How to Get Rid of Moths From Beehives

By Erin Ringwald

If you are attempting to raise bees in a beehive, one common obstacle you might encounter is moths. Moths, or more specifically, wax moths, look for hives that have a small population of bees or a hive that is weak. When this happens, wax moths move into the brood combs and eat the wax there, destroying the combs and laying their larvae. Even though wax moths can be a nuisance, you can easily treat the problem yourself and get rid of the threat to your hive.

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Moths can destroy a beehive.

Moth Trap

Step 1

Clean and empty a 2-liter plastic soda bottle and allow it dry completely. Leave the lid on the bottle.

Step 2

Use a drill to make a hole in the side of the bottle that is approximately 1 inch wide. The hole should be located directly below where the neck of the bottle begins.

Step 3

Mix together 1 cup water, 1 cup white sugar, 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar, and 1 banana peel. Pour it all into your prepared bottle. Leave the bottle with its contents to sit for three or four days. The mixture will begin to smell as it ferments.

Step 4

Tie a piece of twine around the neck of the bottle and hang it from a tree near your bee hive. The moths will be drawn to the fermenting liquid. When they enter the hole in the side of the bottle, they will not be able to find their way back out and will drown.

Step 5

Empty the bottle when it becomes full of dead moths. You can refill it with another fermented mixture as necessary.

Freezing

Step 6

Remove all frames that do not have brood from your hive.

Step 7

Place the frames into a freezer for three days. The cold will kill the moths in any developmental stage. Your frames can be left for less time if necessary, but three days will ensure that everything is killed. If you want to use a quicker time frame, you can leave the frames for 4 1/2 hours at 20 degrees Fahrenheit, 3 hours at 10 F, or 2 hours at 5 F.

Step 8

Remove the frames from the freezer and allow them to return to room temperature before reinserting them into your hives.

Step 9

Store hives that you do not intend to use in airtight containers or plastic trash bags to prevent adult moths from reaching them.