My neighbor's hive has wax moths. I'm going to look into mine this weekend--if I find them, what do I do? How do you get rid of wax moths?
taz, Waxmoths are usually a sign that you have a weak hive for one reason or another, so there is usually an underlying problem. A strong, healthy hive will keep them in check. I had a hive that had a moth problem. They had destroyed 3 deep brood frames. I stripped the hive down to the bottom board. They had gotten their start between the bottom board and varroa screen. I scraped them clean and went over quickly with a torch. Then I took the good strong frames of bees and brood and put them in a clean deep and added some frames of bees and brood from my strong hives and requeened. The old queen was past her prime and I waited too long to replace her.
Thanks, Tony. My friend who got wax moths has put his hive on top of his roof. Since we live in San Diego, the temperatures on a rood soar during the summer, and I swear that this must put great stress on his hive, which may account for why it got wax moths.
By contrast, my hives are on cinder blocks eighteen inches off the ground and get morning and early afternoon sun, but late afternoon shade. I think this is ideal, and the strength of my hives would tend to bear this out.
I had heard that sometimes wax moths or small hive beetles (SHB) will bore into so many cells that the honey will drip out the front entrance. When I saw something sticky on the sides of my front entrances, I freaked out, but a closer inspection today shows that this sticky stuff is just propolis. I'm not sure why, but for almost a year, my hives used as little propolis as they could get away with. Previously, I was able to crack apart two supers with a hive tool and a simple flick of my wrist. Not any longer. Today I was able to take apart the top super with no difficulty since I just put it on, and I could get off the second one down, but below that, they'd sealed them so tight that I couldn't get them off by myself. I'll have to get a friend to help, because I really want to get down to the brood box and see if there is any evidence of wax moths or SHB, but given the strength of the hives, I'm thinking my girls are probably OK.
I have one hive using so much propolis that if I pry off the inner cover on a hot day it looks like someone's having a taffy pull