Wax moth larvae found in beetle catcher tray

Hi everyone, we’ve found a couple of wax moth larvae and their droppings in the beetle catcher tray of our flow hive on Sunday. I’ve attached a photo (note we fill it with oil, hence the colour and we’ve since cleaned it out and replaced the oil to remove any wax moth temptations). We did an inspection yesterday of a couple of the brood frames that we thought might be affected, but there were no signs of wax moth larvae or damage.

Our colony seems pretty strong, their brood box is humming with bees. They have been slow to take to the super, but they’re starting to make some progress and store honey in it over the last week.

I’m wondering if it’s possible that the bees are controlling the wax moth larvae / evicting the larvae on their own?

All help or advise welcome!

It is possible. A strong colony will keep the wax moth under control.

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Zooming on the photo I’m seeing grubs and SHB along with all the debris you would normally see in the tray but I can’t say either way if the grubs are wax moth or SHB with out see a side on pic of a grub to see the legs. But as you definately have SHB in the hive I would lean towards it being SHB. But a very close inspection of the brood fares by someone who know what they are seeing is the only way to know for sure.
Either way it can be managed once you know what the issue is.

Hi Peter, we do get a lot of SHB trying to get in but the bees have been doing a really good job of corralling and evicting them, so they haven’t got to the larvae stage. We have been comparing the grubs we have in the tray to images of wax moth larvae and it’s definitely wax moth. We also caught what looks like a moth in the tray.

I’ve checked the tray again this morning and there’s no new grubs.

Either way, could a strong hive manage these pests on their own without our intervention?

Thank you

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It certainly looks like wax moth larvae to me & yes a strong colony can control wax moths is my view.

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A strong colony will control wax moth as well as SHB. The entrance size and a strong colony is the best way to combat both of those.

Thank you everyone for your replies and help. It’s a relief to know they can potentially manage these pests on their own. We’ll keep an eye on them and do a thorough check next brood box inspection as well

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