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Wax Moth on the prowl

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every night for the last couple of weeks Ive squashed Wax Moth on the outside of hives. Two or three usually over five hives.  No signs of anything on insides nor in traps. Any ideas on where to look daytimes? any comments?

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If you want to go hunting for them they hide between cracks and crevises.

 

But you will never get them all. Best thing with wax moths is to regard them as always present, so keep the bees in good shape to be able to stop moths doing damage in the hive.

 

For stored comb, keep the white combs seperated from the darks. Wax moths do poorly on clean white comb, they need some pollen or dark comb to get enough nutrition. But they will damage white comb if it is next to dark comb. So store all the whites by themselves and they will be pretty safe. Darks will be a target for wax moths, but once things get cold in winter the moths stop being a problem.

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There seem to be quite a few about at the moment.  I got some wets back from extraction early last week and when putting them out noticed wax moth web, so pulled those frames into several separate boxes and have put them through the freezer for a day.  Great advice from @Alastair on keeping different comb types stored separately.

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Thanks for the comb info Alastair.  We had a disastrous result in our first season (3 seasons ago) so have been very aware of them since. Saw very few last year, only in late march as in that previous year, but theyve been about this year since late January. I have mostly Hive Dr bases now, so a little concerned about entry /egg laying from underside. The colonies seem to us to be strong, very busy, so fingers crossed and inspection eyes open.

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Keep your hives as strong as possible and in the right sized hive . In other words , don’t have more boxes on top than you need . Your bees need to fit snuggly into their home so they can patrol the outer reaches . 

Run any spare frames through the freezer then seal up so the wax moths don’t reinfest  them 

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I lost 2 hives to wax moth.. Being unable to check them for about 6 weeks. 

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58 minutes ago, Tomm said:

I lost 2 hives to wax moth.. Being unable to check them for about 6 weeks. 

you don't loose hives to wax moth (with one exception).

most likely is the hives where already dead before wax moth got going.

most important question is why did the hives die?

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Here in AKL is never cold enough to keep waxmoth out from the dry combs.

I use FA however it is not working properly. And I have only FA of 50% - not strong enough.

 

Since we had/have an unusual weather this season I had to adapt quickly this month. I made new splits in Dec-Jan however there is no time for those splits to get to the right strength for winter so I combined several of them to make sure each box/hive is full of bees. Most of the hives have 8 frame of brood and one frame of bee bread(I use only 9 frames). Meanwhile two double hives have 17 and 16 frames of brood out of 18. If anyone knows a good manuka site I may take this two hives there right now because they are ready to forage hard as :D

 

The empty boxes with dry comb came back to base and now I have to sort them out ASAP.

Does anybody use anything else than freezing the boxes? I do not know any place around AKL to freeze them.

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2 hours ago, Kiwi Bee said:

 

Does anybody use anything else than freezing the boxes? I do not know any place around AKL to freeze them.

I freeze mine in a chest freezer which is impractical for you . 

My frames fresh from extraction on Wednesday had wax moth web in them by Friday and full size ‘Greater’ wax moth grubs dead in the frames coming out of the freezer. 

My frames have far too much pollen ( Bee bread ) in them too which is creating issues . They’ll go mouldy even when frozen first then wrapped , so Im scraping down more than I want to 

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We've noticed more wax moth than usual this year too!

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4 hours ago, Kiwi Bee said:

Here in AKL is never cold enough to keep waxmoth out from the dry combs.

yeah it is, its called winter.

 

2 hours ago, M4tt said:

My frames fresh from extraction on Wednesday had wax moth web in them by Friday and full size ‘Greater’ wax moth grubs dead in the frames coming out of the freezer. 

getting wax moth in them at extraction or even before then. grubs take a fair while to grow.

its always an issue this time of year getting extraction done fast enough so boxes are not sitting around for wax moth to get into.

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2 hours ago, M4tt said:

I freeze mine in a chest freezer which is impractical for you . 

My frames fresh from extraction on Wednesday had wax moth web in them by Friday and full size ‘Greater’ wax moth grubs dead in the frames coming out of the freezer. 

My frames have far too much pollen ( Bee bread ) in them too which is creating issues . They’ll go mouldy even when frozen first then wrapped , so Im scraping down more than I want to 

I have two small chest freezers and I have no dead animals in one  at the moment so it has frames of honey in  It .

And there is room for pollen filled frames too .

they will stay frozen till they go back on hive.

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18 hours ago, kaihoka said:

I have two small chest freezers and I have no dead animals in one  at the moment so it has frames of honey in  It .

And there is room for pollen filled frames too .

they will stay frozen till they go back on hive.

My chest freezer isn’t quite  big enough to store frames permanently , although it does take 110 frames 

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3 hours ago, M4tt said:

My chest freezer isn’t quite  big enough to store frames permanently , although it does take 110 frames 

If I had as many hives as you my freezer would not be big enough either. :6_smile:

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