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Thread: Freezing combs

  1. #1
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    Default Freezing combs

    I just saw that someone is actually freezing their old comb rather than trying to keep it aerated and dry. Does this work? If so this would solve a lot of problems for us this year. Thanks for any info you can give me.


    Joy

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    If you have the freezer space it works. It is a good idea to seal it in plastic before you put it in the freezer, this way when you take it out of the freezer and let it get to room temp before opening it won't get all wet with condensation. I have no problem freezing even full frames of honey as long as I seal them up and let them thaw a day or 2 before taking them out of the plastic. I have a big freezer that can fit almost 100 med frames loose or 5 supers with the frames in them, but wish I still wish I had more freezer space. It is a great way to keep your comb away from critters and bugs.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    Thanks, we have the space! I would prefer this in terms of protecting the comb from wax moths! Thanks, thanks, thanks! Did I say thanks?

    Joy

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    When putting combs of honey into a freezer, wouldn't it still granulate? I put two buckets of honey I extracted that was a little high in moisture content into my freezer last fall and when I pulled it out this spring it looked like perfectly creamed honey
    I have four deeps full of capped honey that I don't want to extract plus a couple of boxes with frames full of pollen. It would be great to just be able to store it somehow so I could just drop in frames next spring but I am worried the honey will granulate in the frames and the pollen will go mouldy. I am actually thinking of just throwing the boxes of honey on some hives even though they probably don't need it.

    Perry

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    Well we don't have any honey, we got robbed this season, but I don't want the comb to go to waste.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    maybe you should just extract it?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    Quote Originally Posted by PerryBee View Post
    I have four deeps full of capped honey that I don't want to extract
    Why do you have four deeps with honey? Seems to me that you should have a deep or two for brood, a queen separator that you remove in the fall and then mediums for honey. four deeps for honey seems strange.

    Is there a reason you did this?

    Joy
    Last edited by Barry; 11-05-2010 at 06:41 AM. Reason: excessive quoting

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    Sorry, I guess I could have have been more articulate.
    During the summer whenever my hives looked crowded I would pull 2 or 3 frames of capped honey and drop in frames of foundation in the brood area to give them room (sort of checkerboarding). I managed to save up about 6 deeps worth and this fall I would drop frames in any hives that I thought were light (rather than feed syrup).
    Turns out a lot of my hives are doing OK so I ended up with the left over deeps with capped honey. I do not extract deeps, only medium supers. I have no way of knowing if the deeps have been in contact with meds as they are all I use in brood chambers. I have seen too many frames of honey collected in deeps swapped out with frames from brood chambers because of brood in the honey super frames. This happens even though there may have been meds in those brood chamber frames.
    The hassle of running two seperate size boxes is worth the peace of mind it gives me knowing that I can't make that mistake.
    This is just my personal choice, I am not saying one way is right or wrong, and yes it would be nice to not use any meds but for now that is not a realistic option.

    Perry

  9. #9
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    Portsmouth, NH
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    What do you mean by "I have no way of knowing if the deeps have been in contact with meds as they are all I use in brood chambers"

    Are you worried about having honey stored in a frame which has been used for brood?
    Backyard beekeeping and honey bees.
    www.BlueLineApiary.com

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    Sorry if I am not making myself clear, again this just my personal observation.
    I have watched honey crops being pulled and when a frame with brood is found (if the queen had moved up) they will simply swap it out with a frame of capped honey from the brood chamber. I also know that there had been treatment going on in the brood chamber prior to the honey supers having been put on. It stands to reason those brood chamber frames may have been in contact with the treatment.
    To make things simpler for me I run different size boxes and do not extract deeps. When I am pulling honey boxes (6 3/4), if a queen has come up into my honey supers I cannot simply swap frames. I have to find the queen, put her in the brood chamber and then put on a queen excluder, let those frames hatch out and then let them backfill with honey. Not conveniant by any means but my risk of contamination is reduced greatly (I am not saying completely because bees have been known to move honey around).
    The hard and fast rule for me is no honey supers go on until one month after any treatment (haven't treated in spring for some time now) and they are pulled before any treatment is put on in the fall.
    No method is perfect but I figure if I can reduce any risk, why not?
    Hope this makes sense.

    Perry

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    My 2 cents on worrying about meds being in contact with comb. Don't Treat the bees with anything. Period... Refer to Dee& Ed Lusby in POV in this forum.
    Then you could use all deeps and interchange frames any which way you choose to.
    William
    All About Bees

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    With all the new stresses on bees I don't think it is pratical to say you would never use any medication or treatments. I think not doing any treatments at all is irresponsible and not good IPM. You should be selective about treatments and make sure you evaluate all the risks. I would be very upset if a beek near my hives let his hives become sick or loaded down with mites, which in turn hurt my hives. That being said I am extremely careful about what I place into my hives.
    Backyard beekeeping and honey bees.
    www.BlueLineApiary.com

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    eqnox - my sentiments exactly

    willrich68 - I had hoped not to have this enter the treatment/no treatment debate, please read the last line of post # 8. I admire those that are able to do so and I strive not to use anything at all until it becomes an act of certain loss or survival. If devastating losses for several years (seems to be conventional wisdom among those who do) are the road to treatment free is something I would have to endure, it would probably take me out of the picture.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    Quote Originally Posted by PerryBee View Post
    When putting combs of honey into a freezer, wouldn't it still granulate? I put two buckets of honey I extracted that was a little high in moisture content into my freezer last fall and when I pulled it out this spring it looked like perfectly creamed honey
    Perry
    I can only speak from my own experiences and have only stored full frames of honey for 2 or 3 months. I would pull a few full supers, freeze them and then thaw them out when I was ready to extract later in the season. The frames to me seemed to be in the same condition when they came out as when I put them in.

    I have heard others on this forum say that they take their bottled honey, put it in the freezer and take it out as they need it. They were saying this prevented the honey from crystlizing, but I have yet to try this. I have about 100 bottles of fall honey I need to reliquify and I was hoping this was true so I don't have keep soaking jars in hot water to be able to sell them.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    My apologizes Perry Bee. Happy Beeking!!!
    William

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    willrich68

    No need to apologize. I understand where you are coming from and the rationale.
    Maybe at some point what I could try is going cold-turkey one small yard at a time and see where it takes me.
    That's the beauty of this forum, it opens up dialogue and everyone benefits.

    Perry

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    I totally understand not wanting to lose any hives. It was hard when a new package I bought this spring absconded. I guess I had it easy. I was given 2 hives, that's how I got started,that had not been treated in over a year. I was also tight for money so the easiest thing for my then 2 hives was no treatments. I got up to 9 but am back down to 6 going into winter.
    I wish you the best at all of your bee endeavors.
    William Richardson
    All About Bees

  18. #18
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    Hillsborough, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    I recently extracted two mediums from one hive, put them back up for the bees to clean 'em up and I've just removed one today. My freezer question: I have a freezer I've adapted to my home brewing/fermentation needs and I'd ideally like to continue to keep it at about 35 degrees. If this will be cold enough to protect the drawn comb I'll keep it in there, too, with my chilled homebrew. If I need to take it below freezing, I will, but I'll need, then, to augment my freezer capacity. Will 35 degrees be cold enough to protect the comb?

    Thanks.

  19. #19
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    Freezing the comb helps to prevent and kill wax moths and other things from getting into the comb. If there isn't wax moth eggs or other insects on the comb you should be okay. Be aware that 35 deg won't kill wax moths and it will require a hard freeze to kill them, but if they aren't there now you should be okay.
    Backyard beekeeping and honey bees.
    www.BlueLineApiary.com

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Freezing combs

    Thanks, eqnox. I haven't yet seen any sign of wax moths, so I'll take my chances.

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