7. Conclusion

Although we include a number of methods associated with the study of wax moths in this paper, there remain methodological gaps for this important pest of honey bees. For example, we failed to find a method to artificially infest field colonies with wax moths. Such a method may seem intuitive, (just open the colony and insert moths), but it is not considering the natural tendency for adult bees to eject immature moths from colonies. We also discovered no methods related to marking/recapturing the various moth life stages, or how to determine damage thresholds for the moths. These are but a sample of methods that would prove useful to researchers, especially those investigating wax moths from an apicultural perspective.

In sharp contrast to applied methods related to wax moth research, there are a plethora of research methodologies related to basic investigations on wax moths. This is especially true of investigations focused on wax moth physiology, genomics, and proteomics. We considered adding these methods to our paper, but soon realized that an entire book (similar to the BEEBOOK) could be written just about wax moth research methods. Including a comprehensive bibliography of the wax moth literature seemed to be a good compromise, but we discovered that this could include many thousands of references. Such an inclusion would be beyond the scope of this paper, but we hope such a bibliography will be published in the future.

In conclusion, wax moths remain a vexing problem for beekeepers and honey bee colonies around the globe. The number of investigations related to wax moth control has dropped significantly, largely due to the perception of wax moths as a secondary pest of bee colonies. Regardless, they remain an important test model for entomologists, physiologists, and investigators from other disciplines. Based on current trends in wax moth research, we expect that wax moth usefulness to investigators will continue into perpetuity.