Waxmoth Trap
Waxmoth Treatments
A Bucketful of Waxmoth
Waxmoth Life Cycle
 
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Waxmoth, also Known as Wax Moth

Achroia Grisella (lesser) & Galleria Mellonella (greater)

Waxmoth are not parasites or predators of bees, but they are a nuisance to beekeepers as they destroy comb that is not in actual use by the bees as the picture below right shows.

the remains of a comb after attack by lesser wax moths Achroia grisella or lesser waxmoth Lesser Waxmoth Achroia Grisella (near right)... Is by far the most common type and by sheer weight of numbers it probably causes the most damage.

Galleria mellonella or greater waxmoth Greater Waxmoth Galleria Mellonella (left)... Is less common, but individuals are capable of doing many times as much damage as the lesser type. It's larvae are so voracious and numerous that they can wreak massive damage in a short time. The lasting damage to hive woodwork is also much more severe than for the lesser species.

The debris has an unpleasant smell, cleaning up the damage takes valuable time and the wax itself is lost as a product.

As far as the bees are concerned, in the natural situation wax moths are a method by which old comb, which may carry disease, is destroyed thus recovering space in the nest for new comb after the abandonment of the original old ones.

Beekeepers often consider the wax moth as a nuisance, particularly in stored comb. Young larvae tunneling just underneath the cappings can cause leakage and weeping of honey. But in general wax moths are only a big problem in weak colonies, or those that are neglected.

The links above left will give you a good idea of how to deal with them, but do not expect to be able to eliminate them entirely, however by observing hygiene and being vigilant you will reduce the damage that they cause to an acceptable level. Those beekeepers who claim that wax moth will kill colonies are probably trying to cover up their own miss-management. Strong, well managed colonies will themselves do most of the work required to limit the pest.

Originated... 24 January 2002, Written... 09 to 11 June 2002, Upgraded... 30 April 2005,
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