Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wax moth larvae

This is just one of the reasons we stay in our honeybee hives during the spring and summer months. We had a small hive that had been struggling since we rescued it. When a hive is small they are vulnerable to attack from virtually every pest there is. This one got attacked by the wax moth. I'm not a very good photographer so these pics are not as clear as they could have been. Sorry...anyway, I caught them in time to save the hive. These things look like maggots and I was devastated when I found them. I've seen one or two in our other hives(but they were on the bottom board where they couldn't get to the frames) and that's supposed to be "normal" or okay as long as you don't see anymore than that and as long as it's in a strong hive. The bees will find it an take it out of the hive where it will die.

The larvae doesn't like sunlight and will try to scurry away when you pull the frame from the hive.

The adult wax moth gets into the hive and lays her eggs, when they hatch they penetrate into the honey comb and eat everything in it's path including honeybee larvae right on into the wood of the frames and box. Ruining everything along the way.

We were fortunate that the larvae was only on two of the frames. The frames had to be destroyed but the bees were safe. A couple of days later I went back in and found more on a new frame of honey. I was able to pick each larvae off with a pair of tweezers then washed the frame really well with water to save the comb.

All of the comb and frames in these pics were destroyed.

If you look in the left hand upper corner of this last picture you can see a group of the larvae. The rest is the destruction made from the older ones that hatched.
Feel free to ask questions or comment. You can even e-mail me.
I am by no means a pro at this. I just go with my instincts and hope it's right.
Until next time...
BEE Tidy:o)

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