Vita’s Biological control for wax moths to save global beekeeping industry millions
Beekeepers across the globe can now have access to an organic and natural control product for one of their biggest out-of-season pests: wax moth. Vita (Europe) Ltd has just launched B401 (also known as Certan), a biological control that is up to 100% effective against wax moth, but is harmless to bees, humans and the environment.
Wax moths can cause huge problems for beekeepers by decimating honeycombs that have been put into seasonal storage. B401, a concentrated solution of the microorganism Bacillus thuringiensis subsp aizawai, kills the wax moth larvae and is easily applied as a preventative measure by spraying a diluted amount directly onto combs just before they are put into storage. B401 will be available globally through Vita’s global distributor network.
B401 has many advantages over other treatments such as PDCB (paradichlorobenzene) crystals which are toxic to humans and honeybees and leave residues in wax and honey.
« Wax moth can be an extremely destructive pest and can destroy empty combs in a very short space of time, » explained Dr Max Watkins, Technical Director of Vita. « In the USA it is estimated that wax moth damage costs the industry more than $5 million annually. Wax moth is a worldwide pest and causes most damage in areas where winters are mild. »
Watkins continued: « We are already receiving many enquiries from Greece and other countries where several major brands of honey had to be recalled because they contained unacceptably high levels of paradichlorobenzene. As a completely natural product that leaves no residues, B401 enables beekeepers to keep their produce pure. »
Unlike their larval stages, adult wax moth cause no physical damage to combs but both adults and larvae can transfer pathogenic bacteria to the wax in their faeces. It is important to target the larvae as the most destructive and harmful stage of this pest. B401 acts by producing a natural toxin specific for the moth larvae. The larvae ingest the spores of B401 which then germinate in the gut and release the toxin which destroys the gut lining, killing the larvae. The reproductive cycle of the wax moth is therefore stopped.