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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Lebanon, Indiana, USA
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    10

    Default Storing capped honey frames?

    Can I store capped honey frames and not worry about the honey drawing moisture and fermenting? I know I will have to worry about mold and critters. Seems like the wax would keep it sealed from the humidity in the air.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Pensacola, Florida
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    159

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Yes, by freezing the honey frames.
    Peaches
    The Beekeepers Friend

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Lebanon, Indiana, USA
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    10

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Why would you have to freeze them?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Pensacola, Florida
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    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    To kill the Small Hive Beetle eggs. Therefore killing the larvae before they could destroy your honey crop. They eat honey and poop in the honey and make a slime-like secretion that will cause the honey to ferment.

    Freezing the honey will not let the honey crystallize either. It will remain liquid.
    Last edited by Peaches; 07-14-2011 at 12:49 PM. Reason: adding information
    Peaches
    The Beekeepers Friend

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Hamburg, NY 14075
    Posts
    69

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    You freeze them to kill any waxmoth eggs. The waxmoths will ruin your frames of honey that the bees worked so hard to make for you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
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    Lebanon, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    10

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    The reason I posted this was I was told honey will still draw moisture even if it was capped. I didn't buy that and guess I was looking for affirmation here. Thanks

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
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    2,887

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    If you have a cool, clean and safe place to store it, it can stay indefinitely in the frames capped just like being bottled on a shelf. But freezing it first for a day or so is a good idea.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    27,601

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Middleton View Post
    The reason I posted this was I was told honey will still draw moisture even if it was capped.
    No, not true. I have, at any one time, 3 or 400 frames of honey in plastic clamshell trays, in big boxes, in my TV room for 9 months or more. No moisture problems.

    Why do you want to store frames of honey? Why wouldn't you just leave it on your hives until it is time to extract it? Or are you doing as I do, storing comb honey?
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Mark,

    Do yo have central air and heating? If so, that is the reason your honey doesn't absorb moisture.
    Peaches
    The Beekeepers Friend

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,212

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    What if you store it in a hive body, a board on the top and a board on the bottom; Then shrink wrap around it to keep out the critters, and prevent moisture going in or out?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
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    159

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Do you have hive beetles up there in Wisconsin? If you do, then you will have eggs in your honey supers and when they hatch, the beetle larvae will slime your honey and ruin it. Here in Florida, we have about day max to get the honey spun and strained to keep the beetle larvae out of the honey.

    Once the honey is strained, then we can store it in an airtight bucket or pail or barrel.
    Peaches
    The Beekeepers Friend

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Utica, NY
    Posts
    9,764

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peaches View Post
    Here in Florida, we have about day max to get the honey spun and strained to keep the beetle larvae out of the honey.

    Once the honey is strained, then we can store it in an airtight bucket or pail or barrel.
    I am not following this. If the eggs are in the honey already how does one day or 2 or 3 make any difference? How large are the beetle eggs? Do they pass through the strainer or does the strainer crush them?
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Pensacola, Florida
    Posts
    159

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Acebird,

    I use a 600 mesh paint strainer. The mesh is small enough to catch the eggs, but big enough to let the pollen through. Once I strain the honey, using gravity only, into a bucket, then the beetle eggs either try to hatch in the strained wax or if I am lucky, they will die when I place the strained wax in the sun and let the bees get all the honey first. The larva of the hive beetle does not eat wax, only honey. If the bees get the honey first, then the hatched larvae dies of starvation, or the heat cooks the eggs/larvae and enough said.
    Peaches
    The Beekeepers Friend

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
    Posts
    3,051

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I am not following this. If the eggs are in the honey already how does one day or 2 or 3 make any difference
    The eggs require a certain humidity in order to hatch. Keeping the honey house below 25% humidity is very important in SHB territory. They can pass through many filters.. depends on what you use I suppose. One the honey is filtered and sealed the moisture in the honey should be too low (<18%) to allow the near microscopic eggs to hatch.

    So.. it is best to never let SHB near your comb.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peaches View Post
    Do yo have central air and heating?
    No.

    And just cause I'm picky, freezing won't stop crystalization, it will slow down the process. Not that there is much difference.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
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    3,721

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    >"The reason I posted this was I was told honey will still draw moisture even if it was capped."

    >"No, not true." --sqkcrk.

    I would agree with that. Honey for winter stores is usually stored at the top of the hive above cluster. We all know how much moisture the bees can produce in the hive during winter; even a well ventilated hive. If the capped honey absorbed moisture over 3-5 months of winter, some of it might ferment. The bees go through a lot of work to reduce the moisture of nectar. If it were to ferment, why bother capping it anyway?

    I had two supers kept indoors that I was unable to extract until the following spring; it seemed fine to me.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Right on Oldbee. Capped honey is of low moisture content and then sealed w/ a wax cap by the bees so it will stay at low moisture content. Maybe in high humidity places like Florida this is not as true. But it is here.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Garland, Bladen County, NC, USA
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    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oldbee View Post
    [I]
    I would agree with that. Honey for winter stores is usually stored at the top of the hive above cluster. We all know how much moisture the bees can produce in the hive during winter; even a well ventilated hive. If the capped honey absorbed moisture over 3-5 months of winter, some of it might ferment. The bees go through a lot of work to reduce the moisture of nectar. If it were to ferment, why bother capping it anyway?

    I had two supers kept indoors that I was unable to extract until the following spring; it seemed fine to me.
    OK.. I am willing to learn something. So honey is not Hygroscopic (absorbs water). Its has been my observation that honey place in a very low humidity room (one with a strong dehumidifier) will loose water to the environment. Or at least it appears that way to me. I have not confirmed this with a refractometer... so maybe I am wrong.

    Maybe we are talking about a geographical difference here? Or maybe we are talking about just capped (sealed) honey?
    Last edited by hpm08161947; 07-14-2011 at 06:47 PM. Reason: Reread thread

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Dane County, WI.
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    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    I may be wrong but beekeepers do this [put honey supers in a room with a dehumidfier] when they need to harvest honey supers where there are too many frames with more than 20%-30% [???] of it still uncapped? The honey is good, but to be on the safe side of the moisture content. Geography may have something to do with it. We don't have high humidity here for too long anyway.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,957

    Default Re: Storing capped honey frames?

    I don't live in a very humid and warm climate, but I can store supers of capped honey over winter and they do just fine. Wax moths don't bother my supers because they have never had brood in them. I always have frames that I don't extract for various reasons like they are only partly drawn, etc. and wax moths have never bothered them. I think that they store just fine. I keep some cut comb supers until spring without any problem either. If you have had brood in your frames, freezing might be a good idea along with sealing them so the moths can lay eggs on them.

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