Monday, 10 January 2011

Oxalic acid and wax moth

Rather belatedly, I headed round the corner to my London apiary to apply oxalic acid. It had been a while since I'd opened the hives, and the first time since the unusually cold and snowy spell last month.

I was happy with what I found. Amidala had 5 (not full) seams of bees, Boudicca 7 (interesting since this hive is usually the weaker) and Dido, the nuc, 3. I dribbled 5ml of oxalic acid liquid along each seam. The bees were not impressed and greeted me in the way only grumpy bees can. I think wearing protective gear is probably more important in mid-winter than it is in the height of early summer! I need to nip out to Buckinghamshire to treat my hive there too.

I headed back home to tidy up some old frames which had been hanging around in a box inside my house. Bad news. Many of the frames showed the tell-tail signs of wax-moth (pictured). I destroyed the lot. Interestingly I had some made up but undrawn frames (foundation only) in the same place and these were unaffected. It seems that what I've read is correct: the moth larvae need more than just pure wax to feed on, and foundation is less likely to be affected.