What caused this?

Hey, it didn’t look like the pictures I saw of wax moth but I’m not sure what else eats wax like this!! There was a mouse guard on the hive and no evidence of mice in there, but no moths or webs or anything. What I find odd is the white in the cells. We feed fondant up here in the winter so I’m assuming this is the bees stuffing fondant into the frames, but having never seen a brood disease I thought I’d ask. It didn’t match any of the pictures I saw!

New bees arrived today and I’m picking frames for the first box. I’m low on foundationless drawn out comb. Would this still be ok to use and have the new bees fix or is it beyond help?

My number one would be crystallized sugar. Fondant or 2:1 syrup would do that. It doesn’t look like varroa droppings, as it fills the bottom of the cells.

The comb damage looks like wax moth or mouse damage. Mostly likely wax moth if you had a mouse guard on the hive. If it wasn’t a mouse, yes, it is safe to re-use. If it was a mouse, I would worry about hantavirus - rare, but not to messed with, and I would render the comb in that case.

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Thanks Dawn!!! Just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing some huge red flag!!! Really appreciate the input so quickly :slight_smile:

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If I were to reuse that comb I would cut out the rough, dark bit that is damaged.


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Yes I agree that the cells in the top photo most likely contain sugar crystals.

I can’t see any evidence of wax moth activity in the bottom photo. Regardless of the mouse guard, that looks like rodent damage to me.

@REBurwell I have to agree with @JeffH and would have to say it was from a mouse, there is too much damage in a very localized area to be wax moth in my opinion, wax moth is usually in random and smaller patches as they scurry about. At some time in that frames use it was not protected by a mouse guard.
Consider for a moment, as there is only the one area and it has been really badly damaged so think of a wax moth doing that amount of damage, it would have to be the size of … a mouse !!!
I have had wax moths in hives but they do very small random damage.
A frame like that could harbor disease for that reason I would take it out of the hive and trash it, replace it with a new frame and with foundation, it simply is not worth the risk.
Hope that helps

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