What is this? A grub?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by jaafallon, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

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    Whatever it is, I'm about to show just how little I know about bee keeping - or - I'm about to get some news I probably need to know but wish I didn't.

    We opened our hives this morning and found this critter crawling along on the top of the inner cover. Removed it, had a short photo-shoot and dispatched it to better places.

    We would appreciate learning what it is and what actions, if any, need to be taken to protect the hive.

    Thanks all.

    jim & jane
     

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  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    wax moth larva
     

  3. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

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    That isn't what I wanted to hear, but thank you for letting me know.

    Is there anything that can be done at this point or do we have to simply wait and see how it plays out?

    j&j
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the numbers of these you noticed in the hive is really the important question here. one or so isn't so much a concern... large numbers is when you actively need to intervene. it is quite common here to find an occasion wax moth in a very active hive generally existing in the area between the top and bottom bars (at the junction between the various layers of boxes in the stack) where there is insufficient bee space. depending on the kind of top cover you use and the bee space allowed you could also find some between the top bar at the top of the stack and the cover.

    so did you find lots or just one or two?
     
  5. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

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    We only found the one, but since we had no idea of what it was we didn't delve in deeper. Guess we'll have to open it again and see what it looks like deeper into it, now that we have some idea of what it is. I assume all we need to do is take out the frames, one at a time, and check them for the larva and discard any unwelcome guests? Do we need to open both brood hives (upper and lower) and do that to each? Any other suggestions?

    j&j
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    I would check all boxes, more for bees and stores than for moth larva. If the bees are covering 80% or more of the available space in a hive, and they have sufficient stores, they can take care of the moths. If not, reduce the unused space and feed, if needed.
     
  7. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I would go all the way down to the bottom board since any wax moth debris will appear there in the largest quantity and pretty much follow Iddee direction (above post) consolidating everything downward.

    I would guess you might see one or two more in the location I previously described.

    good luck...
     
  8. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    How big is wax moth larvae? That thing looked huge! Was it my perception?
     
  9. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    That one looks to be 5/8 to 3/4 inch long to me. That is normal.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    the size of the wax moth larvae will vary greatly. there are a couple of variables taking place the first being the species of wax moth (there are something like 30+ species... or so I was told years ago) and the diet of the larvae itself will effect size. adequate diet is often the reason why that the larvae of 'the greater wax moth' is confused with 'the lesser wax moth' (or so I have read in abc/xyz).
     
  11. jaafallon

    jaafallon New Member

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    We went back into the hive this morning and didn't find any additional larva . . . That's a good thing! However I'm going to post some photos we took and hope to get some advice as to rather this appears to be a "healthy hive" or if we need to do something. Photo "A" (I put them in in the wrong order so "A" is at the bottom and "C" is at the top) is an unusual comb build up that I'm sure will mean more to all of you than it does to us, so please help us out if you can. Photo "B" is another side of photo "A"s view. Photo "C" is a small buildup that looks a lot like some type of trumpet vine and we have no idea if that's normal, or and indicator that we need to learn about.

    Hopefully the pictures are large enough for you to view. If someone sends me an email address, I can send a larger photo without my lines and circles. Thanks all.

    jim & jane
     

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  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    zoom doesn't seem to work here???

    from what I can tell it looks like connective comb... small bits of wax that go between frames and quite often between the outside combs and the sides of the box. frames C and B must have had some extra space in there... or sometimes plain wax foundation can become bowed in the middle to provide the excessive space.

    this may sound brutal... but I would have jostle the bees off the frames and used the sharp end of my hive tool (typically in a pushing kind of movement) to cut this excessive comb away. I would employ the same kind of movement to clean up any extra wax on the bottom and top bars also. this makes a mess but the bees clean it up pretty quickly. the real value in this is it makes pulling the frames next time so much easier and less hazardous to the bees.
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    Add to what Tec says, when putting them back, push them all tightly together.
     
  14. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    Wax moths love to sneak into the hives through unguarded spaces. That could mean ill fitting boxes placed on one another or carelessly aligned, it could also mean a hive entrance too large for the population to fully control. See that your hive doesn't have any unintended spaces and contract the entrance to eliminate unguarded areas. Rubble on the hive floor is a choice place for wax moths to develop in hiding. See to it that your hive's floor is clean.
     
  15. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    I took my hives apart yesterday to add some fatbeeman beetle traps. I saw 1 or 2 wax moth larvae on each screened bottom board. There was some kind of larvae encased in what seemed like mud tunnels under the screened bottom board and on top of the plastic bottom board with grid pattern. I burned all of them in my smoker since it was still lit. Probably enough material to cover half the palm of my hand. I also did the powdered sugar treatment for varroa mites. It looked like I had albino bees here for awhile. Today they are all clean again. I never actually saw any mites on them but did it anyways.
     
  16. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    The sugar treatment is one that shouldn't have any negative effect on the bees to be concerned about.
     
  17. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    Eddy writes:
    There was some kind of larvae encased in what seemed like mud tunnels under the screened bottom board and on top of the plastic bottom board with grid pattern.

    tecumseh:
    if dirt like I would guess some kind of mud dauber (here they usually go after very small insects and spiders). if on the other hand if the encasements were burnable (paper like) then maybe wax moth at the pupae stage (these will usually leave little indentations in the wood). if the latter I would look real hard at the frames closes to where you discover the larvae. you would look for spider web like tunnels going thru the frame or spider web like stuff on the face of the frame. any signs of webbing you need to knock the bees off the frame, place the frame in a plastic bag and freeze for at least 24 hours. the other (and possible more likely) origin if they were wax worm pupae would be from debris that accumulated on the plastic bottom board that the screen bottom board prevented the hive from removing.

    good luck.
     
  18. Americasbeekeeper

    Americasbeekeeper New Member

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    If you have a few wax moths now, you will have many if/when the hive gets weak. Reduce the entrance and squish all the larva you find. Consider crowding your hive more so the bees can defend against intruders. It is much easier to clean, climatize and defend a 2 bedroom home than a 200 when you only have so many kids!
     
  19. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    I second ABK's advice