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Three days in......moth larvae already?


#1

Installed nuc on Wednesday and found these on the bottom board this afternoon. Haven’t inspected yet as weather hasn’t been great last 24 hours. Suggestions/thoughts?


#2

I’d be a bit a bit perturbed at the supplier.


#3

Those certainly look like wax moth larvae, and the droppings look pretty typical too. If much of the bottom board was covered with what you show in this photo, you might have quite a heavy infestation.

Having said that, wax moths are a fact of beekeeping life. The bees will control them if the hive is strong. Your first inspection will be critical. If the comb is very damaged, and bee colony is weak, I would go back to your nucleus supplier and tell them about it. There are some recipes online for trapping and killing wax moths inside and outside the hive, but I have never tried those. They involve fermenting banana skins and making something a bit like a small hive beetle trap, using that liquid as a bait. I usually let the bees deal with it, and if the hive is strong, just remove very damaged comb and replace with fresh frames and foundation.


#4

Why aren’t the bees cleaning out all of that trash?


#5

Out of reach below the SBB? If it is in the Flow SBB coreflute slot(s), it may be very hard for them to throw it out.


#6

Ah ok, that’s a breeding ground for nasties.


#7

Yes Dawn you are correct trash is below the screen. Weather was ok today so I was able to complete inspection. Attached is a photo. I didn’t see any sign of wax warms. Queen looked good and active. See anything I should be concerned with?


#8

No, it looks good. That frame looks like it has a lot of uncapped honey pretty close to the brood, so they will probably use the extra space of your 8-frame box pretty soon. Otherwise you have young uncapped larvae on that frame, as well as capped brood, so you are in pretty good shape! :wink: I don’t see any signs of wax moth larvae - they leave silk trails and patches of granular debris on the face of the comb. There isn’t anything like that in your photo.


#9

Do I spot a queen cell in the upper third, quite in the middle?


#10

Almost, it is a queen cup at the moment. The bees are likely just playing around and practicing their skills. :smile: Serious queen cells are quite a bit longer.


#11

after a few months (not days) we saw larvae exactly like this on our core flute. After that we cleaned it more often and haven’t had any issues. No signs of any wax moth in the hive. It seems to be just like weevils and flour- where there is flour- there will be weevils- where there are bees there will be wax moths.


#12

I’m wondering if the supplier used frames that were sitting around & wax moth infested to put the colony on & I’m guessing that what has happened, the bees are cleaning them out. Looks like they’ve done a good job. I’d like to see a few more bees on that frame of brood your showing us. I hope the other frames have a lot more bees on them.


#13

There were more bees on the other frames, but I wouldn’t say “a lot more”. Check bottom board yesterday and only one small larvae and nothing this morning so you’re probably right in that the bees are cleaning them out.