Monday, 14 July 2014

the EVIL MoTHSTER MONSTER - every beekeeper's nightmare


a MUST see for every beekeeper. View the full video and many more on our channel. See you there. 

We had an intruder visit our empty frame of brood comb. All beekeepers have spare frames, foundation, honey supers, entire hives in fact, always in preparation for capturing bee swarms, or to simply split their hives if and when required. This poses a problem for most beekeepers, because many pests love to utilize the frames whilst the bees are not. The comb and the frames remain unprotected and are exposed to many creatures, such as ants, cockroaches, mice, small hive beetle (SHB) and more worryingly the dreaded evil monster, the wax moth! Or as we refer to it in this video title, Th3 EV1L MoTHSTER! 

In this video, we take a close up look at the cocoon of this insect pest which has made its way into our stored #honey frame. Luckily, we were able to locate it and in the end, we had to dispose of it and several of its brothers and sisters. Once they hatch, the damage they can cause is extensive, and not only does it render the frame and comb useless, but there are bound to be more eggs in the nooks and crannies of the frame which may cause further problems to your hive down the track should you deploy these frames without proper treatment.

So, how doe one protect themselves against such a pest? What pest control precautionary measures can you take? Do you call in an exterminator? Do you use harsh chemicals? What is one to do if you find yourself inundated by these pests?

Answer is not simple and there are many different ways you can protect yourself. Definitely do not use any harsh chemicals. Remember, these frames are going to be used in your hives and they form the most crucial part of the bee colony. The comb itself should be free of any pesticides, sprays, or other harmful chemicals. To reduce the potential of a wax moth invasion, you need to clean the frames, do not leave them exposed to the outside world, keep them covered, check them regularly, and ideally, you would in fact simply cut out all the old comb and heat treat the entire frames. Another method that is often used and we found useful as well, is to freeze the entire honey supers with the frames inside. If space does not allow this, then you can freeze them frame by frame. This can be tedious though and time consuming. Each frame should be kept well below zero degrees Celsius (below water freezing point) for at least 24 to 48 hours. This will destroy most eggs or hatched baby larvae and in deed any other #pests and #parasites that may have found a way into your hive. 

NOTE: this will not treat or remove the dreaded foul brood. Burning your hives, frames and sadly destroying the bees themselves is the only way to combat this problem. There is much written about the various form of foulbrood, how to identify it, and the various ways to treat each variant. We may do a video on this in the future also, even though we do hope to never encounter this crippling disease.

So, once you have frozen or heat blasted your frames, place then in a dry, isolated, enclosed area, place a large and tough plastic bag over your boxes with frames, and depending on your views on treatments, you may choose to add a moth ball or two near or within the bag to reduce the risk of a wax moth chewing through the plastic. That however is not our practice, but others have suggested this in other blogs and videos. The choice is yours.

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Music composed, performed and provided by Groovey - Adam Kubát a Pavel Křivák. You can visit their website on: Also, a big thank you goes to Kevin McLeod for providing his royalty free music "Hitman". We appreciate your kind contribution - (