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Thread: Frames of honey

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Delavan, WI
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    Default Frames of honey

    Hello and good day to all.

    I found this thread here on the BEE SOURCE forum.

    The person asked this question....I copied and pasted it here....

    "Honey is antibiotic and can be stored for an unknown long period.Whether in combs or vessels.The capping of the cells effectively seals the product within and the bees do a splendid job of it.
    Therefore I would like to know the reason why take valuable space in freezers ?
    It is understood that honey does NOT go bad either way of storage, except when it is not cured properly , i.e. open cells."


    But I could see no answer posted to this question.

    Can capped frames of honey simply be stored for the winter in a sealed plastic bag or container?

    Thank you for your time.

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    Yes and no.... A frame of capped honey with bees tending it is one thing, sealing a frame away in a bag is another. Pests can chew their way in as well. What about mold, condensation forming if temps fluctuate....

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    Another reason for freezing is to kill any moth or shb eggs that might hatch later and ruin the honey.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    I think the stories about finding millenia-old honey reflects storage peculiarities. The stuff that molded or fermented or rotted is gone and we never see it. Only that which was well contained survived. If your honey has just a bit too much water still it can ferment, or undergo temperature fluctuations that allow evaporation and condensation that can promote molds, etc. As far as freezing goes - I thought that was mostly a short-term treatment to kill off insect eggs (wax moth). Last year I froze my frames for a week, extracted, then put the frames outdoors for the bees to clean up. When they were clean I put them in plastic bags on the porch for the winter and they were perfect for my new nucs this spring. In future, I may freeze them a second time just in case.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    If you have small hive beetles within flying range of your hives, storing comb without first freezing it will result in an infestation of small hive beelte larvae and a slimy, stinking mess. Only takes a few days, too. If they are in flying range, it's almost a certainty that there are some eggs in there already. The bees remove the larvae, so you won't know, but if you remove the bees, slime time. Wax moths are ubiquitous as well, and you will have much the same result (minus the stinking slime, but who wants honey with wax moth droppings in it?).

    Comb honey is quite fragile, and attractive to mice as well (and roaches, shrews, lizards, and just about any crawling, chewing insect). Much better to extract and bottle or otherwise seal in strong containers, you won't change the honey at all if you don't heat it.

    Peter

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    Hmmmm
    I have a different experience. I am from Russia and in Russia, honey is known to have antibiotic properties and prolonged shelf life (years and decades). Also, it was used in ancient Egypt for mummification (preservation). In my opinion, if honey was properly "aged" by bees in the beehive, once removed from the hive, it has practically unlimited shelf life. What may happens is crystallization, which, is a normal process for the honey. I personally have honey stored for 10 month in the comb and did not notice any problems. I also noticed, that honey in the comb does not crystallize. But, keep in mind that according to recent research, comb (wax) accumulates pesticides, so it is probably not smart to keep honey exposed to pesticides in the comb... Sergey

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Edmonton AB Canada
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    Freezing prevents honey from crystallization. Some honey will crystallize in the comb in about a month, this happened to some frames of my early honey this year.
    Grow shrubs & trees,...it's good for bees!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    Maybe it depends on the honey. I have a jar that is now over a year old, collected from my own hive by crush and strain, no filter or heat used and its fine. I have a half gallon that I bought at the store a month ago and its already crystalizing.

    In any case, properly made honey is a strong antibiotic. However, being a antibiotic means nothing in regards to pests, mold or crystallization. Most antibiotics are derived from mold in the first place. The honey won't get a bacterial infection, but there are plenty of other undesirable things that can happen.

    If its free from pests and stored somewhere safe from them at low humidity and stable temperatures I have no doubt it would last almost forever. For most people the only place they have that matches those criteria is a freezer. Most people don't have an Egyptian tomb that they can use.

  9. #9
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    Jan 2012
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    Ashburn, VA, USA
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    Great thread! I have a similar question or at least a clarification. I pulled 10 medium frames from a hive this afternoon. I won't have access to an extractor until next saturday. It sounds like I should put the frames in the freezer for a couple of days to kill off any beetle and/or moth eggs and larvae that might be in there. true? Or is Sunday to saturday a safe time frame to wait.

    I realize 10 frames isn't that much and probably doesn't require an extractor, but we wanted to get a little experience with the extractor also. I've done crush and strain on a few frames already. Thanks for any advice.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    I cleaned out an old Beeks garage after died. There were bottles of honey dated 1986. It was almost black in color. The taste was, how can I put except strong honey flavor. Of course this was extracted and not comb.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    Panama City, Florida, USA
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    As long as it is sealed it should be fine. Think about it. Wax on its own does not degrade. Dry honey does not degrade as long it is kept from moisture. So why would you expect problems with sealed comb?

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Delavan, WI
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    Hello and good day.

    Thanks much to all of you for sharing your experience on this subject.
    I will harvest some of the frames and try to store some.
    Perhaps I will try one frame freezer storage (due to lack of space) and one frame sealed (unfrozen) storage,
    and note any differences I can find on this thread next year.

    I do have a question about cleaning the comb after I extract the honey...since I wont have enough bees to clean it.

    I'm guessing that it probably isn't a good idea to store the sticky frames back in the hive body, without cleaning them somehow.

    Would rinsing them thoroughly with water clean them sufficiently for storage?

    Or do I need to completely remove all of the wax?

    Thank you for your time

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
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    Default Re: Frames of honey

    Put the emptied frames outside and let the bees clean them.If you don't have enough bees you can be sure plenty of others will find them.

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