Photos of Wax Moths

Wax moths delight in stored or unattended honey combs.

The greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) and lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) are major pests of stored or unattended combs. The greater wax moth causes the most damage; however, the lesser wax moth is generally more common, and can also cause significant damage. The two species tend to coexist, and are frequently found in the same location.

NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia

 

Photo of lesser wax moth with spread wings

Lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella)

 

Photo of Lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) 12mm long

Lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella) 12mm long

 

Photo of greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) with spread wings

Greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella)  with corresponding scale bar of 5mm long

 

Photo of greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella) side view

Greater wax moth (Galleria mellonella)

 

An adult female wax moth can lay between 300 and 1000 (or more) eggs. Larvae emerge from the eggs.  

Photo of greater wax moth larvae

Greater wax moth larvae

 

Mature larvae spin silk cocoons which hides their metamorphosis from larvae to pupae and finally into adult moths.

 

Photo of wax moth cocoons

Wax moth cocoons

 

The adult wax moth does not eat. The damage to bee hives is caused by the larvae which eat the wax comb.

… the larvae leave behind webbing, which is a classic sign of wax moth presence in combs.

NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia

 

Photo of wax moth larvae webbing on comb

Wax moth larvae webbing on comb

 

Control measures

A strong bee hive with many adult bees is usually able to keep the wax moth numbers low. A weak hive with unused comb can be more easily infested with wax moth.

There are various techniques to control or destroy wax moth infestations. For example:  freezing combs below 7.5 degrees Celcius for about 5 hours, heating combs to 46 degrees Celcius for about 3 hours, and treating with pesticides.

For more information on control measures, go to:


Credits: 

This article uses material from Wikipedia:

This article uses material from NSW Department of Primary Industries, Australia, Primefact 658 information sheet:

  • Greater wax moth larvae photo
  • Wax moth cocoons photo
  • Wax moth webbing photo
  • Quotations

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