Friends, this has to be the worst day of my short beekeeping career.
Last week I noticed that my formerly stronger hive of two had almost no traffic at the front door. I popped the outer cover up to peek before heading to work one day & only about three guards climbed up to investigate. It was overcast & chillier for a few days & finally today I got out to open the whole thing to see what’s going on.
It was a nightmare. Gross, ugly wax moth larvae hunching along, cocoons, webs EVERYWHERE. Workers valiantly trying to deal with the mess. No brood, no eggs, no queen. Many small queen cups, as if they started to make an escape plan but got overwhelmed by the infestation. Or maybe some contingent did manage to get away.
I killed every moving larvae I could find and put the two ruined brood boxes several yards away. Some workers still clung to their combs & were trying to do their job
I put a small plastic tub of comb honey on the bench where their hive was, and put the inner cover over it, hoping to help the remaining workers out:
Gradually they’ve congregated there, and now I am thinking to take away their lid and shift this honey over next to the other hive, where they will possibly beg their way in?
WARNING: graphically disgusting photos
I’m about to check in my other hive just in case. Population & activity looks normal from outside, so fingers crossed they aren’t infested too. Kicking myself for not putting a wax moth trap out.