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Wax moth larvae

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Stevo1977 

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Hi guys, I had two supers stored in my utility room that I didn’t have chance to extract as of yet. I looked at them today with the intention of extracting tomorrow and some how wax moth had gotten to them. I killed about 5 larvae and out of the 20 or so frames 3 - 4 of them had been damaged by the larvae, larvae waste, castings etc etc......are the remaining frames now non safe for human consumption or is it safe to assume that if there are no visible signs of attack then it’s safe to extract and consume?
 

Courty 

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I don’t recall ever reading any warnings about wax moth being toxic to humans or ruining honey. I would expect that some wax moth debris is present in frames that are put into extraction, either because it isn’t visible or the beekeeeper hasn’t noticed it.
Honey filters probably remove most debris, I’m sure some bee poo gets through.
I understand how you would worry about a heavily infested comb though.
I would only be guessing if I gave a firm answer. I hope someone with some firm evidence can give an answer.

Courty
 

bobba 

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I don't know if they are good or bad. But safe or not I personally would prefer honey from a frame without larvae in it.

I would consider feeding back to the bees for reprocessing.

Out of curiosity, did the frames have brood in them at some point?
 

Stevo1977 

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No, they were purely for honey so above the QE. So are you suggesting all 22 frames are contaminated or just the 2 - 3 that have visible damage? In total it was only 5/6 larvae.... the damage wasn’t really significant.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

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No, they were purely for honey so above the QE. So are you suggesting all 22 frames are contaminated or just the 2 - 3 that have visible damage? In total it was only 5/6 larvae.... the damage wasn’t really significant.
Just the really damaged ones probably, but there still could be eggs in the remainder. Might be an idea to treat them after extracting, before storing away. Unless they are really badly damaged the bees will sort them out in the spring (unless the moths get to more.)
 

Boston Bees 

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Personally I would freeze any frames with suspected infestation for 24 hours before doing anything else. Then at least whatever you do you know that you are just dealing with dead larvae and eggs. I wouldn't want a live wax moth larvae wriggling round in my extraction machine or sieve ...... just a personal preference though :)
 

bobba 

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No, they were purely for honey so above the QE. So are you suggesting all 22 frames are contaminated or just the 2 - 3 that have visible damage? In total it was only 5/6 larvae.... the damage wasn’t really significant.
I would freeze treat all frames. Then extract any that look undamaged. I recommend holding the frames up to a bright light when inspecting for larvae. Tap the frames too, to encourage them to move making ten easier to spot. Inspect before and after freezing.

As for the damaged ones, its your call. I suspect it will be safe. Honey has antibacterial propitiates. And I have never heard of moth larvae poo poisoning. If it was a thing, I am sure we would all know about it. But if they were my frames they would be going back to the bees for reprocessing.

Im not sating my way is the right way, it is just what I would do. I am sure others would do it differently.

My only experience with WM was in extracted frames. I could see where the larvae had left tunnels full of webbing and cr%p. So I would be concerned that the damage is worse below the surface. Uncapping them you may give a better view of any damage and help you decide what to do.

I would give them a good sniff and have a little taste when uncapping too, and definitely not extract for the jar if you suspect fermentation. Probably paranoid, but it will only take a few seconds.
 

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