Wax moth problem

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8,886
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keep them on the hive until temps drop low enough. typically above a spacer.
as long as temps are cool wax moth tend not to get in.

how long have you been beekeeping?
 
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North Canterbury
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Been Commercial beekeeping for over 10 years, had my personal hives for about 7 years, and I also manage other people hives as well.
The supers (from my personal hives) were taken off for harvest, extracted them and put them into storage (wrapped up).
But for the last 2 years we have had a really bad problem with wax moth.
My work is also having an issues with wax moth.
 

Alastair

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Wax moths do very poorly in pure white comb with no pollen. So keep those ones separate from any darks. If there's darks, that will give the larvae the fuel they need to damage the white combs as well.

Wrapping is bad, the more ventilation the better.

Store in the coldest possible place.

Darks should be stacked separately. Me, if there is an issue I put a fume board on top of the stack with some formic acid on it. Kills the larvae dead and is non residual. ie it evaporates.
 
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NickWallingford

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There was research some years back indicating that wax moths prefer to enter a stack of supers from the top - and if here is a significant 'breeze' coming up through the stack, they don't much care for it. Back years ago, some bkprs built storage sheds with a slatted floor covered with fine mesh (so the moths couldn't come in from the bottom). The air circulating/rising upward through the stacks helped to reduce the wax moth introductions. And a mesh on the top of the stack, too, I think.
 
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we used to store thousands of boxes of mostly manuka every year to feed back to the bees.it was put into large stacks and then covered with polythene and gassed with methyl bromide . This is a nasty greenhouse gas and also extremely toxic. In later years we just took the boxes down to an industrial freezer. You can bring them home as soon as daytime temperatures drop, normally this is around may. Wax moth can become so numerous that they create their own heat and in that sort of situation they will destroy everything. We always had some damage in our combs which we store outside on pallets with plenty of ventilation but mostly the damage was minimal and not worth the cost of doing something about it. Keeping dark and pollen filled frames out of the mix certainly helps.
on a smaller scale freezing everything for a week and then sealing to stop reinfection does the trick nicely but absolutely sure you don't leave any holes. We have two types of wax moth in New Zealand with the greater wax moth doing most of the damage but the lesser wax moth will survive on white combs and will even occasionally chew on straight foundation wax.
both serve a useful purpose cleaning up dead feral hives so they are not all bad.
 
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Alastair

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We have two types of wax moth in New Zealand with the greater wax moth doing most of the damage but the lesser wax moth will survive on white combs and will even occasionally chew on straight foundation wax.

Interesting thing about that, when I was in Leeston, (just south of Christchurch), we had plenty of lesser wax moths, but no greater ones at all, I think the winter temperatures were too low for them to survive.

But here in Auckland I see some lesser wax moths, but the majority of them are the big ones. Which will even eat into your boxes to make a space to pupate.

Whether it's true or not I don't know, never personally did the experiment. But I read that freezing will not necessarily kill lesser wax moths. A temperature down to minus 5 will not kill them, they recommended a temperature lower than minus 8. That was just something I read in a magazine so don't know how reliable, but I have heard people say they froze their stuff but still had wax moths survive.
 
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but I have heard people say they froze their stuff but still had wax moths survive.
one of the catches is freezing only kills the eggs. when they put the boxes in storage wax moth can get in a lay in them again.

But for the last 2 years we have had a really bad problem with wax moth.
My work is also having an issues with wax moth.
it depends on when the problem is occurring.
if they are getting blown in winter then often its a problem of storing to early. storing straight after extraction can mean its still warm. they need to be put onto hives to be looked after until temps drop. the other is sheds are to hot. with some of the warm winters the sheds are getting heated to much during the day.
also clean the yard up. the less gear thats around for them to get into and breed the better.
if its only been in the last few years, check you havn't got bee sites down the road. if people are walking away from hives they could be leaving piles of dead outs which wax moth will breed well in.

if your getting problems in spring, its generally because of not getting the supers out into the field fast enough. thats the problem we typically have because our sheds warm up, but there is not much happening in the hives so they don't need supers. sometimes you just have to throw it all on the hives even if they don't need it.
 
8,886
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maungaturoto
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But for the last 2 years we have had a really bad problem with wax moth.
My work is also having an issues with wax moth.
i forgot one.
once extracted get them back on the hive asap. don't leave the stickies sitting around.
a long time ago we had a new beek who left his stickies at the extractors for months. then he put his nose in the air and complained about the wax moth. he is no longer a beek surprising enough.
 
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Te Horo
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Wax moths do very poorly in pure white comb with no pollen. So keep those ones separate from any darks. If there's darks, that will give the larvae the fuel they need to damage the white combs as well.

Wrapping is bad, the more ventilation the better.

Store in the coldest possible place.

Darks should be stacked separately. Me, if there is an issue I put a fume board on top of the stack with some formic acid on it. Kills the larvae dead and is non residual. ie it evaporates.
Is using FA legal in this form, I gather you mix with water and put on the fume board??
 

Alastair

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There is no law against it.

The FA I have is 85%, to use it I dilute to 50%, that is just pure habit because most of the recipes for using it for mites which I used to do are for FA at 50%.

For moth control in stacks of combs over winter no need to be very scientific, I just squirt 1/2 a cup or so onto the fume board and put it over the stack. Only thing to bear in mind is FA vapor is heavier than air and goes straight down through the combs. So to do a good job the FA has to be spread from one edge of the board to the other, to get coverage of all combs.

I do this in stacks of darks, only if they get a moth problem. For stacks of whites I just forget them, moths are a non issue long as there are no dark combs or pollen in the stack.
 
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There is no law against it.

The FA I have is 85%, to use it I dilute to 50%, that is just pure habit because most of the recipes for using it for mites which I used to do are for FA at 50%.

For moth control in stacks of combs over winter no need to be very scientific, I just squirt 1/2 a cup or so onto the fume board and put it over the stack. Only thing to bear in mind is FA vapor is heavier than air and goes straight down through the combs. So to do a good job the FA has to be spread from one edge of the board to the other, to get coverage of all combs.

I do this in stacks of darks, only if they get a moth problem. For stacks of whites I just forget them, moths are a non issue long as there are no dark combs or pollen in the stack.
whats the equation to go from 85% to 50% please
 

Alastair

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To 10 liters of 85% FA you add 7 liters of water to end up with 17 liters of 50% FA

Note - FA slowly degrades and an 85% mix a year ago will be less than 85% now. Also, any impurities in the water you add will increase the speed of the breakdown.

Luckily for our purposes, getting the % exactly right is not critical, long as it's in the ballpark.

But if you want to know exactly, a floating hydrometer will tell you.
 

Alastair

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Just to help people working on different percentages the way I work it out is this -

I start with a theoretical ten liters. So at 85%, that would mean 8.5 liters of pure FA. So to dilute 8.5 liters FA to 50% (1/2 strength), we would need the same amount of water, ie, 8.5 liters of water to make it up to a total of 17 liters total. The mix is already ten liters counting the water that is in it, so we add another 7 liters water.

There is also a web page where it can be calculated by a (probably better) way here Alcohol Dilution Calculator - How to Dilute a Moonshiner
 
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