I have been worried for a week or so about wax moth. I have been getting the tell tale black dropping on the slide but have not been keen to open the hive in below 20 deg C temps. Today being a nice day around 22 Deg C and sunny so I went in.
The box I was interested in was the bottom of two broods. I split a strong hive to strengthen a weak one. I got a very scrappy 4 frame NUC in November which had a poor showing of brood and honey and suspect it may have been the source of wax moth. Anyway it was never going to “go” and was being robbed and was only a matter of time before it would be no longer… hence the full brood box on top to kick it into gear. Oh dear I have digressed.
I did the smoke, suited up and lined up the crane. I was able to lift the top box (very heavy) up with the crane about 25 -30 cm and enough for me to see the bottom box was almost empty. I just lifted it out by hand and lowered the top box back down to keep the bees quiet. I inspected all the frames out of the bottom box and was unable to see any wax moth web or signs of wax moth.
I put everything back, as it was. However on reflection I should have just left the almost empty box off and frozen the frames just in case. Tomorrow is going to be about the same as today so I will remove the bottom box, inspect the top box.
If the top box is chockers, I will put the emptyish box back on top and leave about 4 frames in it with the rest blanked off so the hive is not stressed for heating.
I did this on my other hive. Made 2 box’s which sit either side of 4 frames effectively blanking the empty spaces. The bees have a little space to put honey (there is a QX)but not a big space to heat.
I must say that this was one of the quietest hive inspections I have done. No guard bees bothered me. The crane allowed me to lift the boxes slow and gentle and on replacing the box’s it was so comforting to hold a full box just above where it was to go and accurately lower it ever so slow so no bees were squished.
Promise not to waffle about my crane again.