These waxworms are significant bee foes, even though they exclusively target weak or neglected hives or places where wax tires are stored. Nevertheless, they do significant harm by destroying the wax or confusing the bee population. To introduce this pest, its harms, its way of life, its activities, and the most effective ways to control it, I decided to provide this post using images.
The Global Distribution
The little waxworm is more common in the tropics and below than in the north, whereas the huge waxworm originated in Asia. The enormous, big spreads are present across the Arab world.
Insect’s general description:
The adult insect has wings that are between 14 and 38 mm long, with a gray or blackish-brown upper face and wing surfaces. Males and females are slightly different in size.The larva is the hazardous stage; it is creamy white in color, turning grayish-gray on the sides and back of the body, and remaining creamy white on the bottom part of the head. There is a 3 centimeter increase.
The adult insect has a slim body and a golden head, with the upper side of its wings being a silvery gray to yellow-orange tint. The female can grow up to 13 mm in length, while the male can reach a body length of 10 mm. A little wax moth weighs between 1 and 6 times as much as a huge waxworm.
Larvae: They are up to 2 cm long, thin, yellow-white in color (resembling the larvae of a giant waxworm), and brown on the head.
Damage this pest causes:
On wax disks, particularly the stretched and stocked ones, or in weak cells where bees are unable to guard all of their wax disks, waxworms are among the most severe insect pests. The tablets become worthless as a result of the wax being deformed, as well as the presence of larval leftovers and the materials secreted by the larvae to maintain the tunnels, and the wax must be melted, re-pressed, and printed, resulting in financial losses for beekeepers.
What happen in warm weather
In warm weather both large and little waxworm larvae attack every piece of equipment used to rear honey bees, and larger wax moth larvae may prey on young, dormant caterpillars when living in close quarters with other juvenile wax moths. The primary prey of wax worms, big or small, is improperly kept wax.
The larvae stick the wax discs with strong silk threads as they migrate from one frame to the next, which prevents the bees from moving around and being active, preventing them from migrating to their home, and weakening the entire hive.
Symptoms of a waxworm infestation include:
- The wax discs’ inclusion of silk tubes.
- A waxy substance and dust particles at the hive’s base.
- Tires with signs of larval droppings.
The most effective ways to fight waxworms and safeguard bee colonies include preventive measures, which include
1. Providing weak cells with nutrients or fusing them together.
2. Regularly inspecting the cells and looking into the infection. Using this technique, the first stage of the infection and in weak injuries, the tunnels created by the larvae in the wax tires are cleaned by the tip of the lever and then placed in a strong hive for the bees to work on cleaning them.
3. Using the new, light-colored wax base and replacing the old, dark discs.
4. Make use of solid wood hives that are devoid of cracks.
5. Reducing the hive so that the number of tires is equal to the number of bees by removing the vacant tires and erecting a transverse barrier.