Updated: Feb 19
Wax Moths are nasty little creatures. They are really good at destroying unprotected equipment. It is not normal to see Wax moths in healthy hives. This is an indicator that your hive is weak.
Strong, healthy hives will manage wax moths and beetles just fine. Many new beekeepers think that their hive was killed by these pests when they go to check their hive, finding no bees and the boxes full of these pests. Wax moths and beetles are only a product of a bigger problem. They move into a hive once it has gotten so weak they cannot defend itself. Only too often this is the result of Varroa. See: Varroa
It can also be caused if a hive lost a queen and was unsuccessful in raising a new one. As the population dwindles these pests will move in and finish the job.
You will be able to tell if your hive has wax moths by their webbed tunnels.
As you can see, they really can create some problems. Usually they move into empty equipment and weakened hives. If you keep your hives strong you shouldn't have issues with them.
Wax moth and Hive beetles both produce a larva. Hive beetle larva is slimy, they do not create webbing. Wax moth larva will die if you freeze it. If the equipment is not to bad looking, it can be salvaged. Freeze it and then scrape out the webbing.
You can store comb with Moth Crystals. Do not use moth balls, the chemical used in mothballs will kill your bees. When you take your equipment off Moth Crystals, let it air a few days before you put it back on y0ur hives.
To store your equipment on Moth Crystals, place some of the product in a sock. You will need to stack your boxes over the Crystals. The Crystals will slowly dissolve and fumigate your boxes. Make sure they are sealed up to keep the fumes in the boxes. Check and renew the Crystals every month or so.