Earlier in the summer I reported that an empty hive feel victim to a wax moth infestation. The frames were nasty and full of webbing and tons of squishy larvae. This gross combo did lead to me finding a way to combine my love of beekeeping and birds:
It took some convincing, but the birds got comfortable enough to approach the frames and totally dug the fat little protein packed larvae (note the black-capped chickadee above with a worm)! I placed the frames on a stump that I use as a tray/feeder photography studio. At first, I had to scatter some favorite seeds to get the birds’ attention and when they landed, they instantly saw the squirming wax worms and chowed down. I did have to flip the frames over from time to time, the larvae would crawl to the other side to hide but I think the titmice, chickadees and nuthatches took care of them. I’m not sure what to do with the webs that remains on the frames. Some beekeepers say to put them in the hive and the bees will clean it off. At night, something has been coming up to the stump and eating all the wax off of the frame (perhaps mice). Maybe if I leave the frames out, the mice will take all the webbing too and I’ll have a totally bare frame?