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growing wax moth larvae

Post new topic   Reply to topic    beekeeping forum -> Foraging on the Far Side
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Foraging Bee

Joined: 18 Jan 2016
Posts: 139
Location: central Belgium

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 7:39 am    Post subject: growing wax moth larvae Reply with quote

Hi All,

This week someone asked me for old combs to grow waxworms for his tropical birds and reptiles.
Apparently they are very nutricious and widely in use as pet food.

All my old combs are started from commercially available foundation (to be replaced by natural comb soon) possibly contaminated with miticides.

Can using waxworms grown from contaminated wax cause harm to precious birds and reptiles?

There must be some beekeepers out there that also keep birds and reptiles.
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Site Admin

Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1856
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Wed Feb 10, 2016 12:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my opinion, even with natural comb, you cannot be sure that it is not contaminated by pesticides picked up when the bees are foraging agricultural crops, so I'm not convinced that "natural" brood comb can automatically be assumed to be healthier unless you live in a remote location. Our whole system is now contaminated with these chemicals, so I think you have to be pragmatic about it and accept that there is a level of unwanted chemicals in pretty much everything including water. Having said that, nature is showing that it has the ability to break down these chemicals in time and perhaps the wax moth is part of that system.... I was watching a program recently about fungi and how they are using them on chemical spills etc to break down toxic hydrocarbons. If it was me, I would probably be reasonably happy to give him the combs. If they are farming these wax moths for pet food commercially, I can hardly imagine they are worrying too much about the source of comb/wax they are using.

Just my thoughts

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