Friday, October 9, 2015

WAX MOTHS by beekeeper Fred

After beekeeping for 6 years I have seen my first case of a mild wax moth infestation.  I didn’t see any wax moths but did see the wax moth larvae.  I think I was lucky in that the infestation was rather small.  They appeared to have gained a foot hold in a hive that was in decline.  The hive appears to have been queenless, which the beekeeper (ie. Me) did not detect.  The hive had also been robbed out.  The sudden decline in flight activity alerted me that something was amiss.   The hive had done a good job through the honey flow, filling one deep and one medium.  Being lazy I quit the biweekly inspections due to the difficulty of moving the full deep.  If I had done so I would have detected the decline in time to re-queen the hive.  

At any rate the wax moth(s) was able to gain entrance into the hive and lay eggs which progressed to the larvae stage.  In total I found about 6 cocooned larvae and may 10 more active larvae.  I removed all larvae and cocoons.  Cold weather will kill any I have missed.  There are no bees remaining in the hive to keep the larvae warm.   See the photos below for pictures of the larvae and cocoons. 

I haven’t seen any larvae or cocoons in any other active hives, so conclude that a strong hive quickly ejects a wax moth trying to enter the hive to lay eggs. 

                                           Batch of cocoons and one larvae in corner of box
                                Larvae silk. Also, look at comb bees built when I left out a frame.

                                                                    Several larvae.

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