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moth Bee Moths

Identify It >   Moth Section >   Bee Moths >

Scientific name:  Aphomia sociella

Size:  Wingspan up to 44mm

Distribution:  Commonly found throughout the UK

Months seen:  May to August

Habitat:  Woods, grassland, gardens and wasteground.  Commonly found in close proximity to wasp and bee nests, and beehives

Food:  The caterpillars feed on bee and wasp nest material, honeycomb, stored food and larval waste

Special features:  Bee moths have olive-grey forewings.  There's a pale pink-brown section in the middle bordered by a brown zig-zag line.  At the trailing edge there's a line of small black dashes.  There are also some small black dots in the centre of each forewing.  The males are generally more brightly coloured than the females.

The yellow caterpillars live inside the nests of bees and wasps.  The cocoons spun by the caterpillars are dense and quite tough to penetrate.  The cocoons are approx 50mm long and are often spun in large numbers side by side.

Bee moths are nocturnal and can be attracted to light at night.  During the day they rest in low vegetation, on walls, fences or tree trunks.  hey're not easily disturbed and so can be photographed easily.

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