Wax Moths

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wax moth webbing wax moth larvae inside of box damaged by wax moths
  Your first signs of having wax moths can be these webs on the combs. The wax moth larvae look like this. They cause all the damage. This is an example of damage the larvae can cause in your wooden boxes.
The larvae feed on the protein provided by the old brood and remnants of bee's pupa. They will not eat the wax but do destroy it. They are a pest in warmer weather and weak hives as well as empty hives and stored frames.
The life cycle of a wax moth is the same as a honey bee:
egg larva pupa(cocoon) adult

Itís the larva that causes the damage, not the adult!

Wax moths lay their eggs in old frames that have had brood in them.
Jessie torching frames
Jessie with her wax moth poster Jessie showing the wax moth trap
To be sure every wax moth egg and larvae is gone from the cracks and holes in old frames it is a good idea to use a small butane torch. Adult supervision is required! Jessie chose wax moths as her subject to prepare a talk to the other Liberty 4-H Beekeepers. She took all of the pictures of the wax moth damage and larvae used on her poster and this web page. The information is also from her research.

Here Jessie is showing the group how to make a wax moth trap from a soda bottle.This was part of her prepared talk.


Use a wax moth trap to catch the adults.
Directions for Trap:
Cut a 1 1/4 inch diameter hole in the side of the bottle, just below the shoulder of the neck. Fill with the following mixture:


Ingredients for a Wax Moth Trap

1 cup white vinegar
1 cup sugar (any type)
1 banana peel
put mixture in a 2 liter bottle and add water up to 75% of the bottle.

Hang by a string with the noose opposite the hole. Place trap near hives or stored equipment.  

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