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Wax moth problem


#1

We found this outside our hive today. What do we do?


#2

Those are not all wax moths, they look much more like chalkbrood mummies. The most common cause of chalkbrood is chilled brood. Either your weather is terrible, or you inspected when it was a little too cold. I would suggest not inspecting unless you have a nice warm, non-windy day and keep as strong a hive as you can to keep the opportunistic wax moths down…

Chalkbrood mummies are very hard for nurse bees to remove. They try hard, but it takes a lot of effort. If you find a frame with more than 10% chalkbrood still in the cells, I would consider cutting that area out. If it keeps coming back, you may need a new queen, as she can be a big source of spreading it around. However, in CO, I would think they just got a bit chilled at some point, and that is the issue in your case. :blush:

By the way, the hand in the photo looks like a Dupuytren’s contracture is building - my father had one too. :blush:


#3

Mr John,

That does look :eyes: like wax moth larva n bee larva. Did they get into your frame like this moth stock photo (no mine) !? IMG_1941|690x460. Also here’s some larva to moth n just wax moth pixs as well. IMG_1940

Every once in while I find wax larva below my screen bottom boards on the slide-out tray. When I do I pull those boards n careful clean with soap n hot water, dry n replace. I also have seen a couple adult moths in the attic above the crown board. My center holes in the inner cover/crown board are all screened thus the adult moth is unable to sneak below n lay her eggs on/in the waxed frames.

A very strong hive can usually deal with those creepy crawlers. If you do get a few really infected frames … a few days in the deep freeze will take care of that one.

That’s why I personally like SSB n screened crown board. Gives me easy inspection without invasion between main Hive Inspection. N the top screens keeps the top
Invaders out too. Now some folks run top entrances so I’m just guessing a strong colony will keep moths at bay just like in a bottom entrance.

Good luck n keep us posted bro,

Gerald


#4

We found these outside the hive on the entrance board. We have a Langstrough hive and try not to disturb it as we are very new to beekeeping. I’m hoping the bees were just doing housekeeping and shoved these out but will open and inspect tonight
We have been having daily rains


#5

John,

As you did before try to get good clear pix’s. Yours were very helpful above. Good luck n any questions please post n someone here will try their best to help .

Cheers,
Gerald


#6

Opened the hive and found 3 moth larva on floor. No real evidence of damage and I think these frames look healthy but this is all new to us


#7

We opened the hive & seems healthy. Killed 3 moth larva on floor but no evidence of comb destruction
Here are photos


#8

Nice photos, thank you for your effort. Looks very healthy. I wouldn’t worry too much about what you showed us earlier. :blush: By the way, did you spot Queenie in your 4th photo there? :wink:


#9

No. Did you spot queen? I’ll look closer


#10

She is the one with the shiny thorax, all of the other bees are fuzzy. Here you go:


#11

That’s the one we thought. Thank you.


#12

I just thought G*d made them that way in order to be able to mark them. You mean that’s not the reason?


#13

John,

No Sweat bro … it’s a constant learning curve n experience. Sounds like your colony was/is strong enough to take care of the wax moths this round. Sounds like the hive took care of the nasty larva.

A strong colony is usually your best defense always. As I mentioned before I keep all my crown board holes screen so the hive is not attacked from above when they are guarding below.

I didn’t see any evidence on my SBB sliders last week of webbing in the wax dropping or larva. I’m clean for now. No varroa yet. I did have an early outbreak in so had to treat ! That was a bummer because that lowered my colony numbers just when I needed the harvest push ! Guess I’ll try for a big harvest next season 2018. Can’t win them all. They did bring in enough for winter if my current dreath here in Puget Sound doesn’t last too much longer. If so i may start an early feeding program on the weakest colonies n watch the stronger one too. They can quickly consume a large amount of honey supplies (especially a huge hive)… I have had to add a robber screen to one weak colony because of outside (neighboring) bees stealing !

Got to GO n get something done now.

Cheers,
Gerald


#14

If you’re in the N hemisphere, it’s that time of year. Do a varroa mite count ASAP! Those are pupae that the workers have removed and tossed out, probably because they were infested with varroa and/or virus levels are too high. Whenever you see something “not right” at the entrance, you need to get into your hive and check on the bees. In this case, look for bees with deformed wings, spotty brood pattern, and of course, do that mite count. The bee nearest the wax moth larva may have deformed wing virus, but it’s hard to tell. Look for bees with deformed wings crawling in front of the hive too.
That one wax moth larva looks like the bees have already taken care of it. If you’re using screened bottom boards, there will be wax moths to some extent.
Try to find a local bee club to join. It’s a great way to stay on top of things in your own area. Four Corners Bee Association is in your area. You can find them and others and bee health info on the Colorado State Beekeepers Ass’n website. coloradobeekeepers.org Here’s more info on varroa
http://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/varroa/
Hope this helps and good luck!
Kristina
Boulder, CO, USA


#15

Checked hive today and found a couple moth worms in bottom but no signs on the frames. Brood frames are full of larva and look great. Tested some honey from the capped frames and it is light amber color. 2 frames are almost totally full so we added more frames


#16

This is a brood frame with the darker caps. Is this normal?


#17

Brood caps get darker as the frame gets older. Unless they are sunken or perforated, I wouldn’t worry.


#18

Another Colorado beek here.

I found some larvae on my bottom board this afternoon and ended up doing a full hive inspection. There was no damage to the wax on the frames nor any visible larvae anywhere other than the bottom board. I found my beautiful queen and saw some bee larvae and a lot of happy bees!

Question: how soon should I inspect again for WMs? Less than 10 days? I usually inspect every other weekend in the summer.


#19

I wouldn’t inspect if you are only worried about wax moths. If the hive is strong and well-populated, with no wax moth damage on the frames, I would just do the routine stuff, like varroa mite counts, reducing the entrance for winter to slow down robbing, consider a mouse guard, etc.


#20

Thank you Dawn! :honeybee: