While preparing the new house for the swarm, I decided to conduct another inspection of the original hive since it had been a couple of weeks since my last inspection.
Things had dramatically changed in two weeks. Instead of finding the inside of the roof all nice and clean, it was covered in silky, web-like material, and white cocoons.
Digging deeper into the hive I quickly determine something was amiss, no bees were buzzing around me, unlike the previous inspection. Plus there were only a few bees in the entire upper brood super. Something was definitely wrong! Then I discovered the problem. Wax moths had invaded the hive, and in a short time had almost completely destroyed it.
The wax moth larva or caterpillars, had eaten through almost all of the frames of honeycomb. All that was left was four frames at the center of the hive, where the bees were making their last stand.
After some quick thinking, I realized I had to destroy all these caterpillars before it was too late. Working slowly but vigorously, I removed each frame squashing caterpillars, scraping off cocoons, and removing all damage done by the caterpillars.
The invasion raised the question, what can I do to prevent the moths from coming back and laying more eggs. In my research on wax moths I found that they do not like mint. However, we did not have any mint plants that could be placed around the hives. So I did the second best thing, I sprayed a solution of peppermint essential oil and water all over the inside and outside of the hive. Hopefully, it is the mint fragrance that repels the moths.
Then I thickly spread some Dichotomous earth around the hive to keep the ants out. Now all that is left to do, is wait and inspect the hive daily and assist in any way to help the hive survive the attack.