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Maggots in my topbar

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New Bee

Joined: 27 May 2018
Posts: 1
Location: New Mexico

PostPosted: Sun May 27, 2018 10:31 pm    Post subject: Maggots in my topbar Reply with quote

Opened one of my hives today to find that one of them seems to be failing. I checked them about 1 month ago and they were both doing fine.

In the failing one, I spotted no eggs or larva, no queen, there seems to be no honey, where there was some before.

I saw (and destroyed, before I got pictures) three small maggot-like larva on the bottom board. The only other thing out of the ordinary, is a bit of debris, and some fuzzy white material that looks like a spider's nest on top of the topbars, and some in between, this was in three separate areas. I did not see any small beetles, but I was not thinking to look for them either, at the time. any ideas?

Not sure how to upload images, but I have some of the debris...
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Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1857
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I'm sorry you lost your colony. It is difficult to comment on the cause without seeing it for myself and since your climate will be radically different from ours here in the UK their seasonal status would also no doubt be very different.
The "maggots" and web type material are probably wax moth. Again, without seeing them it is difficult to be sure. Hope your remaining hive thrives.

Out of interest, are the hives at an out apiary or in your garden/back yard at home? Having them at home means that you can keep a much closer eye on them and that enables you to learn more but also you can often spot a problem before it becomes terminal. Visiting bees once a fortnight or once a month does not give you much of an idea of what is really going on.
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House Bee

Joined: 05 Aug 2015
Posts: 21
Location: Maidstone, Kent, UK

PostPosted: Mon May 28, 2018 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Kulezi,

I'm almost certain the 'maggots' are wax moth larvae - my hive has recently had these and what you describe sounds like what I've experienced. Have a look under those webs on the combs and you might see embedded cocoons of pupating caterpillars.
The caterpillars eat tunnels through the comb (I believe they prefer used brood comb) and weaken it, so I decided to cut off the infested combs before they fell off the top-bars.

I'm sure someone with greater experience can give you more help!

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