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!!!!