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Author Topic: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help  (Read 389 times)

Offline rockink

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Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« on: September 17, 2019, 01:06:22 pm »
I have 2 hives in my yard and 2 next door.. I walked by the hives next door and notice the entrance was dirty on one of them.. So I opened the hive. This hive is 3 mediums and all 3 boxes have signs on Wax moths.. I've seen plenty of moth larva, cocoons and webbing in all 3 boxes..

However there are still lots of bees? I'm not sure what to do?

Do I just cut my losses? Do I just set an empty hive in it's place and let that one be robbed out, and hope the bee's come back to the empty one?


Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2019, 01:42:50 pm »
Lots of hive bees or robbers, kind of sound like the hive was abandoned and moths took over and robbers are cleaning up remaining honey.  Is there any brood?
Van
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Offline rockink

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2019, 01:54:20 pm »
I was in such a panic I really didn't look for brood. LoL I was in that have less than 10 days ago and they were fine. I was getting bee's bouncing off my mask so I assume they were trying to defend.

What I thought about doing is placing a new empty hive in it's place and then letting all the bee's rob it out.. Maybe the field bee's will return to the new empty hive.. If they do then just combine it with another hive?

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2019, 02:01:42 pm »
Step 1. Confirm presence of brood and healthy active queen. If queen and brood proceed to step 2.  No queen, shake out all the bees and remove the equipment completely. Freeze the frames and boxes to kill moth larvae and eggs to halt the damage. Do not put another set of boxes or hive in that location for 3 weeks or it will be attacked by the bees who are now robbing out the old one.  Because this hive is dead and being robbed, you will need to check and be vigilant looking for new developments of pests (mites) and diseases (AFB/EFB) in all the nearby hives.  If you have close by beekeeper neighbours, be responsible and neighbourly by advising them to also watch for such in their hives.

Step 2.  Queen and brood yes. Then assess the hive strength and space properly. Each and every frame in the brood area should be at minimum 80% covered in bees.   Each and every frame in the honey areas should be 50% covered in bees.   -Lots of bees -  means nothing if space is so excessive that they cannot keep it organized, clean, and well defended.  Reduce the hive size drastically.  Remove excess equipment.  Freeze frames and boxes to kill moth, larvae, eggs. 

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 02:18:21 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline rockink

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2019, 03:12:26 pm »
The hive was dead/absconded no signs of brood. I took the hive away from it's original location and letting them rob it out.. I live in town so no other beekeepers that I'm aware for a long ways. I don't have immediate access to a freezer so letting them rob is the best I got right now.

I was just in one of my other hives yesterday and will do full check of the other 2 Thursday.. I did a spot check of the hive right next to this dead hive earlier and it looked ok.

I'm sure this is all due to me not understanding a weak hive. This is the second one I lost to wax moths this year.

My 3 remaining hives are 1 deep and 1 medium. The one I was in yesterday had a lot of honey and a pretty good amount of brood. Again I'm not sure but they look like they are in pretty good shape as far as numbers. And when I dig around and inspect frames they act like a-holes.. So again.. I think they are good.

 


Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2019, 03:20:46 pm »
Sorry to hear of the loss.
Being in town, you will actually have LOTS of neighbouring hives. Close-by, in terms of bees, is 1 miles.  Draw a 1 mile circle (2 miles across) centred around your property on the municipal map or google earth. You may be surprised at how far that close-by zone extends. Any hives within that circle are your close-by bee neighbours.  Just keep and eye and ear out in your community for folks talking about bees and use that as a leap point to ask who has hives nearby you. People who have a few hives in town have to be much much more vigilant with checks for mites and disease than the beekeeper out of town with 10s 100s 1000s of hives. Your unknown nearby beehive neighbour is the source of infestation and reinfestation in remarkably short periods of time.

With respect to space ... I have given the guideline embedded above.  Here it is on its own:
 - Each and every frame in the brood area should be at minimum 80% covered in bees.   Each and every frame in the honey areas should be 50% covered in bees -

Hope that helps!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 03:44:51 pm by TheHoneyPump »
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Offline rockink

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #6 on: September 17, 2019, 03:50:23 pm »
When I do my inspections on Thursday I will use this as a baseline. I really appreciate the advice.

So if I find a hive that doesn't meet these guidelines what is the process for removing the medium on top.. I'm pretty sure most of the hives have this full of honey but what if I find brood in the both sections? Honestly I would rather get all of my hives down to a single deep for this year to winter them.

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #7 on: September 17, 2019, 04:01:31 pm »
On a nice warm sunny day. Put all your bee protective gear on.  Do not use any smoke.  You purposely want them all flipped out and as flighty as possible so they will readily go back to their hive entrance. Take the extra box(es) off.  Make sure the queen is in the bottom box.  Proceed to shake out the bees on the ground directly in front of the entrance of the respective hive. Put the box(es) in a sunny spot at the farthest end of the yard away from the hives.  Tip up on end so frames are vertical, set the boxes next to each other, stack like a pyramid. Tell everyone to stay out of the yard for at least 3 hours afterwards.  Leave the boxes out there for 2 to 4 days while the bees to rob them out and take the honey back to the hive. It is going to get BeeZee around those boxes so make sure they are not in a people traffic area. If there is brood in them, too bad, lost at this point.  That is the fastest way of doing it.  2 to 3 days of nice weather and the boxes will be bone dry.  Note allowing robbing is illegal in some jurisdictions and is also typically discouraged if not illegal by town bylaws.  Ensure your neighbours do not notice your bees and if they do, ensure you know the applicable regulations and bylaws beforehand.

An alternate, much slower but less beeziness in the airways way of doing it is.  Removed the extra boxes.  Shake out as described.  Put a queen excluder on top of the bottom box. Put an inner cover with open centre hole on top of the queen excluder.  Put the extra box on top of the inner cover.  Put the lid on.  The bees will go up and recognizing the combs are separated from their nest, they will move as much of it as they can down into the brood nest.  This method will take 1 to 2 weeks for them to pull the honey down below, and no guarantees they will.  They may just keep using it up there as storage.

Some ideas for you.
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Offline rockink

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #8 on: September 17, 2019, 04:40:41 pm »
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!

I will be able to get my full inspections done Thursday. Luckily I have woods on 3 sides of me and the one side with neighbors loves my bee's.

Something note worthy was the hive that just died was the only have that had a full entrance. All of the others have reduced entrances??

Question1: Rather than letting them rob out the mediums can they be removed and harvested or frozen? I know this is subject to the amount of stores in the deep as well. I'm just trying to understand everything.

Question2: Just incase I miss the queen wouldn't I want to shake them in to the hive?

Thanks,
Ken
« Last Edit: September 17, 2019, 05:20:35 pm by rockink »

Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #9 on: September 17, 2019, 05:22:38 pm »
You could let the hives have it to bulk up for winter, let them clean it out.  OR you take it, and you feed syrup continuously now until they are full up to their winter weight target.
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Offline rockink

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2019, 07:20:28 pm »
The other question was why would you shake the bees on the ground rather than in the hive?

Thanks,
Ken

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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #11 on: September 17, 2019, 10:46:26 pm »
The other question was why would you shake the bees on the ground rather than in the hive?

Thanks,
Ken

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[/quote

Because most of them are going to take to the air anyways.  Also if you shake them onto the top of the hive you are left with a boiling confused mass blanket of bees across the top of the frames and top of the box.  You will have difficulty closing the hive without squishing alot of bees.  Much easier to dump the out front and have them walk in.

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Offline rockink

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #12 on: September 17, 2019, 11:51:30 pm »
Understand! Thank you again. My hives are about 20" off the ground so if it comes down to me removing the 2nd brood box I will give them a ramp and shake in front of the hive.

Thank you,
Ken




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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2019, 08:07:20 am »
The main thing (assuming they are queenright) is to compress the hive.  Remove any unused space, empty comb etc.  The next thing that would help is more bees.  A frame of emerging brood with adhearing bees is a big help to a struggling hive.

Shaking bees in front of the hive helps prevent fighting.  Dumping foreign bees into a hive sometimes sets off a fight.  When they have to beg to get in the door they usually don't fight.
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2019, 10:21:44 am »
Sorry to hear of the loss.
Being in town, you will actually have LOTS of neighbouring hives. Close-by, in terms of bees, is 1 miles.  Draw a 1 mile circle (2 miles across) centred around your property on the municipal map or google earth. You may be surprised at how far that close-by zone extends. Any hives within that circle are your close-by bee neighbours.  Just keep and eye and ear out in your community for folks talking about bees and use that as a leap point to ask who has hives nearby you. People who have a few hives in town have to be much much more vigilant with checks for mites and disease than the beekeeper out of town with 10s 100s 1000s of hives. Your unknown nearby beehive neighbour is the source of infestation and reinfestation in remarkably short periods of time.

With respect to space ... I have given the guideline embedded above.  Here it is on its own:
 - Each and every frame in the brood area should be at minimum 80% covered in bees.   Each and every frame in the honey areas should be 50% covered in bees -

Hope that helps!

Good Morning HP:
HP, as always, great response.  You are truly an asset to BeeMaster.  A question has risen regarding forage distance from the hive.  Above you texted 1 mile???  Do you not mean to say 2 miles radius, 4 mile diameter?  This is what I have understood.

Bees have been observed foraging as far as 4 miles from food source.  This is rare, as wings wear out fast and bee lives are shortened.
Van
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Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #15 on: September 18, 2019, 10:29:23 am »
If you capture returning foragers, mark them and have someone watch the entrance to that hive while you go out and release the forager the results are as follows:

All foragers find their way directly back home fron 1 1/2 miles.  Some foragers find their way back from 2 miles.  Most foragers can't find their way back from 3 miles.  This would indicate that foraging typically takes place in the 1 1/2 mile radius and sometimes from 2 miles.  But seldom from further.  But if the source is good enough and the bees are small cell they may fly as far as 5 miles as written about by Brother Adam.  He says the British black bees he had(probably foundationless) used to fly to the heather and make a crop of heather honey.  The closest heather was 5 miles.  Once he got Italians (on foundation) they never made a crop of heather again.  The most I've seen claimed is 7 miles.  But I think that would be extreme conditions that would cause anything that far.  Like a desert and those are the closest blooms.  If you look at a curve of how many bees forage how far you would see that it falls off pretty quickly after 1 1/2 miles and to almost nothing after 2 miles.

See Huber's New Observations on Bees and Brother Adam's books.
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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #16 on: September 18, 2019, 12:17:21 pm »
Van,   I used the radius as 1 mile to define -close by- bee neighbours.  Bees are opportunistic and efficient.  They will get the best forage they find as close as possible to the hive.  Sure, they will go farther.  However in context of this thread and the robbing of a deadout hive and controlled purposeful robbing to empty excess boxes, look for those close by neighbours bees (1 mile) who will be participating in the events.

Rockink - if choose to put the boxes out and let the bees clear them(rob-out), I need you to be clear to be putting the boxes a distance away from the hives.  Other end of the yard. 30 yards or more.  Do not put them next to the hives.  Because iff too close once the boxes are emptied, the nearby hive will soon be attacked.  Using this method does not cause hive attacks.  What causes is if the rob/feed station is setup too close. 

Hope that helps! 
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #17 on: September 18, 2019, 03:32:07 pm »
HP, thanks for clarifying, Agreed.  M. Bush, again thanks, Agreed.

Van
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Offline rockink

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #18 on: September 18, 2019, 03:43:45 pm »
Understood! Currently they are robbing out the boxes slimed by the wax moths approximately 40 yards away from the closet hive.

Thank you,
Ken

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Offline rockink

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Re: Wax Moth Crisis.. Please Help
« Reply #19 on: September 19, 2019, 02:44:04 pm »

Update..I inspected my 3 remaining hives and all of them looked great except for 1 of them didn't meet the 80%/50% coverage (mentioned above by TheHoneyPump)so I went ahead and removed the medium and stuck it in the freezer. I will continue to monitor for pests the remainder of the fall but this has been a very valuable lesson for me.

The hive that was taken over by wax moths was so full of honey that the bees have been happily robbing it for 3 days now..

Thanks again to everyone for the input and help!

Thanks,
Ken