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Wax Moth, a Beekeeping Pest

Wax Moth, a Beekeeping Pest

Are Wax Moths a big problem in beehives?

Wax Moths are a natural part of the environment. They are attracted to beehives by the scent. Beeswax, honey pollen, and other hive odors lure the moths inside. Wax moths often do not create problems in healthy bee colonies but become a problem in a weakened bee colony. They destroy stored honey bee combs and cause costly damage to beekeeping equipment. They are often blamed for the death of a honey bee colony.

How Does It Affect Beehives?

Wax moths are very hazardous and can cause a great deal of damage if left unchecked for a long time. The wax moths that cause the damage in a hive may go into the beehive itself. After the feeding is over, wax moth larvae combine to form cocoons. They eat the wooden surface of the beehive boxes to make a place for their cocoons. This weakens the beehive and the bees get sidetracked from their usual activities.

How are Wax Moths Spread?

Wax moths mainly fly at night and prefer darker areas. Hives that are un-monitored and have no access to sunlight can quickly lead to an infestation. Even one moth can enter a hive, lay eggs, and hatch larvae to infiltrate a colony. As these hatchlings consume comb and grow, they will quickly increase in number. They can also be spread between apiaries by the movement of infested hives. The moths will typically prefer infesting stored combs that are not actively populated by bees. When keepers transport these combs between colonies, they can accidentally spread larvae to other hives.

Wax Moth, a Beekeeping Pest

How to prevent Wax Moth Infestations?

B402 Certan is the most advanced effective and economical product for the protection of your combs from damage by wax moths. An environmentally friendly product that is used after the honey harvest, when the frames are stored. It must be used before a wax moth infestation. It will kill young wax moth larvae. A single application will provide protection against wax moth right up through to the following season. It leaves no residues in wax or honey. Only one application is needed for complete protection. Efficacy of up to 100% against wax moth larvae.

How to Use:

Simply dilute in water (1 part B402, 19 parts water) and spray on both sides of frames prior to storage of frames.

How to Get Rid of Wax Moth Infestations

Para-Moth is a wax moth control product that can be used by professional and beginner beekeepers. Para-Moth is a dry crystal treatment that keeps wax moths and their larvae under control. Para-Moth’s active ingredient is paradichlorobenzene which works to kill wax moths and their larvae. Use on stored supers only, not on full honeycombs or in live colonies. The average treatment usage is ideally 6 tablespoons for every 5 or 9 beehives. To use Para-Moth, the beehive boxes are required to be removed and stacked together, and then the Para-Moth is placed on the frames of the topmost beehive box in the stack. Stack 5 deep supers or 9 shallow supers. The stacked boxes should be covered with a tarp or some other material that is suitable. Equipment should be aired for several days before use. 

How to use:

1. Stack 5 deeps, 7 mediums, or 9 shallows full of combs on a flat surface such as an outer cover.

2. Place two tablespoons of the crystals on a paper plate on top, then cover tightly. The vapors will sink into the boxes.

3. Allow boxes a few days to air out before placing them back on an active colony.

Benefits of using Wax Moth Preventatives

These products are very effective if the application is performed properly. Both Para-Moth and Certan are high-quality products that fulfill the promises they make. They are reputable alternatives to most of the traditional methods for controlling wax moths. There has been no evidence of bees getting affected in any manner due to wax moth control.