Wax Moths: Truly Revolting Opportunists

7 Aug

Nature’s a cruel hussy.

Less than 2 weeks ago, my hive lost 95% of its inhabitants to what I now believe was a neighbor’s innocent application of Behr deck sealer. The deck sealer, when you call Behr, contains “anything that might keep insects from biting the wood.” Um, insecticides anyone? Sprayed less then 20 feet from my hive too. Four days later, the girls were piled in heaps outside the hive.

But that wasn’t nature.

Neighborhood ants and wax moths moved in nearly immediately. With sticky tape, the ants were easy to control but the wax moths? My girls have succumbed.

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7 Responses to “Wax Moths: Truly Revolting Opportunists”

  1. Gordo August 7, 2008 at 2:52 pm #

    Oh, that’s horrible! I’ll keep my fingers crossed.

  2. Jerry Anderson August 11, 2008 at 10:36 am #

    Once again, great pictures. Please post this on the Yahoo group site. So many people don’t know what to look for.

    This is a major learning year, que no?

  3. Will September 11, 2008 at 8:23 pm #

    Hi mistress beek,

    I was so excited to find your beautiful photos of the rooftop beekeeper on flickr, having just built a top bar hive for my first colony next season. Then I was very sad, having found your blog, to hear of loss of your bees to pesticides and moths. A tale of our times… Here’s wishing you and your girls a strong rebound!

    Best,

    Will

  4. Ron October 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    I now feel your pain.

    We lost a hive about 10 days ago to wax moth larvae. The hive was just five about a month ago. The colony must have lost its queen, and the moths took over.

  5. Chantal October 3, 2008 at 7:15 am #

    Ouch! Oh no. I’m so sorry to hear it.

    Did you find them almost mesmerizing in their destruction?

    And will you order a new package this spring?

  6. Ron October 11, 2008 at 2:31 pm #

    I’ve made arrangements locally to get two Russian nucs, plus I’ll be getting a package of Buckfast bees from Weaver in Texas. We have nothing against Italians; we just want to try some unfamiliar honeybee breeds just to see how they do.

    We expand our apiary each spring as a matter of course. We still have three new hives, still looking strong as winter approaches.

    It’s a discouraging loss, but no one gives you a medal for quitting. So on we go …

    I think the infestation was even worse than yours, based on what I saw in your video. There were thousands of larvae in the comb, of all sizes. They had literally pushed the surviving bees out of the hive, which was how we discovered the infestation. Nothing gets your attention like hundreds of bees suddenly hanging around the outside of the hive, on the grass. It was like they didn’t know what to do.

  7. beegirl211 January 2, 2009 at 8:56 am #

    Wax moths are the worst!! We had them invade when we lost our hives a few years ago. TOTAL mess!! I’ve just bagged the frames of one of the hives we lost so far this winter to keep them out. So sorry to hear about your loss. Deck sealer?

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