5.5.1. Standard crystal fumigation

5.5.1. Standard crystal fumigation

Per Goodman et al. (1990). Beekeepers often use a similar method to protect stored combs against wax moths.

  1. Prepare a super (a honey bee colony hive box) without bees, containing frames of drawn, empty comb with wax moth larvae. This can be done either by removing one wax comb from the box and putting a frame cage (Section 6.7.1.) containing older moth larvae, pupae and/or adults in its place or by placing eggs and young larvae in dish cages (Section 6.7.2.) on top of the combs.
  2. Place an additional open Petri dish containing the fumigant of choice on top of the frames.
  3. Insert the super into a sealable container. The container must be large enough to prevent the death of the wax moths due to a buildup of CO2. This can be a large plastic container or even a plastic trash bag. The container should be sealed after the super is inserted.
  4. Using silicone rubber and tape, fit one corner of the container with a plastic tube that has a removable, air tight cap. This is done easier if using a plastic bag as the container.
  5. Remove the removable cap daily for the insertion of a Drager tube to measure the concentration of the fumigating agent.
  6. At the end of the trial, the moth life stages should be monitored for mortality and physiological change (see Section 5.1.).

Considerations: A spacer must be used to prevent the trash bag or container lid from lying directly on top of the specimen and fumigation dishes. Fumigation efficacy is affected by gas leakage; care should be taken to control for this through diligent sealing of the container (Goodman et al., 1990). The investigator can determine compound, dose, temperature, and time effects on moth mortality.