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Gross! Wax moths!

I often here less experienced beekeepers say things like “Small hive beetles killed my hive” or “Wax moths got my bees” so I thought I’d write about it here.

As gross as this is, it is important to note that wax moths actually serve a purpose, and that they don’t show up until other things have happened to weaken a hive.

It is likely that other factors include Varroa and possibly tracheal mites, PMS, DWV, a dying out laying workers hive, a burnt out or killed queen, and even less likely (except in urban or suburban settings...pesticides etc.

Whatever the reason, when the population of the hive is so diminished or weakened that the bees can no longer protect their home and resources, that’s when small hive beetles show up to consume left behind food, and wax moths show up to consume the rest.

It is rare that a healthy hive would succumb to SHB and even rarer that wax moths would get a hive.

The exception to both of those assertions seems to be beekeeping with a “hands off” or “treatment free” (aka neglectful) approach.

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