Wax Moth in Hive

I have the latest Flow hive 2 and also had wax moth in my purchased Nuc which I have now transferred to my brood box
Was wondering if there is any thing I can put in bottom tray that kills the grubs that the bees send there .
Thank you

Welcome to the forum Charles. Seems you drew the short straw with your nuc but it isn’t the end of the world.
As you say about the ‘bottom tray’ I am assuming you have put them from the nuc into a full sized hive. I also assume the bees are working hard at bringing in pollen and nectar so as the hive builds up in numbers the bees will get rid of the wax moths, providing the wax moths is not taking over the hive. Wax moth infestation is usually found in a weak hive, too few bees for the size of the hive.
Last night I was extracting some frames of honey and found a single wax moth grub on one frame. I have a splinter remover that is ideal for wax moth removal. It has a plastic centre and at each end a hook, one end at 90 degrees and the other end a straight hook, available at any chemist. Just hook out the grub and remove as much of the web as you can and the bees will repair the rest.
I am not into toxic chemicals but you could check the tray daily and kill any grubs.
If you are in a situation that there are many frames then remove any frames that are really infected with them and put them in a freezer for 48 hours then clean out the dead grubs and cocoons, any eggs will will be dead and you can put the frames back into the hive.
I hope you can follow my explanation and win against the wax moth, it just takes time and rechecking each frame as you go.


Thanks Peter
I find a lot of the grubs alive in bottom tray and was wondering if there was some natural chemical etc that would kill them so they can not crawl out ,or drown with out affecting my Bees .
Yes is only a week hive at moment but bees are busy and only transferred from Nuc to weeks ago


You could give them a 50/50 mix of white sugar and water as a syrup, that will boost the hive along.
Sorry, I don’t know of a natural chemical to use of the grubs, maybe someone else can help with that.

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Are you sure it’s not small hive beetle? The moths leave fuzzy silk in the frames with little round black pebbles of feces. The hive beetle drips grubs down to the bottom of the tray.

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You could put some oil in the tray, like mineral oil (liquid paraffin in the UK) or vegetable oil. They will drown in that. So would bees, so hopefully no bees get down there. You would need to empty it regularly, as dead insects (and larvae) smell bad after a while. Some people like to use insecticidal diatomaceous earth, but I am reluctant as it will harm bees if any of it gets back up into the hive.

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Definitely not hive beetle, they’re not here thanks to our strict biosecurity laws. :+1:
I always had max moth issues with the screened bottom board, too much detritus gets stuck between the mesh and coreflute, perhaps the FH2 is different?
I’ll wager the nuc was purchased from the same fella I got my first colony from… I had the same issues and due to my inexperience I lost that colony. :rage:


It is sad, isn’t it, that we can remember the first hive that died on us, mine was in my first six months of beekeeping and now I know it was my own fault. Come to think of it that was the only hive I lost. It hits with a lot of guilty feelings. Beekeeping has its ups and downs.

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Perhaps it was the only hive you remember? :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :smiling_imp:

Honestly, I have lost 2 hives in the last 3 years (out of 3 hives in total, so 2 lost from 9 “hive years”). When we were in the UK, we had 3 to 5 hives, and would lose 1 or 2 every year. I am adapting to a new climate and nectar flow here, but whatever I do, the bees always find ways to keep me humble. :blush:

I was really surprised when I opened Nuc to transfer into brood box and find bloody big wax moth grubs in bottom and are now finding them in bottom of hive below the screened bottom board . Flow 2
O well back to bee business and stings !!!


No, it was the only one I lost, my mentor tore strips off me and I got my act together of monitoring my hives. Even 40+ years later I do a walk around all my hives every 3 days, inspections of the supers weekly and full inspections every 2nd week. That might be too often but at least I know every hive and can pr-empt what should be going on. I read my notes before going to my apiary.

Why did you suffer hive losses at such a high rate, was it the climate?

As you say, my lord. The rest of us are not so talented/blessed etc :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: :thinking:

In the UK it was from working 80 hours per week in a hospital. In the US, pretty similar, plus VARROA - the new evil… :open_mouth:

I have to put it down to an excellent mentor, it certainly wasn’t my talent. I guess having all the time my hives need to care for them is a bonus. Maureen says I spend every spare minute on my bees :grin:

We use ordinary garden lime. It is very cheap and the wax moths ,larvae and small hive beetles get dusted in it and dry out.Just run your fingers through it every now and again to loosen it up and replace every couple of months.

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Thanks Gaz will try that

Gaz I presume you put the Lime in the tray below the screened bottom board . I have a flow hive 2

Yes Charles, we just modified the Corflute on Flowhive 1 to hold lime. Search the forum for pics in modifications section. Basically glued 8mm timber edging around it and place corflute in lowest slot.


Thanks Gaz very much appreciated

Good morning. Yes Gaz good idea. I’ve just cleaned out my FH1 and bottom board and found mounds of empty cacoons wedged into the upper inner lip/socket of the bottom board on the hive entrance edge.

I had kept track of the wax moths on the bottom board by regular inspections of the corflute and hive but could never get the corflute into the top position. Now i know why! I have taken the whole thing apart so now’s a good time for modifications. I am glad the boxes are small! Imagine building a house ( I couldn’t!)


Hello Charles Your problem sounds identical to mine, I only have one Langstroth 10 frame with a 7 frame Flow hive that I bought from Amazon. I’m an engineer and soon saw a bit of modification was needed to improve the hive. I made a 3mm stainless mesh floor
which is removable and a white plastic sheet. I bought the 6 frame nuc which was installed in my brand new hive 16th July this year. This is the first inspection I have done with the removal of the white 3mm sheet. there were 5 live grey caterpillars about 15 to 20mm long and they were soft.
I killed them of course and am suspicious that they came with the 6 frame nuc.
I am gutted that I will have a problem as my colony same as yours is not huge.
They came from an experienced beekeeper who is a breeder. Ravenshead Notts.
I live Wollaton Park Notts. I am as green as grass but could recognise drone cells when he took the frames out of a plastic nuc box.
This Buckfast bee colony seems to be prolific but I see wax moth proliferates more in the winter.
I’ve ordered a 5 metre sticky roll from amazon to put onto the white correx 3mm sheet.
If required I could make a stainless tray to hold oil but I’m hoping that the small caterpillars/larvae will stick to this new sheet tomorrow. I feel gutted as you must have been to lose your first colony.
I do wish I’d looked at the bottom catch sheet well before now.
I’ll be vaccing the bottom compartment where the white sheet is and I’ve already left out the heater copper sheet that was under it.
I feel that these bee sellers should tell people who they sell to, all the things that may be sold with the bees and frames so that a choice can be made before purchase but the fact was he said an inspection was done just before the advert and all was well!
I would find it remarkable if the hive got the wax moth after installation here, There is mesh over every ventilation gap apart from the entrance which is 70 x 10mm.
I am wondering if you have cured your problem. If you have then I’ll feel more confident that as the colony gets stronger they may kill the wax moths and their larvae but those grubs were alive creeping about in the litter of wax & propolis on the catch sheet.