The Wax Moth: A Problem or a Solution?

An Introductory Review on the Wax Moth; a Devastating Pest of the Honey Bees

Author(s): Lovleen Marwaha

Pp: 1-15 (15)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815123821123010003

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


Galleria mellonella L. (Greater Wax Moth) and Achroia grisella E (Lesser Wax Moth) are honey bees' most disastrous and economically important pests. Furthermore, in comparison to adults, larvae are a primary destructive stage for honey bee colonies. Voraciously feeding larvae prefer to take bee combs, stored pollen reserves, honey, larval and pupal exuviate, slum gum of the hive, wax capping, natural bee wax, and queen-rearing material containing wax in the storage. Larvae bore the hive, constructing silken tunnels in the colony combs to feed on stored products in the hive. The infested combs become covered with a mass of webbing and faecal matter that results in the condition of gallariasis. Weaker, queen-less, poorly managed, less ventilated colonies and abandoned bee hives become easy targets of wax moth infestation. Further, the strong colonies are also prone to infestation, being a potential host for the heavy growth of this destructive breeder pest. However, after infestation, the bee population of strong colonies declines quickly, and eventually, the hive is destroyed. The present chapter highlights the introduction of the concerned disastrous pest, morphology, development, mating, reproduction, and control. The wax moth is considered a problem by apiarists. In contrast, while considering other characteristic features of this insect, the potential ability to degrade plastic of variant types, it provides an excellent solution to increasing plastic pollution. Considering both characteristics of this insect, the present book is titled 'Wax Moth a Problem or Solution?

Keywords: The Wax Moth, Honey Bees, Wax Moth Infestation, Galleria mellonella, Apis mellifera.

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