Like many pests and diseases that affect your hives, wax moths are an unfortunate part of life as a beekeeper. Fortunately, an infestation doesn’t have to mean the end of your career. A strong, healthy hive will be able to chase out any invading moths before any serious damage occurs. A weak hive, on the other hand, will need your help to take care of the problem. Learn more about wax moths and how you can keep them away from your colonies with this guide on how to treat wax moths in your beehives.
The Dangers of Wax Moths in Your Hive
While wax moths themselves won’t attack your honey bees, the work they do in a hive can be devastating. The smell of honey and beeswax attracts adult moths, which will lay their eggs in a hive. When these eggs hatch into larvae, they begin eating their way through the comb in the hive. As they go, they release a web-like substance that prevents the honey bees from cleaning their comb and using their beeswax. It also makes it difficult for the honey bees to reach and get rid of the wax moths, which means they can mature into adults, lay their own eggs, and start the process all over again.
Preventing Wax Moths in Your Hive
It only takes a couple of weeks for wax moths to take over a weak colony completely. As such, a vital part of how to treat wax moths in your beehives is to have a few preventative measures in place. First and foremost, be sure to keep an eye out for webbing, burrows in the comb, and other signs of a wax moth infestation during your hive inspections. You can also help your honey bees guard their hive by reducing the hive entrances or placing wax moth traps in and around the hive.
How To Treat Wax Moths in Your Beehives
If you do find yourself facing a wax moth infestation, don’t worry. There are a few steps you can take to treat the problem and get your honey bees back on their feet. If you see signs of wax moths on a beehive frame, remove that frame, and put it in the freezer. Doing this will kill any wax moths and their larvae. While it will also destroy any brood or honey on the frame, it will also stop an infestation from spreading to the rest of your hive. You can also protect your stored supers with Para-Moth or treat with Certan from Mann Lake. These treatments will keep your equipment safe while you store it through the winter, preventing an infestation from hitting your honey bees when you replace the supers in the spring.
While beekeeping comes with its fair share of challenges, the experience is more than worth it. If you’re ready to start your own hives or want to add to your apiary, check out our starter beehives. They have everything you need to kick off your next successful colony.