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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Algood, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Question What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    I am a first year beekeeper. We had a drought last summer and my bees ate all their honey so I was told to start feeding them 2:1 sugar syrup in August to build up for their first winter. By October they had one full medium super of capped honey. Our mentor said they had plenty of food for the winter so I should put the super in our freezer for the winter and use it if they needed it. They have done fine so far with the stores they had. My question is, assuming they do not suddenly run out of food stores (they are bringing in pollen and nectar now on the warm days we are having), what is the best thing to do with the super of honey in our freezer. The honey is basically sugar syrup so I know I should not extract it. I am getting a nuc in March and another in May but they are both deeps and this super is a medium. I would appreciate any ideas on what would be the best use of this honey for my bees. Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    If you are not going to consume it then maybe give to your nucs new hives or help a hive "jump start" just a little. live frames out of freezer few days and then install in the new hive.
    Rick Kumer

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Algood, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    Will it be a problem putting a medium frame in a deep nuc? Will they build comb on the frame?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,323

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    > Will they build comb on the frame?

    They might build more comb from the bottom of the frame before the honey is eaten up. You may be able to minimize this by placing the short frames as the outside frames in the box.

    If I was faced with this situation, I'd cut a board suitable to fill the space below the medium frame, and glue it to the bottom of the bottom bar. If you put some glue on both wood surfaces, then place a piece of paper in between the two "wet" glue surfaces, there will be a fairly weak bond. You could later remove the spacer when you want to return the frame to regular service.

    But whether this is a practical plan for you depends on whether you already have suitable tools available. This is also a good demonstration of the value of having all one size frame.
    Graham
    -- The real problem is not precise language, it's clear language. - Richard Feynman

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Posts
    1,689

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    You could put it out and let the bee rob it out. They will most likely use it up making new bees. Then you would have a drawn super to use for honey this spring. Or you could extract it and save it in a bucket to be used for feed later. Next time don't feed so much that you have a whole extra super full of sugar syrup.

    If you put a medium frame in a nuc box between two deep frames they will draw out the bottom of the frame just like a foundation less frame. If you put two medium frames side by side you may need to keep an eye on them to make sure they draw the bottoms out straight.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    centerville, IA, USA
    Posts
    107

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    Well from what I have seen if it has a drawn out deep frame on both sides the bees will just draw the come from the bottom of the frame to the bottom not a big issue IMHO thanks
    Rick Kumer

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    Bryant, AL
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    If you are getting nucs, they will most likely be ready for transfer to a deep soon after you get them. I would save it until that time and divide/checkerboard the frames between 1 super for each of the new deeps.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    4,642

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    all of these are good suggestions.

    since it is syrup honey, i like the idea of uncapping it, putting it in the yard, letting the bees use it for their spring build up, and using the empty comb to catch real honey.
    journaling the growth of a treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    2,025

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    You could extract it and make sweet tea!
    It's not honey but may have some flavor in it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    If the bees are bringing in nectar they may no tbe interested in the sugar syrup if you put it out for them. If you put medium frames in a deep, they will build comb below it. When you take it out later to reuse as a medium, all you have to do is scrape off the extra comb with a hive tool. The only problem I see with that is that it may be a long time before you can get the medium frames out and you won't be able to use it as a honey super in April and May for this year's flow. I like the suggestion of extracting it and saving it if you need to feed this fall.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Algood, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    I greatly appreciate all of these suggestions!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Outagamie County, Wisconsin USA
    Posts
    924

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    SueBee,

    Do you use an inner cover in your hive? Some people uncap a frame or two and place it in a box over a wooden inner cover (with the oval hole) and put the tele cover on that top box. Much like an empty box to protect mason jars with syrup in them. The bees will move the syrup into their hive leaving nice clean empty comb. This eliminates open feeding which can be a problem.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,115

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bee Bliss View Post
    SueBee,

    Do you use an inner cover in your hive? Some people uncap a frame or two and place it in a box over a wooden inner cover (with the oval hole) and put the tele cover on that top box. Much like an empty box to protect mason jars with syrup in them. The bees will move the syrup into their hive leaving nice clean empty comb. This eliminates open feeding which can be a problem.
    Good idea. I've done that before and it worked well. The bees do not view what is above the inner cover as part of their hive, but only they can get to it. You have to be sure all possible entrances of inner cover and above are sealed well to prevent robbing.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    710

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    I think I'd keep it and feed it to the nucs above the inner cover on those. The over-wintered hive, if good on stores, won't need it, they're gonna build up on the spring flow and any comb they build will be extra for honey. Your nucs will be building comb for their brood nests, a much more important endeavor for them to make it through next winter along with your current hive.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Algood, TN, USA
    Posts
    53

    Default Re: What to do with full honey super in freezer?

    I like the idea of putting it above the inner cover! My current hive appears to be good on stores and hopefully our winter is about over even though we had an inch of snow today and a few of my bees were still out working! It is supposed to be back to 60 on Friday. I think I will split the super up between the new nucs. Thanks!!

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