Honeyflow.com | FAQ's |

Small lavae in harvested Honey - Can you filter out?

Hi there,
Yesterday afternoon we harvested two flow frames of honey into separate containers. One container was fine, the other had several small, 5mm or less, white lavae curled up & floating on the surface of the honey. Initially we though it was plant material blown in on the breeze but better light showed a different story. Have filtered honey now but if this is SHB, which we are being plagued with at present, is this honey ok to use or will fermentation follow?

Hi Robbie,
This is unusual. What a shame…
Are you able to post a couple of photos of your honey and also the frames to help us to identify the problem?

Will post some photos of the honey a little later, going to pull the frame out this afternoon.

1 Like

Thanks, that will be handy :slight_smile:

Ok, so this is the frame after a day in the super since we took the honey. No real evidence of SHB. A bit of frass in the drain channel. Lots of friends in the honey.

1 Like

My guess is shb larvae. Great pictures. Shame about the honey…

Worker/drone larvae.

Also a queen cup looking thing in first photo and wax moth trails in the honey trough.


Just to cover all the bases, are you using a queen excluder, ie could they be bee larvae?

1 Like

How does it taste? That will confirm…

There might be larvae poop in the honey. Cocoons might be a problem with the Flow frames. I’m guessing a laying worker?

On a more positive note you can consider it two harvests in one, honey and Hachinoko


That’s a bummer Robbie, sorry to hear it. Good chance it’s wax moth or bee larvae I think. Looks like the wrigglers I once discovered in a box of comb I forgot to put thru the freezer first - it was wax moth eggs that hatched on the wax surface.

We are using a queen excluder.

Hi Robbie,

Thanks for the photos - I’m so sorry to see this, it must be so disappointing to find these wrigglers in your beautiful honey.

These could potentially be SHB or wax moth larva (can be hard to tell in photos), but they look to me to be more likely to be bee larva.

This is pretty unusual, but could indicate that your queen has somehow managed to get up into your super (she could be unusually small, or may have made her way up during an inspection or managed to get through a defective queen excluder).

Alternatively, workers will occasionally lay if the queen has died.

I’d recommend a visual inspection of your queen excluder to rule out a fault (if you find an enlarged gap or other defect, please email us for assistance with this - info@honeyflow.com).

It would then be worth trying to locate your queen to see if she has managed to get into the super, is in the brood box where she belongs, or is absent from the hive.

This information will help to inform your next steps.

Best of luck, and we’d love to know the outcome…


Beelated response…

We did a thorough inspection of the hive & found the rascally queen had made her way up into the super as you suggested. Once found, she was placed back in the brood box & all came good with this hive, though they do get a bit aggro if we get too close for too long.

So what we were seeing was bee lavae. There was no smell or taste from the honey, even after a few days.

Thankyou to Freebee2 and everyone who responded.

Happy New Year.


Ah, glad you figured it out. Now that I think about it I realize the honey flowing down would have carried the bee larvae from those cells below it, and that’s how it ended up in the honey. Before, I was only thinking of how pests will lay eggs on honeycomb.

Hi Eva, this is the first time I saw this thread. Those grubs look very much like bee larvae to me, curled up like that & pearly white. However I’m wondering how they fit through intact. Especially the larger ones. I’ll examine my flow frames up close to try & figure it out.

Glad you got it figured out Robbie!