Wax moth massacre! Oh, the horror!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by ibeelearning, Jul 4, 2012.

  1. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    I checked my hives last week! Is there no end to my 2nd year learning curve! :cry:

    Found my newest colony infested with wm this morning. (pix attached) But also had emerging bees "frozen" like Pompei. Did I have heat deaths, too? (It was 107 this weekend, but my lids were propped & water outside.) This bunch was in the used wooden ware I bought from the old guy that I was so proud of... could they have been infected?

    Queen present with only about 80 troops attending. I quarantined bees and 4 frames that LOOKED clean in a nuc. Punched out the rest and left those empty frames in the sun. Went inside to get a beer and whine on the bee board.

    Now what? Feed the survivors and hope they live? Should I assume the frames in the nuc are infested and dis them, too? Pinch the queen and shake bees into my good hive? Risk putting the remaining frames in the good hive?
     

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  2. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Wax moth only moves in when the hive gets weak or in the smallest of places the bees can not get to. What happened to the hive is the real question. A queen and 80 bees will not make it.
     

  3. srvfantexasflood

    srvfantexasflood New Member

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    I feel your pain. After a great 1st year, disaster struck my 2nd and 3rd year. Boy did I learn a lot!
     
  4. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    ibeelearning,
    i would refer to g3's post:
    "Wax moth only moves in when the hive gets weak or in the smallest of places the bees can not get to. What happened to the hive is the real question. A queen and 80 bees will not make it."

    "Queen present with only about 80 troops attending." and "Now what? Feed the survivors and hope they live? Should I assume the frames in the nuc are infested and dis them, too? Pinch the queen and shake bees into my good hive? Risk putting the remaining frames in the good hive? "

    80 bees will not survive, you cannot feed them to 'survive'. the queen must die, pinch her. take all the frames and shake out the 80 bees in the grass in front of another hive, on the chance they may be accepted by another hive, 80 bees is not many bees in a big picture.....i don't know that shaking them into another hive will work unless all were sprayed with sugar syrup....you don't want to disrupt another hive to save 80 bees.... after that, take the frames, that are wax moth infested and put them in the freezer to kill any larvae and to salvage your frames, all of them. don't transfer any wax moth infested frames to another hive.
     
  5. Murrell

    Murrell New Member

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    After freezing the frames, let thaw and spray with BT.

    Murrell
     
  6. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    That is heartbreaking. However it is not nearly as disgusting as what happens when you leave spare frames unattended for several months. I cut out and disposed probably a dozen or more deep frames last year. The slime, webs, and larvae were truly stomach-turning. And the knowledge that it was all my own doing was just as bad.
     
  7. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    Thanks, Murrell! Not to be a pest, but: BT as in many catapillar treatments (and easily obtainable)? vs Para Moth (through bee supply places)?

    And I assume this is the answer to what to do with the supers, bottom board, etc that are too big for the freezer? (I am now assuming that the used wooden ware was the source.)

    Per riverbee, the survivors were shaken out in front of the remaining hive this morning... the hive that I am now feeding like crazy as it's the only thing I have left in hope of a fall flow.
     
  8. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    yes BT, look on the trading post forum and you can buy it cheap from Sundance there.
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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  10. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    Just PM'ed him. TNX, all.
     
  11. Zookeep

    Zookeep Active Member

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    well he could add 2 frames of capped brood with nurse bees, I did that and saved a very weak nuc, all depends on how much trouble you wanna go though to save the royalty, a frame of honey and pollen would also do the trick, then just feed and things should be ok.
     
  12. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    Isnt paramoth the same as moth crystals. Im thinking they are if so they can be purchased at about any walmart cheaper than a bee supply house. Wax moths are not introduced into the hive with used wooden ware. The moths will enter a weak hive and lay eggs in the comb and along the sides of the boxes when the hive is no longer able to fend them off.
     
  13. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    "the survivors were shaken out in front of the remaining hive this morning... the hive that I am now feeding like crazy as it's the only thing I have left in hope of a fall flow"

    ibeelearning, how did these bees fare being shook out in front of another hive?
     
  14. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I feel your pain. After a great 1st year, disaster struck my 2nd and 3rd year. Boy did I learn a lot!

    tecumseh:
    this principle would seem to apply to many things???? we learn more from mistakes and disasters than from any success we might have.

    in places like Alabama you can of course overwinter colonies in very small hives so you are not confined to rules of hive population dynamics that might apply to places like Minnesota or North Dakota.

    no matter what purpose you have for the frame IF you think a frame might be infested then freeze for 48 hours before you reuse the frame. if you freeze the frames (and are then reusing) then adding BT is likely a bit of overkill (hurts nothing but also accomplishes nothing unless you are placing the frame in storage).

    the first picture you added does look troublesome. at this stage I would concern myself with figuring out what happened to this hive. excess heat and poor ventilation (poor ventilation can also be a matter of a low populated hive unable to maintain circulation) and lack of stores would be my first guess... but you do need to make this analysis for yourself and come to some conclusion as to cause(s) <in most of these situation it is the plural that typically applies.
     
  15. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    I know Paramoth is without naphthalene... I'll have to look and see if PDB Moth Crystals can be bought locally. I have already PM'ed Sundancer about the BT that I can mix and spray.
     
  16. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    There were far less than 80 when I did this. Few went directly to the hive which was preoccupied with an entrance feeder; most just dispersed, some to the waterer, some back to the old site, some lounged in the grass. I checked serval times though the evening and didn't see any fistfights at the entrance. I'll look for bodies today, but we had a huge rainstorm last night:grin: so evidence may be destroyed.
     
  17. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    Update: Well, I inspected, now 10 days after finding the infestation. Found a couple of frames in the remaining strong hive had a couple of moth larve, so I put those in the freezer. But, all in all, everything looked under control.

    But the small band of survivers that I shook out in front of the strong hive, appeared to have regrouped back into what was an open nuc-- the same one in which I had had them quarantined.:shock: In my business, that's like a church that won't die. I put in a frame of capped brood with a little honey and put the top on.

    It has also rained all week, and I am in high anticipation of something-- anything-- blooming again. Could it be that my days of running a bee death camp are coming to an end?
     
  18. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Sounds to me like there is a queen in that little church.
     
  19. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    iddee~
    "Sounds to me like there is a queen in that little church."

    or the catholics didn't get along with the baptists? :lol:
    i forgot to tell you to move the church on them when you shook them out in front of the other, they will just go back home, and especially if you didn't pinch the queen. bees are amazing aren't they?
     
  20. ibeelearning

    ibeelearning Member

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    OK. I'm offically wiped out. The nuc bunch disappeared last week. The remaining hive was empty this morning... the little buggers even took the honey with them. Found the wax moths in the bottom box.

    I'm packing everything in trunks with paramoth.

    I think I have spent my "allowance" this year. If I see someone standing in the middle of the road offering to sell me a nuc, cheap, I might buy. Otherwise, I'm out of the game until next year... hopefully wiser.