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Wax Moth disaster

GwenrGwenr KentPosts: 140
I noticed some days ago that the bees were no longer flying in and out of their nest box and on closer inspection, when finally opening the box, not easy to do, I could have wept. The nest had been entirely destroyed by the dreaded Wax Moth and its larvae had obliterated the who colony, lots of small bees dead and what could have been the queen. Three years of successful bee colonies and this one was destroyed. 
Can anyone help with advice on how I can prevent this happening again and ways I could prevent the Wax Moth from entering such a small hole into the box. 

Posts

  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,635
    What kind of bees were they and what kind of box?
    Unlike the brain, the stomach warns you when it's empty.
  • GwenrGwenr KentPosts: 140
    They were bumble bees. The box was one I purchased a long time ago and they never used. The last two years they nested in one of the home made hedgehog boxes and had two successful years. This year after they starting using the bought box, I made some more for future use using a diagram from one I found on the internet, but now I know they will not be safe. I have found a site that shows a cat flap entrance, so I'm hoping I can modify the ones I've made to fit one?
  • wild edgeswild edges The north west of south east WalesPosts: 6,635
    Any idea what kind of bumblebee? I only ask as some will have made a brood of new queens by now and the wax moths might not have done as much damage as you think. I've had them take over a tree bumblebee nest in a bird box but the nest seemed to have been successful and the moths were just clearing up afterwards. All part of the ecosystem in the end and much better than them going for a honey bee colony.
    Unlike the brain, the stomach warns you when it's empty.
  • GwenrGwenr KentPosts: 140
    I'm not sure what type of bumblebee they were, large ones I do know, I should have checked on my bumblebee information sheet. I was shocked when I read that 80% of bumblebee nests in gardens were destroyed by the Wax Moth, but I'm still going to try and build the new boxes with cat flap entrances and hope for the best.
  • Nick_MannNick_Mann SomersetPosts: 13
    Don't worry! Usually in the wild wax moth infestation is too late to destroy a nest and as Wild Edges says it's perfectly natural: https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/acv.12363
    If you're using boxes though it would be good practice to clean them out in winter.   
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