Season (Adult / Immature):
National Status: Common
Local Status: Uncommon and thinly distributed and restricted resident.
Local Record: Grade 2 See here for explanation
Flight time: Mid May-mid Oct.
Foodplant: Bees wax from hives.
|Year first recorded||1885||1995||1885|
|Year last recorded||2010||2010||2010|
|Number of records||133||31||328|
|Number of individuals||111||29||280|
For the region, we have a total of 328 records from 126 sites. Earliest record on file is in 1885.
For further information refer UK Moths.
Davey, P., 2009: A widespread but declining species in England, the larva feeds on honeycomb in nests and in hives, preferring old combs. In Dorset, the moth has declined, and there is no evidence of residency in recent years. Historically, the species was a pest in beehives as the following old records indicate but even by the middle of the twentieth century, improved methods of bee-keeping meant that the species was becoming rare: Sherborne, abundant in neglected beehives (J Douglas), Chamberlaynes, very abundant in hives where the bees had suffered from Isle of Wight Acarine disease (H Andrewes), Cranborne, in the hives in the vicarage garden (W Parkinson Curtis).
However, the moth has been recorded at light traps on more than eighty occasions in the past twenty years across the county. The wind rose indicates the direction of the airflows on the associated dates, and the strong bias towards a south-easterly quarter suggests a central or southern European source for many of the moths. The dates often coincide with notable influxes of other immigrant Lepidoptera. The moth is multivoltine abroad, and so immigrants may be seen at any time between June and October with populations increasing through the year across Europe.