NZBF: Advice on wax moth and harvesting honey

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4
2
Auckland
Experience
Hobbyist
Hey team.

I have a few questions I would love some advice on. I have two hives, and I have left everything a bit late to harvest my honey and do a treatment on them.

Hive 1:
There are two brood boxes, two honey supers. They are half full with honey, and all the boxes have wax moth. there is no sign of a Queen.

Hive 2:
Two brood boxes, two honey. They also have honey in them. Their numbers have shown considerably too.

So my questions are the following:
1. For the hive with wax moth, is there any point trying to collect the honey if there is wax moth throughout?
2. Should I freeze the frames to kill the wax moth? If so, what do I do a out storing them over winter if there is still honey in the frames? Do I just wrap with glad wrap?
3. Can I treat the hives and harvest the honey afterwards? Or do I remove the honey supers now and treat the brood?
4. because I can’t harvest straight away, I’m assuming it’s ok for me to store the honey supers somewhere and then harvest later?

Thanks
 

Mummzie

Staff member
Gold
1,078
956
Tasman
Experience
Hobbyist
I think I would prioritise the health of the hive over honey harvest.

No- you shouldn't harvest honey from a hive that has had treatments in.

A hive with wax moth & no queen at his stage isn't going to get thru winter so you need to deal with that so it doesn't become a varroa bomb for your other hive (and the nearby beeks)

Why has Hive 2 dropped in numbers? I assume thats what you were saying.
Does it have an active Queen?
I would be getting treatments in there ASAP and work out what is happening. If they survive they will need winter feed. Very possibly need reduced space if the population is dropping.

I find the large plastic boxes from the warehouse with clip on lids a good way to keep frames bee-proof. The wax moth needs attending to first tho.
 
5,515
5,823
canterbury
Experience
Commercial
Oh Dear Daveaky .... you are commercials nightmare, politely speaking ..... but anyway, it's a steep learning curve, eh.
I'd stick the honey boxes with wax moth in the freezer and keep them for feed.
You need to check the status of the remaining hive..... check for eggs to indicate if you have a queen. It's late to be thinking about varroa treatements ..... do an alchohol wash, or a sugar shake, or look for signs of PMS .... and mite scurrying around the brood.
Treat asap.
Knock down to a single if weak and make sure you have 4 frames of honey in the brood.
Monitor every three weeks .

Not sure what to do with the excess honey from the good hive .... extract it and put it on your toast .... or freeze and keep for feed.

Look forward to hearing how you get on !
 
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3,365
6,233
Hawkes Bay
Experience
Commercial
A hive riddled with wax moth is usually well on the way out probably because it is queenless or drone layer but you should never assume that it is not American foulbrood that has caused the hive to go week unless you know what to look for and have checked very carefully..
Stored honey and or dry combs are subject to wax moth at this time of year but they will generally be all right for at least a few weeks especially if you keep them somewhere cool and ventilated. If you have room you could freeze everything which will certainly kill wax moth (leave them in for a week). If you're live hive has varoa and at this time of year it almost certainly will have then you need to treat it urgently and if it's week you will probably need to stimulate it into breeding so that there are some young healthy bees to go into winter.
 
8,432
4,863
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
Hive 1:
There are two brood boxes, two honey supers. They are half full with honey, and all the boxes have wax moth. there is no sign of a Queen.
a hive with wax moth has been dead or pretty much dead for quite some time.
the big question is why. being queenless is not the answer.
main thing is to make sure its not AFB, but i'm picking that will be hard to tell.
you MUST get an experienced beek to look through it.

any storage of gear may cause big problems later on.

once checked you can extract the wax mothy boxes. freezing them is a good idea.

4. because I can’t harvest straight away, I’m assuming it’s ok for me to store the honey supers somewhere and then harvest later?
the problem here is it might end up turning into cyclized honey aka concrete before you extract it and its not worth trying to extract.
there is a high chance the other hive is about to fail as well.

with beekeeping you need to get the right things done at the right time. if your life doesn't allow that then beekeeping is not for you.
 

Josh

Gold
782
520
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
Feel your pain! The learning curve never stops, as I’ve learnt this season.

But... check for AFB in both hives. Use a test kit if you can’t get someone to check for you. When the brood is all gone it will be hard to tell.

Do not feed dead hive honey to good hive, not safe. Just get what you can and melt it down.

The surviving hive needs some TLC for winter & next year.
 


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