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Treatment Against Wax Moth

We can do a lot to help ourselves

Total control of wax moth is unlikely to be achieved, as they can come in from outside. There are two kinds, the Greater Wax Moth Galleria mellonella that in my experience can be the most damaging, especially comb that has had brood in and the Lesser Wax Moth Achroia grisella that I find much less destructive. Both are said to only cause problems in comb that has had brood in, but I have seen Lesser Wax Moth damage virgin comb, although it has taken some time to destroy beyond use.

I have never treated for either greater or lesser wax moth, but been careful with my methods of storing combs and here are a few tips:-.

With care you should find no other treatment is required, but if you have problems the following can be used:-

What not to use.

DIY Moth traps may be useful in some situations, but will not give total control.

We must remember that wax moth perform a very useful function in wild nests, especially in tree cavities where there is a lot of waste material such as cappings that fall to the bottom. Wax moth, being scavengers, feed on this and help bees keep it at manageable levels. In managed colonies beekeepers like to keep their hives clean, leaving nothing for the wax moth to feed on, so they have no alternative but to attack combs. If a colony dies out, possibly from disease, wax moth move in and destroy everything, leaving a clean cavity for another swarm to move into.

Roger Patterson.