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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effect of a Sterol Inhibitor Incorporated into Comb Foundation on Bees and Wax Moths

item Kochansky, Jan

Submitted to: American Bee Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 28, 2002
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The greater wax moth is a serious pest of stored honeycomb or beehives from which the bees have departed. A heavy infestation can completely destroy comb and frames, and heavily damage hive boxes and other wooden parts of the hives. It was previously demonstrated in laboratory tests that a chemical that inhibits insect development could prevent the development of immature wax moths. These studies were extended and showed this material to be unlikely to be useful as a practical control of wax moths under field conditions. High concentrations were toxic to bees, and lower concentrations did not prevent wax moth damage. This information is of interest to the beekeeping industry, both as research/extension and as commercial beekeepers.

Technical Abstract: N,N-dimethyldodecylamine (IPL-12) is a sterol inhibitor that prevents the conversion of plant sterols into cholesterol in insects. It has been previously shown that spraying a solution of the hydrochloride of this material on old brood comb prevents the development of wax moths on that comb. Incorporation of low concentrations of IPL-12, either as free base or methanesulfonate salt, into comb foundation had no effect on either bees or wax moth development on comb drawn from this foundation. Higher concentrations, while not preventing wax moth development, did interfere with brood rearing by bees. This material is therefore unlikely to be useful as a practical control of wax moths.

Last Modified: 4/18/2015