The Wax Moth: A Problem or a Solution?

Sequential Developmental Events in the Wax Moth Life Cycle

Author(s): Lovleen Marwaha

Pp: 31-47 (17)

DOI: 10.2174/9789815123821123010005

* (Excluding Mailing and Handling)


The wax moth (WM) is a holometabolous insect with developmental stages of egg, larva, pupa, and adult in its life cycle. The development coherence of the wax moth is influenced by different abiotic and biotic environmental cues, including the larval diet, temperature, cannibalism, genomic content, insect hormones, and pheromones. The fecundity and fertility are comparatively high in WM to ensure species' survival within the honey bee hive. The wax moth adults preferentially infest the weaker colonies at night, where they live in the concealed space, usually on the top bar of the wooden chamber. Mating usually takes place on nearby trees; after that, the gravid female enters the hive to oviposit in the crevices and cracks to hide from the host honey bees. Afterward, the eggs hatch into the larva that feeds on the bee wax, honey, pollen, and exuviate of the honey bees. Severe localised concealing sites of WM in the hive facilitate specific pest protection in the host honey bee colony, eventually destroying the entire hive and forcing the honey bees to abscond the hive. The present chapter elucidates the development of a specific devastating pest of honey bee colonies, including influential abiotic and biotic factors. Furthermore, the differentiation of the life cycles of the greater wax moth (GWM) and the lesser wax moth (LWM) is also speculated in detail as per available literature.

Keywords: Words: Galleria mellonella, Honey Bee Colony, Wax Moth Development, Wax Moth Growth Influencing Factors.

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