There are two species of wax moth, the Greater wax moth (Galieria mellonella) and the Lesser wax moth (Achroia grisella). They are both pests of active hives, however, they do not attack the bees, they damage the stored honey comb. Comb that is stored in temperature conditions above 80°F (26°C) has an increased vulnerability to attracting wax moths, as the wax moth grows and reproduces quickly in a warm environment. Wax moths will eat the beeswax, particularly the unprocessed wax, pollen, honey bee cocoon silk, enclosed honey bee feces, and larval honey bee remains.
Wax moths will lay their eggs in dark cracks and crevices throughout the hive or in unattended combs. The larvae that hatch from the eggs consume the combs and leave behind webbing and tunnels of silk.
Wax months tend to invade abandoned and vulnerable hives with weak, stressed or queenless colonies.
TransmissionWax moths fly between hives at night.