Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2016
    Location
    Washington
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    348

    Default Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames

    A few weeks ago I took a honey frame from a colony and put it in the freezer to give it back to them at a later time. This was a foundationless frame. It appears the comb contracted as the comb completely separated from the frame. Yesterday I decided to wire the comb to a frame to give it back to the colony. However, the comb became softer than usual after thawing. Hanging this up on a frame was very messy. I had to use a smaller frame to make this happen.

    I've read of people freezing honey frames so I figured there wasn't anything special to freezing and thawing. However, having done this once it seems this may not be a great idea if you are using foundationless frames. Thoughts?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Isle of Wight, VA
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    2,793

    Default Re: Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames

    I do it frequently with my topbar combs. Haven't had a problem yet, except for when I handle them roughly, they like to break off the bar.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Huntersville, NC, USA
    Posts
    259

    Default Re: Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames

    If I freeze frames in the hope that the colony will replace enough for themselves. And then thaw and extract, will that effect the honey compared to extracting without freezing?

    First year and I want to make sure I have enough stores for winter, but would like to extract some if I can.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Traverse City, MI
    Posts
    83

    Default Re: Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames

    Sort of same topic...
    For beeks in the north do you pull a couple of capped honey frames and put it back in the hive in the spring?

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Columbia City, Indiana, USA
    Posts
    222

    Default Re: Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames

    As I understand it, frames of capped honey can be stored in the freezer basically indefinitely and then thawed out for a day or two and put back in a hive. I am pretty sure that those frames can also be extracted or used for cut comb or whatever once they are thawed (without any significant impact on honey quality). Obviously it needs to thaw and warm up before extracting is done. If the honey has crystallized in the comb then extracting is not much of an option, but the freezing will slow down the rate of crystallization, so it shouldn't be a worry for the near future.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames

    If I pull honey frames but for whatever reason don't get to extracting right away, I put them in the freezer. Just in case there's any small hive beetle larvae present. Just putting them in the refrigerator isn't enough.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames

    I have mostly foundationless frames. They often don't attach them to the bottom bars. You have to treat them and handle them different more like a TBH frames.

    Freezing and thawing does not affect them any different. All comb it brittle when cold.

    To get the bees to attach the comb to bottom bars; take pieces of burr comb and wedge between the comb and the bottom bar several places on the frames. Two or three places per frame and you can handle and extract a lot easier.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Boston, MA
    Posts
    413

    Default Re: Freezing & Thawing Honey Frames

    Frozen combs are VERY delicate. It is very easy to break them - I've never heard of the comb contracting when frozen; I've only heard that wax becomes brittle upon freezing.

    TP
    There must be a harder way to do that... let me find it for you.

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