G. mellonella

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Galleria mellonella as well as Achroia grisella (Lepidoptera; Pyralidae) are also known as wax moths. Wax moth larvae consume remaining combs and stores. They are also known to not only infest living honey bee colonies, but also the wax comb storages of the beekeeper (i.e. field and store pest). They damage the honey bee colony by tunnelling through the hive with its honey combs, brood and even through the wood. By reducing the mass of the combs, an infestation with wax moths can lead to bald brood and galleriasis. The moths can also function as vector for pathogens. In general, it can be considered, that an infestation with wax moths get severe, if the honey bee colony was already weakened in the first place. [1] [2] [3]

Ethiopia: Wax moths are present all over Ethiopia (>20% investation level) with the highest prevalence in the months December to March. A study revealed that among the infested colonies, 56-75% absconded or were affected by the parasite. [2] [4] A study conducted by Tolera & Dejene (2014) reported, that wax moths are one of the most threatening pests in the Jimma Zone. Participant beekeepers reported, that 18% of their honey bee colonies were weak and affected by a numerous amount of wax moths. [5] Cleaning the apiary, removing of old combs or hives and strengthening of the colony are considered methods to treat an infestation, or to avoid one with wax moths (G. mellonella, Achroia grisella). [6]

Indonesia: According to Crane (1990) an infestation of A. cerana with G. mellonella can get severe, especially during the summer dearth. This kind of infestation is one of the main reasons of absconding. [7] It is recommended to reduce the size of the hive entrance to avoid intrusion of adult wax moths. [3] However, there is a lack of data on the dangerousness and presence of Galleria mellonella and Achroia grisella in Indonesia! [8]


  1. Morse, R. A., & Nowogrodzki, R. (1990). Honey Bee Pests, Predators, and Diseases (2nd edition). Comstock Publishing Associates, USA.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Pirk, C. W. W., Strauss, U., Yusuf, A. A., Démares, F., & Human, H. (2015). Honeybee health in Africa—a review. Apidologie, 47(3), 276–300.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Pribadi, A. (2016). Hama Dan Penyakit Pada Lebah Apis cerana Fabr. Pemeliharaan Di Areal Hutan Tanaman Acacia mangium Wild. Dan Acacia crassicarpa Wild. Galam, 2(1), 41-54.
  4. Desalegn, B. (2015). Honeybee diseases and Pests research progress in Ethiopia: A review. African Journal of Insect, 3(1), 93-96.
  5. Tolera, K., & Dejene, T. (2014). Assessment of the effect of seasonal honeybee management on honey production of Ethiopian honeybee (Apis mellifera) in modern beekeeping in Jimma Zone. Research Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Management, 3(5), 246–254.
  6. Yetimwork, G., Berhan, T., & Desalegn, B. (2015). Honeybee production trend, potential and constraints in Eastern Zone of Tigray, Ethiopia. Agriculture and Biology Journal of North America, 6(1), 22-29.
  7. Crane, E. (1990). Bees and beekeeping: science, practice, and world resources. Ithaca, N.Y.: Comstock Pub. Associates.
  8. Kwadha, C. A., Ong’amo, G. O., Ndegwa, P. N., Raina, S. K., & Fombong, A. T. (2017). The Biology and Control of the Greater Wax Moth, Galleria mellonella. Insects, 8(61), 1-17.