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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    607

    Default Freezer storage of capped frames of honey (and maybe pollen, too)

    My hives have done well this year and I would like to temporarily remove some frames of capped honey as we move into the expected fall flow to make sure they have enough room for more storage. Don't want to prompt any end-of-season overcrowding swarms at this point!

    I don't want to add additional boxes at this point and if the fall flow doesn't materialize (which sometimes happens, here, I believe), then I would return the frames to the hives when I button them up for winter.

    I was thinking that I could store the frames in a freezer, but wondered if this would change the honey in some way, either by making it less nutritious (perhaps killing probiotic bacteria or beneficial organisms?) or in some other way make it less acceptable to the bees. I would wrap the frames individually in cling film and set them in hive bodies, hanging from the frame rest, to avoid any crush-damage. This small freezer would have nothing else but honey, so no odor transfer from human food. I would thaw the frames and bring them room temp (or slightly warmer) before returning them to the hives.

    I have a very low level of SHB, completely kept in check by the bees on the frames in the hives. But I think if I separate the bees from the frames, the SHB will go to town.

    I don't harvest honey from my colonies, so this bumper-crop year has presented an unusual situation.

    I plan to exchange the removed frames for empty frames that are partially drawn, or just very lightly drawn and not completed. I have a rag-tag collection of these frames to work with. I could add a few well-waxed Piercos, if necessary.

    Has anybody done this successfully?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: Freezer storage of capped frames of honey (and maybe pollen, too)

    Freezing will help maintain the nutrition of the bee bread. It will make no difference with the honey.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: Freezer storage of capped frames of honey (and maybe pollen, too)

    Thank you, Michael!

    Enj.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    330

    Default Re: Freezer storage of capped frames of honey (and maybe pollen, too)

    I've tried freezing individual frames and putting the whole 8 frame medium super in the freezer. Both ways worked well for me. Individual frames take up less room of course. I put sheets of cardboard between stacks of frames to catch drips, keep level and organized, etc. I did like you said, warm up to room/outside temperature before returning to the hive and the bees accepted/ate the honey with no problems that I could see. Kept some frames frozen almost a year and the bees still cleaned the out during this summer's dearth. Freezing will kill the SHB adults, larva and eggs if frozen at 0 degrees or colder for at least 72 hours ( maybe even less time).

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,320

    Default Re: Freezer storage of capped frames of honey (and maybe pollen, too)

    Rereading what I wrote... Maybe I should have been more specific, freezing the honey will make no difference to its nutrition... it will help keep out ants and wax moths and SHB of course... so it does make a difference, just not to the nutrition.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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