View Full Version : What is that black lump?

Jul 26th 2009, 09:01 AM
I visited a new beekeeper the other day and as we looked down through the bottom box there were these black lumps on tan wood. It took me a few seconds to figure out they were on the slide in board under the screen bottom. I pulled the board out and found the black lumps were wax moth larvae covered in debris that fell through the screened bottom. We left the slide in out as we finished the inspection and the ants went to work on the wax moth worms. The beginner did not know the slide in board should have been left out. The worms didnít seem to have caused any damage to the drawn comb but the bees must have been busy keeping them at bay.

Jul 26th 2009, 09:20 AM
After they fell through the screen the bees could not get to them to remove them from the hive.

Good thing you found them.

Sounds like the hive is strong if the worms did not do any damage.


Jul 26th 2009, 11:34 AM
G3, I don't know if they fell through the screen bottom or if they hatched out on the board either way they are ant food now.

Aug 2nd 2009, 07:16 PM
Ants have protected many of my dead out hives all summer long. I'm still pulling comb from boxes and not one wax moth. I may need to shake out some ants, but the comb is fine. :D

Aug 3rd 2009, 04:24 AM
Ants will certianly protect a dead colony, but fire ants will certianly kill a weak colony, and are particularly active from about mid July on till October, Wax Mothes are not a issue to strong colonies, in areas where they are common, should consider combining them to make one strong colony. Empty equipment I personally would rather have the colonies clean them up and restore them by placing them on the colonies, of course the bees will work them.

Aug 7th 2009, 09:07 PM
If I find any "black lumps" I immediately suspect Chalk brood as the larvae is covered in the spores of Ascosphaera apis which is of fungal composition.The cappings are removed by the bees and some of the dead larvae remains chalky-white but others become dark blue grey and almost black.
I don't think larvae of wax moth as being black but I suppose it could bee.