How to Clean Beehives After an Attack of Wax Moths

Beekeeping is so rewarding and yet at times, so stressful. It is easy enough to start and maintain beehives during the honeymaking months. On the other hand, when pests attack your hives, you sometimes have to go all out and “mobilize the troops” to protect them. I am writing about how to clean beehives after an attack of wax moths because that is exactly what happened to two of my hives last summer.

An Attack of Wax Moths, aka Wax Millers or Web Worms

I don’t know how many of you have experienced wax moths moving in and attacking your bees, but if you have, you will know the devastation.

wax moths infesting bee hive

Your bees are working beautifully for you for months. Then boom: one morning, you check your hives and notice sticky honey, broken honeycomb, and an off-putting smell from your hives.

Yep, an infestation of wax moths. These pests are also known as wax millers or web worms. Discovering them in your beehives is very depressing. As if that weren’t bad enough, one of our hives swarmed last year.

If your beehives get infested, don’t despair! It is possible to kill off the wax moths and get the hives clean again.

When are beehives vulnerable to wax moths?

Wax moths usually do their damage in the summer months or warm weather. Usually, very healthy hives with a lot of bees are not as susceptible to infestation. 

An attack of wax moths starts when adult female moths lay eggs in the crevices of the supers or on the comb of the hive. It may only take a week for the moths to devastate a hive.

The larvae eat the pollen and cocoon. As they move through the comb, they open capped cells of honey and brood. As a result, the honey begins to spill out. It’s a very messy affair.

Cleaning Beehives
Cleaning Beehives

Cleaning and Stripping a Beehive

Last week my family spent an afternoon stripping and cleaning this year’s hive in anticipation of the new arrival of bees this weekend. Believe it or not, we found live wax moths still living in the corner of the hives.

We have frozen all of the frames to kill any of the moths and larvae and then carefully took our hives apart and cleaned every inch of them including the supers and frame bodies.

Scraping Parts to the Beehive
Scraping Parts to the Beehive

We were very careful to scrape and clean with Clorox all of the hive as well. We then replaced the foundations with another healthy hive’s frames that already had wax.

Cleaning Copper Caps for Beehives
Cleaning Copper Caps for Beehives

We even cleaned the copper tops by scrubbing them with salt and lemon juices. I wanted to do an experiment during this process of the cleaning and test how cleaning with salt and lemon juice compared to cleaning with a store bought copper cleaner. Can you believe that the salt and lemon juice did much better and faster!

Stacy Putting Beehives Together
Stacy Putting Beehives Together

We plan to move our hives to another location that gets more sun and to plant mint around our beehives. Wax moths do not like mint at all.

How to Prevent Wax Moths from Infesting Your Beehives

Here are a few tips on how to prevent a wax moth infestation.

1. Make sure you have plenty of bees per hive. Combine two hives if necessary. This will make the hive much stronger and therefore better to repel the moths before the moths destroy them.

2. Freeze honeycombs before storing, and store them in a cool, well ventilated building.

3. Make sure your hives are tight to prevent adult female moths from entering or laying eggs between the boxes.

I hope that none of you experience a wax moth infestation. But if you do, just know others have been there before you! Have fun making honey! I will be posting my experiences through the summer of caring for our beehives. Stay tuned in!

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  1. Hello, I was given some beeswax that has not been clean can you explain how I should go about it. I need to wash it so that it is clean for my soap making and other natural crafts, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      There are many ways to do this. There is some special equipment made especially for this that you can purchase off the Dadant (a bee company) website. It will give you beautiful golden clear wax. I have done this the crude way, by heating the wax in an old pot on the stove and then draining it in a strainer warmed in hot water to get it clean. I do this several times then put it in a form with wax paper in the bottom of it. I have made large square blocks. This is not create the most beautiful results, but it is good for basic use. I hope that helps.

    2. The way to clean dark wax is put in the sun and melt it on an old sheet of tin or a solar wax melter. The sun will bleach out the wax to a white color. The slum gum will stay on the tin. angle the tin about 30 degrees, place wax block on the upper side of the tin, let the melted wax flow down hill into a plastic bucket

      1. I built a solar bees wax melter and use two foil bbq tins one to collect the melted wax with a small amount of water in it and the top foil tray is spray painted black and angled 30 degrees. It slowly melts the wax and does filter the wax due to the slow way it melts the wax gradually and drips into the lower tin.

    3. i know someone that pours heated wax through old sweatshirt material to filter out debris.

    4. Mike Matcham says:

      I have been working for a commercial Beekeeper for 15 years. We render between 1 to 3000 pounds of beeswax every year, from 2500 to 3500 hives (if we can keep them alive) The unclean wax is placed inside a burlap sack in a 55 gallon drum with a hole in the bottom and placed in an oven set at 160°. As the wax melts it filters through the burlap and drains into a separation tank, the separation tank has a small amount of honey and water. The honey is heavier than water And drains out through a hole in the tank at the bottom, the wax is lighter than the water and drains at the top. The wax then pours into a purifying tank that has a few inches of water. More junk separates in the water and you have clean wax on top that we pour into 40lb blocks. But on a small scale a crockpot with an inch or two of water in it and set on low will render your wax just fine. you will have to scoop the wax out of the pot. You have no flames to start fires. But you still must must be careful! By the way the crockpot is now useless for cooking.

      1. Thanks! Awesome information. What a fantastic way to do this, Mike.

  2. After my hive failed lat summer I decided to take this summer off and try again next spring. I started scraping my hive of the old pollen and wax but never really did a great job. Anyways moths moved in and I have hundreds inside of my hive which I moved outside and finished scraping what I could. My question is how do I get those hard to scrape pieces out? Is it that lemon salt combo you mentioned? Can I reuse my frames?

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      I hate that you are going through this! Those moths are tricky little beasts!!! It is virtually impossible to get the hard to scrape pieces out. Straight clorox on the boxes should do the trick, but I would start with new frames. I hate to throw away anything and someone else may tell you to keep the frames, but I have been where you are and I say get new frames. Yes, we did use a lemon salt combo and that worked great (better than the cleaner from the store) but I would still use Clorox for safe measure.

      I have been through this before and I would throw away the frames and spray the supers with Clorox.If there is any “trash” on the frames at all I would get new frames. If not you can put them in a freezer for at least 24 hours, remove and immediately put the frames in a trash bag and tie it off. The moths are notorious for finding those frames.Please keep in touch and let me know how it goes. We beekeepers are all in this together and I would like to keep in touch!

      1. If your a small beekeeper I would do this. Buy the total plastic frames. then if this happens again you just pull off the wax worm web and your frames are like new again. I run 800 hives myself and I know the feeling about having to throw $ away.

        1. Stacy Harris says:

          Love this Steve. Thanks for this advice. I am sure that it will help a ton of folks. Congrats on your running 800 hives. Wow! I would love to see a photo.

          1. Hi, this is some great info as I have just discovered wax moths have been into my stored supers. I have all plastic frames. Do I need to completely clean these and sterilize them before I put them on my hive this year? Should I buy new supers or can I put them in the freezer and then use them? I just want to be sure I understand what you’re saying so I don’t infect my hive. I will be sure to store the supers as you’ve advised this a winter.

          2. I would sterilize the supers Dru for sure. I think the plastic frames will work even better than than my wooden ones. With them being plastic, I think you should be in great shape. Good luck! Let me know how things go!

      2. I am going through a similar event with one of my hives. I have been trying to get a solar collector to melt the wax but with all of the nastys in there it won’t melt. I have resorted to a pressure washer (without any chemicals mixed into the water) and after some work it did blast the wax off.

        You may try this approach and see how it fits. If you don’t have one you could try a secluded car wash pressure washer, just be sure not to put loads of wax into the drains.

      3. This is great information. Thanks! We had 2 hives fail. There were a lot of bees in the area, so we thought that we would just let the robber bees do their jobs and take what they could from our old boxes. We got busy and did nothing with the hives (big mistake!). We are getting bees this coming week, and I went to clean out the hives, and there is evidence of a wax moth infestation! Ugh and yuck! I have been looking for information on how to clean the boxes. I thought about emptying my chest freezer, but I have too much stuff in it to do that. Do you soak your boxes in bleach water or do you spray them with pure bleach? What is the exact procedure? I was thinking I might run a blow torch over the inside of the box to burn out anything that shouldn’t be there (someone in a bee club I’m in said to do that), but bleach seems like a better choice. Thanks!

        1. I wish you much luck with your next hive. I think the blow torch is a great idea. I’d wash it too. If there is even one trace of a wax moth left, you will be infested again – at least that has been my case. If your new hive is strong, you shouldn’t run into trouble. I think when the hive is overcrowded or is too large for the amount of bees, it becomes weak. Keeping on top of that with the new hive will be your best bet to success. Btw, I sprayed mine with bleach. Soaking would be a good idea too! Let me know how it goes!

  3. Donald Haygood says:

    I have inherited two bee hives and one has moths as I observed one leaving the hive. I will open the hive and confirm. Additional hives were removed from service earlier in the spring and the moths set up housekeeping in each hive. Having looked at and cleaning the four hives removed from service the moth did a good job on the wood involved. My question is simple, you mentioned the use of Clorox to clean the hive body after removing all debris and airing for a time frame, does this action provide a safe hive body to use again the bee hive?

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      Yes, Donald. This does provide a healthy hive body. It does not adversely affect the bees. We are finding though that we need to replace the frames. We have frozen them which is recommended, but have still had to control the moths. I will keep you posted. The hive body has faired excellently and the bees in those hive are doing just fine.

  4. Melissa Ingalsbe says:

    We have just found we were infested with wax moths. You’re right it is heartbreaking — almost makes you want to cry. We are relatively new beekeepers — I do have a question, we were advised that honeycomb is one of your most precious assets as it takes the bees a lot of work to draw it out. the bees had finally drawn out most of the comb and filled 6 frames with honey in our honey super when this happened. The comb has the web stuff and looks dark– some of it has pull away from the frame. Is there any way to salvage it– if we soak the frames in clorox water and freeze–will the bees clean them up– and use the existing comb?

    1. Donna Blair says:

      We have had this happen so many times…it does make you want to cry! We cleaned our hive bodies by scraping off the wax,webs and worms and washed with clorox. Then we froze the frames that were not damaged so bad and then we just reused those frames, you are right….that comb is too valuable to just toss out if there is any way you can save it. The bees cleaned it up real well and we had no problem with moths on the reused frames. We did have to clean the wax off several frames that were so badly damaged, just washed them with clorox and put foundation back in and then put them back on the hive…hope this helps 🙂

  5. Hello Stacy … Great pix of you putting the hive together !!

    Two old Goats

  6. Adam Christopher wants to know about freezing the frames. Do you put them in loose or put them in a bag or container?

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      We have actually done it both ways. I don’t really think that it matters. They will freeze the same. It might keep your freezer cleaner to put them in bags though.

  7. my bees died late last summer & I never did anything with them till today. I have discovered that I too have wax moths…we have just went thru a very long & cold winter here in you think that this is enough to have killed any larvae & eggs..I seen no larvae moving…or should I just toss all the frames & buy new ones? I did scrape off a lot of the wax & am melting it down & will try to preserve it.

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  9. Tom Brueggen says:

    Your description to me sounds like SHB got your hive first, the bees absconded and then the moths moved in. I’ve never had a colony get taken over by moths. But the beetles will level a strong colony in as little as a week. And yes the smell is awful!

    Wax moths will make a webby mess of vacant combs and hive bodies but again, I don’t know that they will attack a colony and destroy it.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong by any means, after all you saw it, not me. Just speaking from my own experience.

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      Yes, I am thinking that you might be on the right track. We have had success this year with most of our hives, but one and that one got infested with beetles. It may have been the same with the first one we lost.

  10. I am a beginner beekeeper so this may seem like a silly question. I got into one of my hives today and found that wax moths have invaded and done a lot of damage. My question is- do I need to move the bees somehow to another clean hive box while I clean up the mess or just clean one frame at a time and leave them in the current hive and work around them.

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      If the affected area is not your deeps with the queen, I would replace the entire affected super. If the affected area is where the queen is located, you will have to. Bee companies sell a product that can help, but I have never had any luck with it. I hope that helps.

  11. I wish I could’have seen this web site before!!! I started in 2013 with one bee hive. I was able to catch a swarm that came out of my back yard fence. I was very excited and at the end of the year I had 5 hives. Early this year, at spring time my bees started to swarm out and I noticed that it was because of the black beetles and moths. I cleaned the boxes, frames and removed most of the wax. I re-used everything without proper cleaning ( with Clorox, lemon juice or freezing them). I started to catch more swarms ( by may I had 2 more) but soon, they also started to leave the hive. Now, at the end of July I have nothing left.
    It is disappointing, but now, since I have all the required materials, I will start fresh. Do you think I should do the cleaning of everything as you stated, and paint the boxes as well?

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      Hi Jerry. Great to hear from you and yes, I probably would clean it out – all of it. It is soooo disappointing when you lose a hive you have worked so hard on.I would think about replacing the wooden frames with plastic ones too. I can’t say that works, but I have done that and it seemed to help. Keep me posted on how things go!

  12. I am in the same boat as many others above- lost two hives, and stored the whole hive, (4 deeps and 4 shallows) inside thinking they would be fine. I opened them up this week because I kept seeing moths in the room they were stored in and discovered a huge mess- white powdery stuff, black pellets, and moth cocoons everywhere. I have the plastic frames but they aren’t coming clean as easily as some suggested they might. I am working on scraping them down as best I can and plan on hitting them all with a power washer then soaking in bleach.
    Any other suggestions?
    Would it be better to just buy new hives if we want to have more again in the future??
    I spent about 2 hours tonight just cleaning out 12 frames. This is so frustrating! I am so sorry to everyone else that has had to go through this as well. Not fun!!

  13. Vickie Pierce says:

    I had a weak hive, the queen was gone and there was no eggs. I purchased a new queen, but apparently they didn’t like her either she left or they killed her. They had no queen cells at all. (this was in July) The beginning of Sept we checked it and still no eggs or queen, today I checked it and now there is no bees at all and was full of wax moths. Our plan is to completely clean the hive bodies and frames but we burnt the wax foundations and will replace with new plastic cell foundation. We just don’t want to take any chances.

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      That sounds like a great plan! Been there, done that. You are on the right track for sure. I think that will work for you! Very frustrating, but I know soon you will have great honey!! It will all be worth it.

  14. Hi. Just checked two of my hives. One is completely empty but has moths. I’m wondering if it’s ok to melt down the wax ?

  15. I’ve had similar problems as the others. My hive got an invasion of hive beetles in a very short time. I saw a few beetles and within a week the whole brood box was infested. Then the wax moths came in. My question is can I reuse the built out wax foundation if it just has a small amount of moth eggs? Will the bees remove them and do I need to cut down the built out comb for them to do that? I got most of the eggs out. It looks like I need to replace the frames and bleach the brood box before I install more bees tomorrow.

    1. Stacy Harris says:

      Eileen, I have heard that you can freeze the frames overnight and that it would kill any eggs, but I have not had success with this. I would not use any frames that have eggs in them at all and would replace the frames and bleach the brood box. If you choose to freeze the frames, I would be sure to get in all the nooks and crannies of the box for certain with bleach. One thing that has worked for me is to spread a layer of diatomaceous earth around the hive on the ground. This has done wonders to keep the beetles out of the hive. I hope that all goes well tomorrow. Please keep me posted!!!

  16. John Alexander St. Simons Island, GA says:

    In the long run, I have found it best to buy and use plastic frames and plastic “wax”. Disadvantage is that bees may not take to the plastic as quickly as to natural wax sheets-and it costs more per frame. But, if the moths mess up the plastic, you can scrape it off down to the plastic and they will work it.They seem to accept it more readily if you paint a thin layer of beeswax on the plastic sheets. Somehow this speeds up their acceptance and as they don’t have to make so much wax from their bodies they will concentrate on cell building and honey production. I got this hint from The Fat Beeman’s web site. He has lots of good, free advice. There are no easy solutions–you have to work hard sometimes to overcome the critters, and everything you do with, to and for honey bees takes time. If you are a hobby beekeeper one of the real joys of beekeeping is the satisfaction you get in working with Mother Nature, and the new friends you get in this hobby/business. I’m 83 years old and the third generation beekeeper in my family and hope to keep doing this until I can no longer lift those 75 lb.supers of honey!

    1. Thanks so much Mr. Alexander. I am sure this information will help many people.

  17. Tony Velazquez says:

    Hi Stacy, after 4 years of backyard bee keeping i lost 2 of my three hives staring in late Feb. Fortunately, I was able to salvage the last hive by replacing the infested hive with a Nuc and new frames. The bees that were out foraging came back to a new home and I placed 1 brood frame & 1 frame with pollen/honey with nurse bees from a strong hive and they are quickly building up.

    I did throw out frames that were really bad and the others i cleaned by scraping off all the comb and dumping all the frames in a large rubber maid storage tote, 3/4 filled with water and 1 Gal of clorox bleach and let the frames sit over night……Rinsed off the frames with fresh water and this should work. Optional, you can use a heat gun and go over the frames, this should kill anything else that might have survived the bleaching….

    One last note, I cleaned the inside of the Deeps & Supers with clorox bleach to get rid of the wax moth pheromones….which will attract other moths to the hive.

    key to Wax moth is to keep the hive strong and after swarming make sure you either reduce the entrance or reduce the number of boxes on the hive, until they grow stronger and the guard bees are able to defend the colony better……

    1. Great stuff Tony! You are exactly right about keeping your hive strong. The stronger and meaner the bees, the less more likely to lose the hive to anything, especially wax moths!

  18. I have a thought. To clean a infested hive place dry ice in a sealed super or brood box. The dry ice will drop the temperature below the kill temperature, and it will release carbon dioxide depriving the moths of oxygen.

  19. dry ice will not kill moth eggs. Best way to clean frames I use water power wash, lay them in the sun all day, then freeze them for 24-48 hours. I use no chemical. To safely store your hives and frames, use garbage bags.

  20. I came across you today as I got into my hive (I have 4, 2 from last year, and 2 nucs from this year) 3 looked good… one… totally and completely infested with wax moths. All though the frames, I had 2 brooders and a honey super on top. All trashed (I have been out of country for 3 weeks and had not checked them).
    My first suscpicious sign was some funky “dirt” at the entrance of the hive…
    there were NO frames that were undamaged. I couldn’t locate my queen.
    I am super frustrated.
    I took the entire hive apart and spread all of the frames out in the sunlight. I figure the bees will end up migrating to one of my other 3 hives???

    What is the most frustrating is that this hive has been consistently my strongest hive. I am going to trash all of the frames and bleach the supers. Do you think it’s possible that the eggs were in the garage in my new frames I purchased? I had just left them boxed in the garage until time to use them.
    Perhaps I should freeze EVERYTHING. I have begun purchasing the plastic frames, as they seem to hold up much better when extracting.

  21. For frames that have been destroyed by moths, but you want to be sure eggs are killed on wooden frames, has anyone tried putting frames in the oven at 250F for an hour? This should kill everything but the temperature shouldn’t ignite any residual wax. Haven’t tried it…. Anyone else out there done it?

    1. I haven’t tried it, Chris. Anyone else? I’d love to hear how that worked.

  22. I am running 100 hives and every year I find one or two have been attacked.
    I simply use a butane blow torch and pass the flame over the hive frames and the hive corners and all to ensure even the eggs are killed.
    I then replace the colony immediately from a catcher box

    1. Peapuffer says:

      How exactly do you get your hive into a “catcher box”? I feel like Im missing something. I need to clean out my hive, they are recuperating from mites & moths.I was able to get rid of mites and it did kill the live moths, but I have larvae that Im still scraping off the box. I have the box jacked up on a large fish tank stand, so that I can get underneath it entirely. I had a carpet of them under the hive I just received from a person who neglected them all summer. I dont understand how you clean a live hive with moths, where are you putting the bee’s when you clean? The bee’s are doing a good job at cleaning, they are ejecting the live bee’s with bad wings, they are getting rid of larvae. What can I do to help them survive this? They want to live, I can tell!!

  23. New to beekeeping….lost one hive to swarming and the wax moths…ended up burning the frames it was so bad….second hive very strong,active,clean up until now….pulled two fully capped frames to extract honey and found several hard,reddish balls of???? In some of the combs. What is it? No webbing or tunneling of any kind noted and the honey seems fine……maybe it’s bee debris? Soooo much to learn but my husband and I love our bees so much!!! We are not looking to sell honey. We are just trying to support our pollinators and enjoy a little honey:) Any ideas about the hard red stuff?

  24. Peapuffer says:


    Im a new beekeeper. THis may sound like the dumbest question ever, but Ive never had moths and this year my hive is infested. All of you mention the bleach, cleaning out real well and/or freezing… my dumb question is where are the bee’s when you do this? My bee’s seem to be doing well, despite the infestation but Im pretty sure if I dont save them, they will die very quick.

    Do I just grab an entirely new box and transfer them? (what am I missing here?)

  25. What kind of mint is recommend? I have both pepper mint and spearmint. I’m thinking I could plant the whole bee yard with mint.

  26. We took an old hive apart and tried to get the bees into a new clean hive. I now have all the wax from the old hive and I see the larvae of the moths in the wax. Can I still melt down the wax after cleaning it thoroughly, or should I throw the wax away? Read through all your advice above. I am new at this. Thanks you.

    1. Marika, if you melt the wax down the larvae will die so certainly you can make candles, etc. If you were going to use it for culinary purposes, if you could cut the larvae out, it would probably be better.

  27. as far as moths or anything else that needs oxygen to live I believe that burning sulphur in a sealed hive would do the job. also, one might try trichogramma wasp in a sealed hive for a few days, they will find eggs, moths, and any other critters in used or old hives. your thoughts on these methods would be highly appreciated.

  28. Hello, regarding the frames, how extensively should they be cleaned? Should all wax, honey, pollen, etc. be removed and destroyed? Or is it safe to just brush, wash, clean, and return to the cleaned super? Will the bees take care of the rest? We’ve got a number of frames with honey that we’re not sure if we should harvest because of the moth debris.

    1. I think it is best to clean thoroughly but the bees do a great job of it. The reason I think it is best to clean thouroughly is to make sure no moth eggs are anywhere in the crevices of the hive. A healthy hive will thrive and keep the moths out, but when they are already in, it can be difficult. Let me know how it goes and which way you choose to go.

  29. Katie Lassiter says:

    This post was so encouraging to me! I am a new beekeeper and have worried over my bees so much. Both of my hives were infested by wax moths in the course of a week. One of my hives has no more bees and the other is dwindling and, I am afraid, beyond saving. I have felt like such a failure and it has been so discouraging. It is really hard for me to even talk about it! Thank you for sharing your experiences and giving me hope that maybe I am not a bad beekeeper and that these things just happen. I think I may wait till next year, move my hives to a sunnier location, and give it another go.

    By the way, I am in Pike Road too! I found you from the local newspaper article on your new book and I am so glad I did.

    Thanks again!

    1. Katie, So glad to meet you. I can’t believe you live so close. No, you are not a failure! It will work for you. Sometimes it depends on the queen, etc. There are so many variables. If you have a water source, plant near that too. Everyone that has kept bees for any length of time has run into trouble for time to time. Let me know if you need anything. Thanks for the note! Glad to have you here.

  30. melissa gray says:

    We have just had an infestation of wax moths in our hive. There is no sign of a queen and under 100 bees lefted. Would it be worth our time to requeen or call it quits.

    1. Melissa, I would completely start fresh. You are going to really need to clean your hive thoroughly because the eggs will stay in the crevices of the hive. I have talked to so many people lately that have had an excellent hive the first year and then the following year or two can’t keep the hive going. I have my thoughts as to reasons…let me know what you decide. Good luck. I know it is disheartening.

      1. melissa gray says:

        Thanks for getting back to me. Will start fresh and hope for the best. Can we eat the honey that is lefted in the hive? Thanks again, Melissa

        1. You are very welcome, Melissa. You can still eat the honey that is capped, but I wouldn’t eat the uncapped honey. I haven’t eaten the honey after an attack, but I do think it would be o.k. if capped. Keep in touch.

          1. melissa gray says:

            Stacy, We have decided not to eat the lefted over honey from the hive, Can we keep the good comb out of the hive?

          2. Melissa, you can keep the good comb if it’s capped. Sure. I would do that. After you keep the honey just make sure you clean the frame really well. Let me know how it goes.

  31. Melissa Gray says:

    Stacy, We decided to start fresh with everything. Set the good comb out and cleaned it two days later. Still had moth larva thru the com

    1. Wow. I think you made the right choice. I know it’s discouraging, but look forward to seeing how your new hive will do! Keep me informed!!

  32. Melissa Gray says:

    Thanks for all your help with the hive.

    1. Thanks for keeping me up to date in what your hive is doing. We’re all learning together!

  33. Tricia Weiner says:

    What a great website, thank you for hosting and sharing information here. I am a 2nd year beekeeper and sorting through my weak hive, getting wax moth larvae out. No webbing, I think I caught it at the beginning. I seem them emerging out of the capped honey.

    My colony is in all medium 10 frame boxes and I am now down to 1 box, 10 frames. Very low bee count, but still seeing bee larvae and eggs. No way to tell if I got all the wax moth larvae out because there is still honey in some of the frames. I don’t know what to do! Trying not to cry. Do I need to cut out the larvae or just freeze the frames? Will freezing kill them all?

    I have other boxes that have never been used and some already frozen frames. Should I brush all the bees off into a totally new and clean environment? Thank you for any help or comments.

  34. Catherine Strong says:

    Hi Stacy, found a small infestation, obvious larvae in the hive. Can I eat the honey? Can’t see any but if there are eggs in the honey will they hatch later? It just for personal use, not for sale. I’d hate to throw it all away.

    1. Hey Catherine! Great to hear from you. Yes, you can eat the honey if it doesn’t smell “off.” I haven’t eaten it when I’ve had attacks, but I don’t think it would hurt you. I’m not sure if the larvae will hatch. I don’t think so. I believe when it is in a can, the oxygen depletion will stop any hatching. Hope that helps! I know it is just horrible to have to lose that honey. So many people have the same circumstances. It’s so disheartening. Keep on keeping on. We need beekeepers!

  35. selam to all,,
    these horrible creatures ( wax moth) totally destroyed the hive,,all the bees gone and no honey,,,
    We put all the frames out in the garden where the free range chickens are ,
    in about half an hour there is not one larvae left.
    Now we will try this trap,,
    2 lt plastic bottle,,put a one inch hole just below the slope on the neck.
    put inside 1 cup water, 1 cup sugar,, half cup vinegar and 1 banana peel,
    Wait it for it to ferment a few days, then hang it out on a tree near a hive.
    Hopefully the others will end up in this trap.

  36. Mimi Orman says:

    Hi Stacy,
    Wax moths!! Urgh! I’ve lost the two bottom hives to these critters but saved the honey in the top hive. I have a copper full of black, infected comb. If I put it in a black bin liner, tie the neck and put in the sun, will that kill the lavae? Or, will I pour boiling water over the tub full? I don’t want them here again or infecting any other honey hobbiest.

    1. This is a tough question. Those critter are something. Most likely the sun will kill them, but I would pour boiling water over the tub and I would clean them with Clorox. I may even put them in the freezer to ward off any future infestation. Please let me know how it goes.

  37. Thanks to everyone here for all the great information. I am getting my first nucleus colony on Saturday and when I noticed old wax moth remnants I wasn’t sure if I could salvage any of the free hive parts I recently got from a neighbor, 2 supers in the freezer now, clorox bottle and scrub brush ready to go, wish me luck!

  38. Also wanted to see if anyone had creative bear deterent ideas? Had a very large male black bear visist the currently empty hives already. Is an electric fence the way to go?

    1. We started with a low electric fence just a few inches from our hives, first week bear came and reached over knocking the hive over, killed my queen, bears smell honey and also eat the bees, if you have bears you have to have the electric fence in my opinion, and make sure it is several feet away from the hive so he can’t reach over it. Tractor supply has really easy push in the ground poles for fast set up, has been working well for us.

      1. Thanks for the advice and input! THat’s perfect.

  39. We too have Wax Moths and SHB. Bees have been keeping beetles at bay all summer, and we have helped with traps and swiffer strips. Today during inspection I noticed our first adult moths. Supers have 15-25 moth cocoons in them. I tried to remove them all but realized that the honey frames are beginning to be stripped. Capping are being removed. I assumed this is from the moths? Question is this: Can we harvest the honey from the supers? Do the wax moths lay their larvae in the honey comb or just on the sides and corners? I was hoping to to waste ALL the honey and ALL the wax. We will try to render the wax if possible when we clean out the hive.

  40. Thank you so much. I’ve been freaking out about this problem. Now, I know how to deal with it.

    1. I understand freaking out about it. You work so hard and invest so much in your beehives and bees and then they just fall apart in a day! It’s so frustrating. I feel your pain. Keep at it!

  41. Karen Wilson says:

    I am so glad I found your site! I literally just took apart one of our hives that couldn’t sustain being robbed. The other bees were relentless. What I didn’t expect was what I found. My skin is still crawling!!! I had no idea what I was looking at but the devastation left behind. Unbelievable. So now I guess we clean everything and freeze all the frames? I was afraid we would have to burn everything. Thank you for all this great information.

    1. Yes, we have had a lot of luck with just freezing the frames without having to burn them. After we had the attack, the following year we didn’t have any wax moths so I do believe it works! Good luck!

  42. why not bake the frames in the oven (350 deg 40 min. replace foundation. also would melt off and sterilize remaining wax

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