The truth is that it is not common to receive a call from a customer asking about this – Wax Moth Larvae

Do you know that wax moth infestations are caused by unhygienic management practices and are very destructive and can quickly destroy stored beeswax combs? They tunnel and chew through combs, particularly combs that have contained brood and pollen.

Let us get familiarize first with what a wax moth is? Currently, there are two known species of wax moth that occupy and damage honey bee colonies. The greater wax moth, Galleria mellonella is the more destructive and common pest while the lesser wax moth, Achroia grisella is both less prevalent and less destructive. Both have four stages of development from egg >larva>pupa >and adult.

By feeding on the wax, the larvae of both species ccan cause damage to comb. They feed on pure bees wax- particularly cocoons in old brood combs. white silk trail left by burrowing larvae moving below the cappings of honey bee brood is a sign of a wax moth infestation.

Wax moth larva can live on pure beeswax. Older larvae turn grey and can measure up to 28 mm in length and are very mobile, moves from one hive to another – although this doesn’t happen often. Once they have ended the feeding stage, they will form cocoons and transform into adults while they often eat away wooden surfaces in the hive creating a wavy surface and causing damage. The larval stage can be completed in 19 days from hatch in warm weather.

Wax Moths are a symptom, not the problem, finding them in bee hives is an indicator of something else – they are a symptom not the problem. They don’t kill a beehive. Once you see a larvae that is a reason to strat investigating because they destroy comb and leave behind webbing and frass.