The Evil Wax Moths

I lost my second original hive, this time to wax moths. It had seemed to be doing well with capped comb and even some honey stores. But last Sunday, I found the first evidence of wax moths, including the moth itself. The moth lays eggs and the worms eat through comb and create cocoons. And they do it quickly…I removed the frames that were infected and put them in the freezer. But when I went back a few days later, there were more and the damage was irrevocable. Today, the hive was completely empty and just very sad. I’ll need to treat the frames and boxes before using them again.

Meanwhile, my two new hives are doing great! I’ve added a second brood box to one of them and they have already drawn out comb and the queen laid eggs. The second one has built onto three of the five empty frames and there is plenty of capped comb and honey. So, at least there is some good news. A healthy hive can fight off most hive ills including wax moths so I am hopeful.

I am so lucky to have a mentor. I called him when I discovered the wax moth damage and we talked through the possibilities but agreed that there was little I could do. He is so generous with his expertise. And I am reminded of how much I have to learn. Beekeeping is definitely one of those hobbies that needs lots of practice. You can read books, attend classes, but ultimately you learn on the job.

This Saturday, I’ll be going to the club’s Honey Extractaganza. I don’t have any to extract but I’ll get to see the process and talk shop with other beekeepers. One of the perks of belonging to a club is getting access to equipment like extractors. But the fellowship of others is probably the best reason to belong.

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