frames should I take out and freeze them just in case? is it too late coming into pack down? or is this a sign of a healthy hive fighting the Wax Moth? I believe the hive is healthy, with plenty of numbers. I appreciate all of your responses.
Welcome to the forum Brooke, you will find lots of reading here and some great folks happy to pass on good advice, @JeffH is a great guru as regards SHB and also knowledgeable about wax moth. I’m sure he will pick up your question and give his rock solid advice.
If it is wax moth, and it looks like it then it is likely all you are seeing on the cor-flute is the tip of the ice burg. Check the brood frames for ‘tunnels’ in the wax and larvae (grubs) in the comb. I suspect you will find a lot more in there also. I use something like a pen knife point of the blade to scrape out any wax moths, their tunnels or anything else that you suspect has to do with them.
Wax moth don’t lay eggs in cor-flute or on wire mesh, they look for wax to lay eggs. But checking and cleaning them is a normal part of hive management and cleaning and yes, a lot of wax brood cappings can get there over time. A really good hive inspection is needed for wax moth as they can wipe out a be hive.
I would ask other bee keepers in your location about when to remove the super for Winter. With that removed there will be more bees in the brood box/boxes to manage the wax moth and give them (the bees) a warmer hive over Winter.
When you have done a full hive inspection on a day over 24C and little or no wind give us some feed back.
Hi Brooke, I agree that’s wax moth. They’re feasting on the hive fallout. Wax moth seem to target that more than wax itself, from my observations. They love brood cappings & pollen, the stuff that falls onto the bottom tray. What I would do is remove & destroy all of the wax moth activity from around the bottom tilt tray, then after that, clean the bottom tray regularly. I think that’s all you need to do.
Thankyou Peter, the weather is looking good this weekend so hoping to open up and have another look. I scared about what I’m going to open up to.
Thankyou very much @JeffH. From my research they burrow into the timber to make way for nesting. If I find they have in the bottom angeled entrance frame, do I replace that whole part or hot water wash would be enough?
Don’t be scared Brooke, it needs to be done so that you know how big the issue is. If Jeff is right and it just wax moth on the dumped wax on the cor-flute that would be great. I check my hives with cor-flute or a slide out tray fortnightly looking for any sign of wax moth or SHB as a part of a healthy hive management program. It might be a bit of an over-kill but I prefer to keep on top of those two nasties in my climate.
You’re welcome Brooke, they do burrow into the wood, however they are only scars you can live with as long as you nip it in the bud now & keep cleaning the coreflute on a regular basis.
No need to hot water wash. Just remove all the cocoons & grubs is all that I would do. As long as there’s no food for the wax moth larvae to feed on, the problem wont reoccur.
I’m definitely going to be over cautious checking from now on. Thankyou for your help will keep you updated with my full inspection.
Thanks very much @JeffH. Will give that a go together with more frequent visits to the corflute. Thanks again for your help. Will keep you updated with my further inspection
Hi there I have glued 8mm wide timber to the edges of the corflute about 5mm in from the edges and then fill with garden lime.
The corflute is then placed in the lowest slot to allow for the timber. The larvae or small hive beetle then get covered in the lime and don’t survive.
The flow hive 2 has a tray which can be used in a similar fashion.
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Great minds think alike, today I went to my local Mitre10 and found plywood 3mm think, cut to the size of the cor-flute which was past its used by date, I was always wondering about SHB getting into the cor-flute.
Sanded the edges so it slides in freely into the slot. On your idea I’ll go back tomorrow and by the timber to glue on the edging and adopt the garden lime trick to kill and SHB and wax moth that gets into that area.
Thanks for the tip Gary, came at the right time.
I’ve found the coreflute setup to be more trouble than it’s worth and have made my SBBs into solids. Around here they create a perfect home for wax moths to cocoon in the grooves and feast on debris, and don’t get me started on the ant-farms I’ve cleared out from the coreflute channels . I like that the bees now have full control over their own floor cleaning and ventilation. Based on these factors, I don’t feel the SBB’s main function as an IPM tool is meaningful, especially since OA can be administered without vaping.
I had exactly the same, but when I inspected the hive I didn’t see evidence of wax moth inside.
I saw others (skeggley?) mention screened bottom boards are trouble for wax moths.
Did you convert yours Eva, or just replaced them. I rather not throw them away if I (ask my dad) can convert them easily.
I hate to throw decent stuff away too - I used cedar shakes to cover the screen on the inside of each of my SBBs. I have a stack of these leftover from building our chicken coop (told you I don’t throw stuff away ) - they’re wedge-shaped so I made sure to position them with the higher end at the back of the hive so as not to tighten the bee space too much at the entrance area. The first one I did I nailed it down in a few places, but realized this isn’t really necessary. Easy peasy.
Thanks Eva for that. Maybe if I just trim the plastic slider to just fit on top the screen and place it there will do the job then?
Thing is I like to taking the slider out and see where the brood activity is. Can’t do it with solid bottom board.
I’m like you, when I go to a hive with a slider first thing I do is a quick look at the activity at the entrance and then pull the slider out. It gives a wealth of information about what is happening in the hive and where about. Valuable information before I lift the roof.
Yep. I am so undecided
So far we only found wax moth activity on just the slider, feeding on the cappings so don’t know whether it will get worse and convert the bottom board as prevention - or do our best to keep the colony strong and let the bees keep them at bay.
For what it is worth, and what I do with my hives that have sliders I sometimes find wax moth and their grubs on the slider bit very seldom up into the hive and then only one or two. The stronger the hive in bee numbers the better they can manage the wax moth. I’m in the process of replacing the cor-flute with ply wood sliders, adding a perimeter to the ply wood so I can put diatomaceous earth in it to control the wax moth and SHB better. Lucky you don’t have SHB beetle there yet, it is a much bigger issue than wax moth over here.
Problem I see with a solid bottom board and most of my hives are, is that an inspection takes longer as you don’t know what you might find till you get into the brood box, with a slider you get a good indication of what to expect.