Wax moth - a butterfly belonging to the family of moths. It has a harmless appearance, while it is able to bring serious damage to beekeeping.
That is why, it would seem, beekeepers should destroy them with special zeal, but they are in no hurry to do this and even, on the contrary, raise wax moths in separate hives. They do this because the larvae of these insects have unique healing properties that help treat a large number of diseases.
Adult individuals lead a nocturnal lifestyle and live in places where beekeeping is developed, they are pests of hives.
The appearance of a wax mothSmall wax moth (Achroia grisella).
Two types of wax moth are distinguished: large wax moth or bee moth and small wax moth, which is also called shred or bloodworm.
In a large wax moth, the wingspan varies between 30-35 millimeters. The front wings are painted in gray-brown color, combining with brown-yellow tones. And the hind wings are light beige.
The wingspan of a small wax moth is 16-24 millimeters. Her color is lighter than that of a large moth - the front wings are gray-brown and the hind ones are silvery.Wax moths are pests of honey bees.
Mouth organs are underdeveloped in a wax moth, therefore, an adult does not eat, and its vital activity is carried out thanks to the reserves accumulated at the developmental stage.
Wax moth larvae have a white body color, and the head is yellowish. The length of the body reaches 8 millimeters. Growing, the larvae become dark gray, and in length grow to 2 centimeters.
The development of wax moth
The life expectancy of adult females is 7-12 days, and males - 10-26 days. Wax moths live in a bee hive. Females lay about 300 eggs in the crevices of the hive. After 8 days, larvae emerge from them.
At the initial stages of development, wax moth larvae eat bee bread, royal jelly and honey. Older larvae destroy the wax framework. They make long tunnels in the combs, braiding them in a web, so the owners of the hive cannot get them.Caterpillars of a small wax moth.
After about a month, the larva makes a strong cocoon, fixing it in the corner of the hive, after which it pupates. After 9-10 days, the pupa transforms into a butterfly.
In one season, 3 generations of wax moth can develop. The entire period of development of the insect is 47-63 days. If the temperature is below zero, then these pests die at any stage of their development.
Harmful wax moth
The larvae of these butterflies cause serious harm to honey bees. They destroy the wax and make a large number of tunnels in the combs, in which stool and cobwebs remain.Large wax moth (Galleria mellonella).
Through holes made by wax moth, honey flows. In addition, honey loses its presentation. Adult larvae destroy not only wax, they also feed on stocks of honey. In addition, the larvae of these pests can attack the owners of the hives.
From the harm caused by wax moth, a bee family can die, so bees often have to leave their homes.
How bees fight wax mothCaterpillar of a large wax moth.
If possible, bees try to destroy pests. Guard bees catch butterflies and throw them out. Worker bees look for the pupae of strangers, and wrap them in propolis, they also attack the larvae and eat them.
The benefits of wax moth
Although wax moth is a pest of beekeeping, it has unique healing properties. The larvae of these butterflies are used to treat various diseases. The beneficial properties of these insects were discovered more than 100 years ago. Scientists have found that many pathogenic viruses and bacteria are surrounded by a protective shell that resembles wax. Such a shell is highly resistant to chemicals, and enzymes of wax moth larvae can break down this shell. Microorganisms deprived of protection become harmless to the human body.
Scientists have proven that wax moth larvae can neutralize many dangerous diseases, even Koch's bacillus, which causes the development of tuberculosis. In addition, the larvae of these butterflies have become for people a storehouse of vital elements, as they feed on healthy honey. Due to this, tiny wax moth larvae are able to restore many processes of the human body.Adult winged specimen of a large wax moth.
Tinctures from the larvae of these butterflies increase resistance to various infections and strengthen immunity, have a beneficial effect on the cardiovascular and nervous system, reduce fatigue, normalize blood sugar and pressure, accelerate the healing process of scars, and prevent blood clots in blood vessels.
Wax moth tinctures are used to treat tuberculosis, problems with respiratory, intestinal, cardiovascular diseases, to increase immunity and to accelerate the recovery process after operations.