Unlikely swarm update

I posted previously that I caught a swarm a couple weekends ago. Went in to check on them today after letting them get acclimated to their new home. Unfortunately, the hive was overtaken with Lesser Wax Moths. The queen was present but the bees were lethargic and didn’t look their healthiest. This swarm was small once I caught it – way less than a normal swarm. Wax moths get in and burrow under the comb on the frame and lay eggs. Then, as the larvae grow, they move throughout the hive, leaving heavy webbing, feces and other eggs along their wake. A strong hive, can take care of them, for the most part. The bees will open any capped brood on top to get the larvae out from underneath and they will kill any adults. My main worry, upon capture, was that it was one of my hives that had swarmed and I had lost a queen.

I finally was able to get inside my hives (I placed a 14 day treatment in the hives and couldn’t open them until today) to remove the remainder of the strips and check for their queen. Three of the 4 treated hives were still strong, and their queens were present. That was a relief, but that’s not all… Once I saw that the swarm queen was still in the hive and could be transported to another hive, I looked at the last of my treated hives. This hive was one that had no evidence of a queen when I treated them 2 weeks ago. I thought, great, I can transfer the queen over and see if they will accept her. Of course, as soon as she disappeared into the hive, I looked for her. It was then that I noticed the newer queen that the hive had created on their own. Chances are, they will kill the newest queen and keep their own. However, I have learned that nothing is as clear cut as it is in the books. I will keep you posted….