Monday, August 25, 2008

Wax moth

Well, each hive consists of two hive bodies with two additional supers on top. I propped open the top covers a month ago to let the hives vent. I never screened them or anything. I made them both targets for wax moth. I'm sure they got into Mary first. She being the weakest unable to defend. The moth tried to get into Myrina too but she fought them off. Next year i'll make some screened vent covers to use.
I saw the worms in Mary during today's inspection. After some major reading I went to check Myrina. As I opened the cover two moths flew out. Not a good sign. It seems like both hive are infected. I was lucky enough to catch it early. The frames had not been webbed up yet. Only a few trails of frass could be seen in the comb. It doesn't help that these are still the old frames. I couldn't tell you how old they are either. The comb is practically black. Old wax, which those moths like so much.
So I'm upset. I essentially rang the dinner bell over the hives. Now I need to fix it. This is, however, a great opportunity. I now have an excuse to dump the old supers & replace them with new ones. One each for this winter and however many more they'll need next year for honey.
So I'll harvest what honey & wax is in the old supers. Three in all ( I already replaced one old super in July). Then burn them to put an end to the moth. I will also begin to feed the girls with food patties & entrance feeders. This way the open space will be reduced & the bees will be stronger.
I hope.

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