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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
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    Lassen, California, USA
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    118

    Default how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Bees have filled out one super so far, of honey. These are packages that were installed on April 13th. I have heard that in the first year you should not take any honey from the bees, and that is my plan. I was thinking of pulling out frames, vacuum packing them and placing them in the freezer for storage. Then adding empty frames for them to fill up again. Just today I added another Illinois super with 10 empty frames on one hive, I will add a super on hive #2 tomorrow, the 3rd hive is not as productive, but probably will be ready for another super in a few days. And of course, I only have one super left, have an order in with Mann Lake, but the Illinois supers were on back order. But I do have frames, have to put them together though.

    I don't want to extract the honey and feed it back to them, I would rather leave it in the frames. Since I am running out of supers I figured storing the frames would be the best thing to do.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Bristol,RI
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    365

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    How built up are they? Like the Pirate Code.. these are more like "guidelines" for 10 frame setup from what i've read you want between 130-150lb hive weight..for 2 deeps and a medium. (anyone have a weight for 8 frame mediums?)

    the whole point of not taking honey from them is so that they have it available. if they have a lot then you can take some.

    have anyone decent at wood working? making a few boxes is cheap if you have someone that could help.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Laredo, Texas
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Maybe you can buy a med super from a beek in your region. Maybe try a local beekeepers association. Then you can just store it right on top of the hive. Then when it gets closer to winter you can judge if you want to rob honey or move honey to a hive that doesn't have enough stores.

    Also making supers isn't too terribly difficult. If you have a table saw or know someone that is experienced in wood working you can get it made. There are a ton of ways to make one and a plethora of videos on youtube.com describing how. Here is a video this guy uses a table saw and rabbet joints. http://youtu.be/jJfpDhNi2Gs

    The 1x8 pine board should run you about $10. if no table saw you could use a circular saw and make the cuts ...even a handsaw with butt joints would work in a pinch. (Cut two boards to 16-1/4 then another two 18-1/8" put together with butt joints wood glue and screws and you have a tall medium super you will get brace comb under the frames it would work better if you could rip the 7-1/2" tall board to 6-5/8") Also you have to put the long side inside of the two short sides for it to work right.
    Last edited by Cliffton Leverett; 06-17-2014 at 09:14 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,599

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Your idea should work, but you could just leave them on the hives huh? The bees will take care of them, they won't spoil sitting on the hives.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Caldwell, ID
    Posts
    28

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    I would think vacuum sealing them would crush the comb and give you one heck of a mess...at least it would already be in a bag though. The wax cappings are enough of a seal.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,624

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Hogback Honey View Post
    I have heard that in the first year you should not take any honey from the bees, and that is my plan. I was thinking of pulling out frames, vacuum packing them and placing them in the freezer for storage.
    Isn't that a contradictory statement? I'm not going to take any honey from this hive but I am going to take some frames of honey from it?

    Get another super and get it on that hive asap. If you feel they are pressed for room, you could trade frames of honey from this hive w/ frames of comb or foundation from your less productive hive.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    If they're filling it out that quick take it off and extract it, put on new supers and if you really think they need it later feed the honey back to them.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,809

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    >I have heard that in the first year you should not take any honey from the bees, and that is my plan.

    While I agree it's good not to have expectations that a first year package will make a crop, they often do just that--make a crop.

    > I was thinking of pulling out frames, vacuum packing them and placing them in the freezer for storage. Then adding empty frames for them to fill up again.

    You could. Freezing works well. You could also harvest some of it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
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    118

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by RayMarler View Post
    Your idea should work, but you could just leave them on the hives huh? The bees will take care of them, they won't spoil sitting on the hives.
    Hey Ray, I will do just that, leave at least 2 supers on them, actually at the most. I will be gone for 3 weeks mid July to Mid August, and want to make sure they have enough room to expand while I am gone, so thought I'd take full frames out, pkg them and freeze, then leave empty frames. They are booming right now!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Michael Bush, thanks for the info on freezing. I don't want to stack more supers, and more supers. I have 3 hives on one, homemade, stand, I have an ant stand, dowels between 2x4's with PVC end caps loaded with grease. I'm worried about the weight that stand can take.

    Another question, do you think 2 med supers over 2 deeps should be enough feed for the winter? I am in Zone 6, "winter" usually lasts from November to late May, early June.

    I was thinking of harvesting anything in excess of 2 supers, but am still leary of taking too much from them.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    Lassen, California, USA
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Naw, I wont crush it, i can control the vacuum of the sealer. So I'd vacuum it just enough to get some of the air out, then seal it.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
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    Sacramento,California,USA
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    3,599

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    May I suggest that when you add the second super, to swap in a frame or two of drawn comb from the first super that you already have on the hives. This will give them frames to drawn in the first super and give them ladder frames to help them get started in the second super that you've added. Hey, do enjoy your vacation!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    886

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    As a guy who as worked with vacuum systems, I'd not try vacuum sealing comb honey or honey in frames. It would be a tragic mess. A low vacuum that is not enough to crush the comb wouldn't remove enough air to kill wax moth larvae or other pests.

    What I would do personally is to put the frames in supers, seal them with plastic, then take a small CO2 cylinder (beverage-dispenser sizes would probably work) and replace the air with CO2. This is an approved wax moth fumigation procedure and would leave no harmful residue. A couple of days exposure to 80% or higher CO2 in that setup would kill anything that breathes.

    Here's admitting that I've not tried it yet, but am looking for a local CO2 cylinder supplier. The method should also be good for storing emergency food supplies. I have used the little 12-gram cylinders, which supply enough gas to preserve a "Homer bucket" full of rice and beans.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    26,624

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    I've seen vacuum sealed bananas too. But I don't know why one would vacuum seal honey comb unless you were prepping it for sale.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Morris Plains, NJ USA
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    226

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    How about something as simple as freezing each frame for maybe three days to kill off any bug eggs and then store them in any of a wide variety of storage boxes from Walmart? Store in the garage or basement; in the fall store them in the attic.

    Myself I'll just harvest the honey (not all by any means) and keep it available to feed back to the bees. This way the bees will be continually refilling the already built cells that I've just emptied. No storage problems, no freezing.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    Lizard Creek, Louisiana
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    375

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Excuse my ignorance but what is an Illinois Super?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    A super 7 5/8(?) tall. Sometimes called "an Illinois Deep" or "an Illinois".
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    45,809

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    >A super 7 5/8(?) tall. Sometimes called "an Illinois Deep" or "an Illinois".

    An Illinois super is a medium. 6 5/8" tall. They got popular in Illinois because of C.P. Dadant who was the main proponent of them.

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin.../WW-619_b.html
    https://agdev.anr.udel.edu/maarec/be...ing-equipment/
    http://www.wvagriculture.org/images/...eepingInWV.pdf
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >A super 7 5/8(?) tall. Sometimes called "an Illinois Deep" or "an Illinois".

    An Illinois super is a medium. 6 5/8" tall. They got popular in Illinois because of C.P. Dadant who was the main proponent of them.
    Wow! and they say lack of standardised equipment is an issue for top bar hive keepers

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,809

    Default Re: how to store frames of honey for winter.

    >and they say lack of standardised equipment is an issue for top bar hive keepers

    Yep. Those Langstroth keepers will act like everything is standard and then there are all of these:

    x-shallow boxes (4 3/4" to 4 11/16")
    shallow boxes (5 3/4" to 5 11/16")
    medium boxes (6 5/8")
    Sometimes I've heard these called "Western" but then I've heard that term for mediums as well (7 5/8")
    Deep boxes (9 1/4" to 9 5/8")
    Dadant deep boxes (11 5/8")

    And those are just the STANDARD ones...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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