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Oregon State University
Insect ID Clinic


Honey Bee Diagnostic Services

Greater Wax Moth

Causative Agent: Galleria mellonella (Lepidoptera, Pyralidae)

Range: Worldwide

Life cycle:

  • No stage can survive freezing temperatures
  • Adult moths fly to hives and lay eggs in crevices
  • The eggs hatch and the larvae burrow through the comb uncapping the honey and causing it to leak. Additionally the larvae lay silk as they burrow contaminating the honey


  • Rarely a problem in colder climates until July and August.
  • Healthy colonies are able to fend off this pest


Other Useful Sites:

References used:

Root, A. I. (1990) The ABC & XYZ of bee culture 40 th ed. A.I Root Co. Medina, OH.

Printable pdf version



April 3, 2008