Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Bucket of Nasty Worms





Remember that rescue/cut out I did on a hive of bees back in, was it March I think? I got two five gallon buckets of old and new comb out of that old tree and a full five gallon bucket of bees. I put them in a new hive and took much of the comb, especially the part with brood, and rubber banded it into open frames. The hive is doing well I might add but the bees that were left behind raised a new queen and are doing well too.

Anyway I put the comb out for the bees to rob on warm days and after a few days I collected it back up into the five gallon buckets and froze each one until it got hot enough to render it down in my solar wax melter.

Ya'll might remember the post I did about it over a month or so ago?

All was going well and I re-filled my little crock pot of wax and made a couple of nice wax rounds for later use as well and then we started getting rain followed by the polar vortex-thingy and I couldn't melt anymore comb.

I should have put this last half bucket or so of remaining comb back into the freezer but once I had started harvesting some honey I no longer had room for the bucket and the wet frames I was freezing. I popped the lid on it and thought that would be enough.

As you can see I was wrong. I guess I didn't get the lid on as tight as I thought or something because somehow those thrice damned wax moths got in there and when I opened the bucket last night I was greeted with the sight you see above. Only much worse because it had nasty long white wax worms everywhere inside. All that spider web looking stuff is the waste from their feeding.

One thing Wax worms hate is heat though so the reason you are not seeing many in this picture is because I left this bucket out in the full sun with the top on today to cook the bastards.

I am not sure I will be able to salvage either the remaining comb or even the bucket but we will see.

You can see this is one reason you do not want to put too much space on a hive in the form of extra supers or drawn comb because anything they don't guard will become a wax moth breeding ground and eventually force the bees to abscond.

I check the panels under my screened bottom boards weekly to see if I can detect any pests that maybe attacking the hive. Setting a hive in full sunlight will usually help the bees eliminate the wax moth threat because as I said they do not like the heat very much. The moths will typically sneak into the hives at night and try and lay their eggs in the bottom or center part of the hives where it is cooler.

Wax Moths are spawn of the Devil...

Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!


12 comments:

  1. Uh, YUK! Do they easily spread from one hive to another once you have an infestation?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Izzy - The moths sneak into a hive and lay their eggs. A healthy hive can defend itself against them but a hive with too much space to protect can be over run. I generally only have issues with this pest in small hives and placing a hive in full sun will usually kill em off anyway.

      It's not a really serious pest of a live hive but they do destroy unattended comb and that sucks.

      Delete
  2. There is an insect to screw up any day. Those moths must be small if they can get into a covered bucket like that.

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    Replies
    1. Sf - Ya I guess I just didn't have the lid on some part. I never thought they would get into my shop and then into the bucket.

      Delete
  3. PP, I hope you got all of them little pests.

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    Replies
    1. Rob - I am just making them uncomfortable before they die. I will prolly just dump them into a fire here soon.

      Delete
  4. PP,

    Now that's gross........
    Hopefully, you haven't lost a the bucket. As for the comb, I don't know if I would use it.

    On another note, did the pkg arrive okay?

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    Replies
    1. Sandy - The comb is just wax for the melter I am not going to give that back tot he bees. Yes the package arrived. I didn't say anything because the wife snatched it up before I knew it was here.

      Thank you very much BTW :)

      Delete
    2. PP,

      Is this common if you don't secure the hive to have wax worms?

      YW :-)......just wanted to make sure it arrive in 1 piece.

      Delete
    3. Sandy - I have only had wax worms in a hive twice. Once when I put a small swarm into a box too big for them years ago, and another time when I made a split and didn't know what I was doing and achieved the same results, bees with too much space to guard. That is the best scenario for pretty much all the pests... a weak hive. The best way to keep them from infesting is to make sure the bees have the space they can control and guard. That's why I put small swarms and spits in the small nuc boxes now.

      Delete
  5. Wax Moths are the worst. I hate them, hate them, hate them.

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    Replies
    1. TB - Ya they do really suck but luckily they are easier to control than say hive beetles and mites.

      Delete

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