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Medium Dawn Felagund of the Fountain

Ugh, Wax Moths!

The (Cyber) Bag of Weasels

bread and puppet

"About as much fun as a bag of weasels"...when I first saw this Irish adage, it made me think of the life of a writer: sometimes perilous, sometimes painful, certainly interesting. My paper journal has always been called "The Bag of Weasels." This is the Bag of Weasels' online home.

Ugh, Wax Moths!

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give bees a chance
As I posted earlier this summer, our bee colony absconded for some unknown reason. Well, a combination of busyness and laziness (I can't even blame the heat since we had a pretty mild summer) meant that Bobby and I didn't get around to breaking down the empty beehive until today. And we found it infested with wax moths.

We had been warned about wax moths in beekeeping class in the context of not leaving wax-filled frames unsealed over the winter. It has been in the back of my mind to get the frames brought in before, presumably, becoming infested with wax moths. Too late! We did manage to salvage the wax in just over a dozen frames, so we'll have something to give next year's colony to start with. And the good news is that, while the moths had done some minor damage to the woodwork of the boxes and frames, they hadn't actually destroyed any of the structures outright.

It was mostly just nasty. There were cocoons everywhere and webbing--our beehive had a rather Mirkwood-like quality to it!--and moth feces. I should have taken pictures. It was really something to see and took quite some time to clean up. The cocoons had to be pried off of the wooden surface of the hive and any damaged wax torn out and thrown away. There were quite a few--some large--spiders in there as well, which probably thought they'd hit the jackpot. Those I tried to save, since they were on the same team we were (and I like spiders besides).

So we'll start over again next year and hopefully have better luck. We knew going in that beekeeping can be a crapshoot, and that a lot of what you learn--despite the classes, despite buying and reading books--is ultimately learned the hard way. We certainly learned our lesson about wax moths.

This post was originally posted on Dreamwidth and, using my Felagundish Elf magic, crossposted to LiveJournal. You can comment here or there!

  • Ew. I do hope you have better luck next year!
  • I like the analogy to Mirkwood. I hope that next year's colony is more successful. The thing that was bewildering about this is the sudden flight of your bees who had seemed very content. Such a mystery.

    - Erulisse (one L)
  • Oh dear. I'm suffering with you. Wax moths are an infestation I haven't yet had to deal with (*crosses fingers and knocks on wood*) but I'm sure that's just a matter of time. I'm currently trying to beat down an infestation of varroa mites. There were almost none all summer, and now suddenly there are hundreds (literally, unfortunately). Argh argh.

    Glad you could salvage some of the wax and frames! I hope you have better luck next year.
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