Wax Moth - Flow Frame Cleanup?

Hi All.

I recently lost a hive to wax moth but they also got into the flow frames and laid eggs so some of the cells are full of silk cocoons. Some quick questions;

  1. What is the best way to clean the flow frames? I can pull out the larva with some tweezers but that pretty time consuming so I thought could wash them out in a soapy bathtub?
  2. Will the honey be safe to consume still? To encourage the wax moth grubs to leave I submersed the flow frames which still had honey in water and they jumped out pretty quick. As the wax is water proof will the honey be ok? There was alot of mess and silk on the frames though too.

Its been a bit of learning experience regarding these months but I would like to salvage what I can and try again.


@BeeBaron, not sure if you’ve seen these pages:




Hi SnowflakeHoney. Thanks, I had a look at those prior to posting but I was wondering if anyone had experienced a similar issue with the wax months and cleaning up cocoons in particular. Also wondering if the honey is still useable.

I believe wax moths would only be able to take over a hive when there is an underlying problem that weakened the hive. EFB, AFB, starvation, chalkbrood, too much space, varroa.

I broke a flow frame once accidentally. It was easy to put back together. The single blades would be very easy to clean. I wouldn’t bother picking stuff out of cells. Don’t be afraid to take a frame apart. At least you get it all squeaky clean.

1 Like

If it is capped, it is probably fine. You may want to strain it though, to remove any moth parts and silk. If you drain the honey using the Flow mechanism, you can always test the water content of the honey afterwards. If less than 18%, it is fine. More than 18%, I would freeze it.

After harvesting the honey, personally I would dismantle the frames, wash in warm soapy water and reconstruct. Cocoons are pretty sticky, and I wouldn’t be sure that I could remove them all without dismantling the frames and agitating the surfaces under water. I suppose you could put the super back onto a strong hive, and the bees would clean up a lot of it, but I prefer to be sure that all of the moth poo etc has been removed.


Hi All,

So my sister-in-law just uncovered her first hive and found her bees didn’t make it. Does anyone think this is wax moths? Or mold.

Sorry that she lost her hive. Definitely mold. Maybe the hive had a condensation issue. Bees can deal with cold very well, but only if they are dry. Cold and wet is a lethal combination. :cry:

1 Like

Hi Dawn_SD
Thank you as always for your reply. She had them wrapped with a blanket, and then put a plastic house over the hive.

So I’m assuming on those warm days the plastic heated up the hive more than normal then the temperature dropped creating the moisture, then it froze.

Michael Smart,

“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12)

She might benefit from a moisture quilt roof next winter, as it absorbs condensation which might otherwise drip down from the roof onto the bee cluster. I would also recommend foam roof insulation boards, cut to size, about 2" thick to prevent hive wall condensation. This can be bought from Home Depot, Ace Hardware and other good hardware stores. It can be held in place with ratcheting straps or even duct tape. :wink:


That’s what I do and told her. It’s her first hive and she won’t to protect them, understandable but lesson learned. I will help her start again.

1 Like

I use a vivaldi board with burlap, The burlap wicks out the condensation and the vivaldi inner cover box circulates air and drys out the burlap.

1 Like