Wax Moth Damage to a Tiny Colony

Here are some pictures of wax moth infestation on a tiny bee colony. When the bee population becomes too low they pretty much cannot defend themselves and pests such as wax moth and small hive beetles can easily take over. This colony was only one frame large before the wax moth moved in.

The webbing from the larvae are extremely tough. We had to use a lot of muscle to pry apart these two frames.

We were surprised to still find about 30 bees on this comb with wax moth larvae and webbing all around them. Obviously these were the ones left behind because there’s no site of the queen, who probably absconded with the rest of the colony.

The hive was full of large wax moth larva. It was pretty gross!!! Too bad I don’t have chicken or else they would have had a good meal.

A frame covered in web from the larvae. If you look closely you can see them in the web tunnels crawling around. Yuck!

We destroyed all the combs in this tiny hive. Washed clean all the woodware and put into the freezer to kill anything that might be still alive. (I couldn’t find my blow torch!)

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2 Responses to Wax Moth Damage to a Tiny Colony

  1. While inspecting my hives today I discovered wax moths in what had been a strong hive but apparently not anymore. They were not completely rampant but there was no sign of brood or much honey. The girls still hanging around were filling frames with pollen and honey but the wax moths had to go. I thought about what to do, thought that removing all the infected hive body and supers, along with frames and foundation was a good idea. I placed a new hive body and clean frames, one with brood and honey from another strong hive, into the fresh box and brushed, shook and banged bees off into it. They are a little confused but seemed to want to settle in. Now to determine if there is a queen at all – if not I’ll combine them with a smaller hive as there were quite a few bees still living in the hive.
    When I googled about my problem I found your site and another that both confirmed my idea was the best one. Thanks – and nice to find another bee keeper site. I’ll be freezing all the infected equipment and keep my fingers crossed.
    P.S. I live in north Texas.

  2. Hi, yes, your action was the correct one. And if you moved any frames over from the wax moth, be sure to check it after a while because there could be eggs on those frames that aren’t visible. For the honey/pollen frames, freeze those frames for a few days to kill anything living and then you can reuse those like you already mentioned. So you got it right. đŸ™‚

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