Careless me = Waxmoth Larva in January (see picture) :-/

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Lburou, Jan 24, 2013.

  1. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I was in the shop this morning and noticed some larva on a bit of pollen remaining in a pollen trap.

    The first thing in my mind was to decide whether it was a Small Hive Beetle or wax moth larva. The important differential characteristic, in this case, are the webs left by the wax moth larva (SHB don't leave webs). I have also found these larva on bare, wax-coated plastic frames waiting to be placed in a hive :eek:

    I didn't realize that a bit of pollen would draw wax moth, not to mention the fact that it is January! I've not lived in an area where the wax moth was so prevalent. If you look closely, you can see the larva and the webs, with all the debris they accumulate.
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  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Ugh! (nice photo though)! :thumbsup: I don't know where DFW area is, but clearly it's not that cold there.
     

  3. Hawkster

    Hawkster New Member

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    Dallas Fort Worth Texas
     
  4. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    [h=3]Perry No frost in the foreseeable future for them
    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW), Texas, USA
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  5. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Texas is a nice place to spend the Winter. Recod low temperature is -10 F, but the coldest I've seen in five years here is near 0 degrees F. You pay for it in the Summer though, with record highs nearly 120 F where I live (35 miles SW of Fort Worth, Texas). I pray for my A/C unit every day when its that hot ;)

    Perry, I modified my location.....Just for you ;)
     
  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I was keeping my beeswax for candles in a cookie can, some had been melted, some was just wadded burr comb. Found a piece to add, opened the lid and found a couple of moths and a couple of larva. I am still keeping my beeswax in the cookie can, but the can is in the freezer.
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    :lol: Thanks Lee :thumbsup:
    Sorry about that, but believe it or not when I went to school (long ago) we barely studied the USA at all.
    As for the temps, I envy you your winter temps, but 120 F would absolutely be the end of me! :shock:
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip...
    The first thing in my mind was to decide whether it was a Small Hive Beetle or wax moth larva. The important differential characteristic, in this case, are the webs left by the wax moth larva (SHB don't leave webs). I have also found these larva on bare, wax-coated plastic frames waiting to be placed in a hive [​IMG]

    I didn't realize that a bit of pollen would draw wax moth, not to mention the fact that it is January! I've not lived in an area where the wax moth was so prevalent. If you look closely, you can see the larva and the webs, with all the debris they accumulate.

    tecumseh...
    could well be wrong here but..... if those larvae are really small then they may actually be small hive beetle larvae and not wax moth. the shb is also highly attracted to pollen.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray Member

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    Wax worms(wax moth larva) are big enough to put on small fish hoods and blue gills just love them.
     
  10. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Yes, I see your point....But SHB larva aren't supposed to leave webs. Plus, these larva had more legs than the six prolegs of the SHB larva and lacked the stigma points on the sides, you can see the smooth sides and extra legs in the picture. That was my reasoning anyway, I'm teachable if I've missed the mark tecumseh. I will say that I've seen moths hanging around the hives as late as last month, but haven't seen a SHB for a couple months. :)
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    it is difficult to recall all of what I was suppose to learn in the Entomology 40 years ago but I seem to recall what we often refer to as wax moth can be something like 35+ different species of moth.... most of the old bee books lump these as either 'the greater' or 'the lesser' wax moth.

    as Ray suggest above the wax moth do make great fishing bait (one of my very early commercial mentors sold very old comb to a bait store just across from where I lived in Central Florida for exactly the reason Ray mentions).

    as to the silk or webs I am thinking they are talking about discovering the larvae stage in the comb and either the presence or not of silk in the comb area. the shb produce very small larvae (and your picture provides no reference to this.... so I am projecting size from those small bits of pollen) and the wax moth depending on species and diet produce larvae that are either somewhat larger than or vastly larger than the shb larvae. I had thought (again memory kind of muddled at this time) that the larvae of the shb had legs and the wax moth did not????

    I am of course TOTALLY guessing here and at the end of the day both accomplish about the same thing as far as honeybees are concerned.
     
  12. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    The thought crossed my mind that the larva of many insects could look very similar to these larva, a good point tecumseh. I am seeing butterflies on the hives this week. Whatever they are, I've seen these same larva on the tattle tale board under the screened bottomboards of my hives during summer. Since I live across the street from 1520 acres of irrigated pecan trees, it could well be one of the moths that gather around the pecan orchard.

    The lesson is that my shop is not safe from the insects that plague the hives outside, not even during the winter season. Anything produced by the bees in the hive is refuge for insects & larva so I need to be more careful. I will get the BT a. out soon and spray all my equipment. :)
     
  13. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    I got a crash intensive course in wax moths last summer. I won't bore with the gory detail or sad, sad results. I wasn't nearly as aggressive as I should have been.
    Yes to BT.
    Yes to hard freeze everything you can.
    Yes to isolation of infested equipment active and inactive.

    But the most important thing I learned (from a master keep) was: WM are like maggots. They only show up after the pathology. The horse doesn't die of maggots; maggots show up after the horse has died of something else. If you have WM: you have other problems.

    So, my $.02: do not only increase your vigilance for WM. Increase you vigilence for why they might moved in the 1st place.
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    an Ibeelearning snip..
    But the most important thing I learned (from a master keep) was: WM are like maggots. They only show up after the pathology. The horse doesn't die of maggots; maggots show up after the horse has died of something else. If you have WM: you have other problems.

    So, my $.02: do not only increase your vigilance for WM. Increase you vigilence for why they might moved in the 1st place.

    tecumseh..
    first I will say pretty much correct* and for some reason I still shudder when I hear someone say their hive was killed by wax worms.

    *I will add here that sometimes the configuration of a hives can encourage wax moth infestation (typically below and too the sides of the primary brood cluster) which get so far enough ahead of the adult bees to remedy the problem that the adult population may well abscond from the hive even without any major health concerns <that is this is more a flow problem than a bee health issue. A hive that is weak (health or nutrition) here is typically first overrun by small hive beetles but it is the wax moth that very soon gets the upper hand.
     
  15. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    I ran into this excellent paper about wax moths, some very useful information. :)
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip from Lburou link...
    General warning
    Many chemicals have been suggested and occasionally used in an attempt to control wax moth in stored combs. Commercial preparations available in supermarkets for general moth control are not suitable for wax moth control. Chemical residues have been found in honey and beeswax as a result of the use of such preparations.
    Do not use products not registered for the control of wax moth.

    tecumseh...
    well we cannot all be perfect... correct?
     
  17. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Nope, and the author opens a can of worms (about bacillus thuringiensis a.):

     
  18. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    none the less Lee that is a dang good link... I myself appreciate folks that insert 'warnings' and thereby limit my own tendency to overlook the problems often encountered in using various products.