Wax Moths?

Every week or so, I like to go outside to the hive to look at the bottom board. Normally there is lots of pollen, spilled nectar, and even the occasional bee. On June 14th, I found about 8 wax moth larva. They look like garden grubs, but even more disgusting. Wax moths can destroy a weak hive in just a matter of days, but strong hives can usually protect themselves from the moths. Wax moths fly into a hive in the evening, lay the eggs and then leave before morning. They lay the eggs in places that are protected from the bees, and where the larva will have access to food.

Seeing these larva meant that we had to suit up and go into the hive to thoroughly check for signs of more eggs and larva. We opened up the hive to find the new brood box that we had put on a week and a half ago over halfway full, and the honey super with about 6 out of the 10 frames with drawn foundation. We were astonished at how much many of the frames weighed! We had lots of honey and nectar on the end frames, and full frames of capped brood and eggs on the middle frames. We opened up the bottom super to find lots of pollen and bee bread (pollen mixed with nectar and fed to the larva). We found the queen! It was the first time in a while that we saw her, and we decided to mark our queen with a white pen on the thorax. This doesn't hurt the queen at all, and it just makes her easier to find for us during other hive inspections. Each year, a new color is used to mark the queen. Any year ending in 1 or 6 means that the queen is marked with white.

Luckily, we didn't find any moths, larva or eggs inside of the hive. We got the queen marked, and the hive check was very successful!


Arlington, Virginia

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