Lesser & Greater Wax moth culture mediums

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***Warning the Wax Moths & larvae are considered agricultural pests and very damaging to native bee colonies, so please be careful if you intend to use these as a feeder insect and do not release these outside your house***

I posted in another thread last night regarding lesser wax moths & was asked for the recipe for the culture medium. I have two which work well, the first give the best results however the second is easier & will give you fewer worms/moths, which could be useful for those with small collections, and both recipes will work for either species of wax moth.

recipe #1

500g liquid honey
500g glycerin (available from all good pharmacists over the counter)
200g brewers yeast
200g wheat germ
200g low fat milk powder
2kg wheat bran or 1.5kg wheat bran with 500g oats

Mix the honey & glycerine well by hand or by food blender.
Mix the dry ingredients together.
Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture mixing well - you are looking for a consistency which is sticky but slightly flaky but dough-like in consistency.

This formula makes a hell of a lot of culture medium so you can either reduce the quantities or you can make one big batch & freeze the rest. If you are freezing the mixture, be sure to thaw out at 30c for several days as the worms won’t eat crystallised honey.

recipe #2

wheatabix method

3 large wheatabix (this is a breakfast cereal not sure if its available outside of the UK but I'm sure there are alternatives)
2tbs warm water to bind the wheatabix
2tbs honey

Mix well until flaky.

Whichever medium you choose you will need to add 30-50 worms or moths to get the culture started. Also some cardboard flats (long straight pieces) for the moths to rest on.

Once you have your mixture (either one) you will need to place a 3-5 cm deep layer in your rearing container. I use large sweet jars but any tall plastic container will work. The top will need to be covered with a fine material - nylon tights work well as does very fine stainless steel mesh, whatever you use make sure there are no gaps as the hatchling worms are VERY small & will escape from the smallest gap, this isn’t a problem as they wont survive anywhere but here or in a beehive but you don’t want to lose your hard earned live food.

Beehives (their natural habitat) are kept at a constant 27-28c so its best to aim for this temperature for the best culturing results, you can drop to 22-24c for slower growth but temps above 34c will kill the culture.

You will know its time to start another culture when all the medium becomes "grainy" (this is difficult to describe but if you attempt this you will easily see what I mean), this means that all the culture medium has been used, when you are approaching this point simply take a wedge of the culture medium & place it in a fresh jar of new culture medium to allow the worms more food. The moths which hatch should be left for 2-3 weeks so that they can breed & the whole process starts again.
Excellent and Thanks !

Made this a Sticky.


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
Thanks for the sticky Philsuma, my very first on any forum, :-)

Just a few things I forgot to mention -

If you or your neighbours keep bees don't breed (or keep) these, they are a pest of beehives & can kill off whole bee colonies, bees are under attack worldwide, don't deliberately contribute to their decline.

The larvae are very fatty so don't over feed, they are a treat not a staple.

The lesser waxworms, most likely to be used for darts are hard to digest - Even more reason to be used sparingly.
Marcus at SNDF is selling waxworm cultures now. I would definitely give them a try for your Tincs and larger frogs. I've seen their production methods - good stuff. Buy some !


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
anyone using waxworms?


"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".
I plan on starting to use them again...great nutritional value and a great way to increase fat stores from what I have read in the past...
If you have lesser wax worms available please let me know myself and others here in this area are trying to find them.
Ed's flymeat use to carry them as did Marcus Breece's son, let me know if either have some. If I find them there or elsewhere I will let everyone know. thanks--Craig
I finally ordered some of these from Buggin Dave's...decent quality cultures and kits. I plan on using the recipes above to make my own media...

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