How to Kill Wax Moths IN BEEHIVE

  When wax moths appear in the beehive, you may notice the following symptoms:

  1. Erosion of Beeswax: Wax moth larvae will tunnel through beeswax, causing damage to the beeswax within the hive. You may see wax moth larvae creating tunnels on the surface or inside beeswax, leaving behind numerous small holes.

  2. Web-like Structures: Adult wax moths lay eggs within the hive, forming web-like structures. These structures may cover the surface of the hive or combine with beeswax.

  3. Eggs: You may find eggs laid by wax moths within the hive. These eggs are typically small, white, and may be attached to the surface of the hive or within beeswax.

  4. Larvae: Wax moth larvae typically appear white or off-white, sometimes with light red or yellow spots. They move within the beeswax, consuming it and feeding on bee eggs and larvae.

  5. Fecal Matter: Wax moth larvae produce fecal matter as they feed on beeswax, which you may observe within the hive. This fecal matter typically appears brown or black.

  If you observe these symptoms in the beehive, it's likely that you're experiencing an infestation of wax moths. Take action promptly to prevent further damage to your hive and bee colony.

  Handling nest frames or hive frames that have been affected by wax moths is crucial to prevent wax moths from reinfesting other beehives. Here are some suggestions for handling frames affected by wax moth infestation:

  1. Inspection and Cleaning: Firstly, carefully inspect the affected frames. Remove any beeswax that has been damaged by wax moth larvae, as well as any remaining wax moth larvae, eggs, or adults. You can use a brush or soft scraper to gently remove wax moth larvae and eggs.

  2. Freezing: Place the affected frames in the freezer for at least 48 hours. The low temperature will kill any remaining wax moth larvae, eggs, or adults.

  3. Sun Exposure: Expose the cleaned frames to direct sunlight for several days. Sunlight exposure can kill any remaining wax moth larvae, eggs, or adults, and help eliminate any lingering odors.

  4. Rebuild or Replace: If the damage to the frames is too severe to repair, it's best to replace or rebuild them. Replace the affected parts with new beeswax frames or nest frames.

  5. Disinfection: Before reusing the frames, it's advisable to disinfect them. You can use beeswax disinfectant or other disinfectants to ensure thorough cleaning and disinfection of the affected areas.

  • Beeswax Disinfectant: Commercially available beeswax disinfectants can effectively kill wax moth larvae, eggs, and other microorganisms. Dissolve the beeswax disinfectant in water according to the product instructions, and immerse the affected frames or hive frames in the solution, ensuring complete coverage and soaking for a period of time. Then, remove them and air dry.
  • Bleach Solution: Bleach is a common disinfectant that can effectively eliminate most microorganisms, including wax moth larvae and eggs. Mix bleach with water in a ratio of 1:9, then immerse the affected frames or hive frames in the solution for about 15-30 minutes, followed by thorough rinsing with clean water and air drying.
  • Flame Disinfection: Using flames to disinfect affected frames or hive frames is another method. You can use a heat gun or torch to gently move the flame back and forth over the surface of the frames or hive frames to kill any remaining wax moth larvae and eggs. Ensure not to overheat the frames or hive frames to avoid damaging the beehive.
  • Ultraviolet (UV) Disinfection: Some UV disinfection devices specially designed for beekeeping equipment can also be used. Place the affected frames or hive frames in a UV disinfection box and operate according to the device instructions to ensure thorough disinfection.
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