Where and how to store drawn comb
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Warriors Mark, PA
    Posts
    179

    Default Where and how to store drawn comb

    Hi guys looking for advice on how to store drawn comb? I am trying to get my bees to draw all my frames out so it's easier on them next yr. and just found out they can't just be stored due to pests. I figured mice would be an issue which I'm not worried about.

    What do other do with their drawn frames after removing from the hive?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,180

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    putting them in a freezer is a good way to protect them from pests if you have the room.

    during winter in your part of the country they can be kept outside and closed off to prevent mice from getting in.

    i'm a little unconventional in that i put my supers back on the hives after extracting and allow the bees protect them year round.

    the drawback with this is it creates a lot of unused space for the bees to protect but so far i haven't had issues with pests, save one exception when wax moths infested a hive that had gone queenless and dwindled before i realized it.

    i am in small hive beetle country so i keep a beetle blaster trap in every box and so far i haven't had a problem with them.

    bt aizawai is useful for protecting stored frames from wax moths. i use it on frames of drawn comb that i put in my swarm traps and so far so good with that.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Warriors Mark, PA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    I am looking into a freezer right now. Anyone else with ideas or what works for u? Thanks for the input

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,034

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Squarepeg
    Do you store your empty comb on top of the hives below the inner cover and does it get below freezing for any extended periods where you are?
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,180

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    yes gww, the empty drawn comb (extracted supers) are placed at the top of the stack.

    it wouldn't hurt to have one at the bottom like walt wright use to do, but i'm too lazy to put one down there and then have to bring it back up.

    i've built up enough drawn comb such that each hive will have about 4 medium supers above a single deep with the top 2 supers being pretty much empty going into winter.

    this empty comb will be used for checkerboarding and opening up the brood nest starting in late february.

    the average temperature here in the coldest part of winter is about 40. we typically have some cold spells where we might stay below freezing for a few days at the most.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Concord, NC
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    I have had good luck freezing the frames, then placing them in large Tupperware bins. Seal them tight and store in a shed.
    Tom
    Tater Road Apiary

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    4,034

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Square
    Thanks for answering my question. I like the ideal but think we might be just cold enough that it might not work where I am. It probly would work if I put them on the bottom. I still got another year before I have enough drawn comb to worry about and so have time to think on it.
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Squarepeg, That is an interesting way to store supers. I have not heard of anyone in our bee club around here, in northern Missouri, doing that. That would be much more convenient than trying to find space in the garage.

    I have always just waited until after the first frost and brought them into the garage. Waiting until after the first frost hopefully eliminates the wax moth possibility. The garage is attached to the house with a concrete floor. I usually stack them on the floor 7 or 8 high and put a screened board on top. I have not had a problem doing this, it just takes up space and I have to move them.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Bakersville, NC
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    I had good success last winter freezing the whole dry super 48 hrs, making sure they were nice and dry after thawing (fan and dehumidifier in my workshop) then put each super in a CLEAR lawn/leaf plastic garbage bags with desiccant pack made from silica cat litter stapled in a paper towel. The packs were about fist sized.

    The desiccant prevented any mold and the clear individual bags were easy to spot check without opening. There was one where a survivor moth appeared inside so I popped the whole thing back in and out of the freezer and had no damage to comb.

    Because my storage area in the basement can have humidity issues during wet weather, the desiccant packs have been great and prevented mold on the comb which I had one winter before I used them.
    -- BlueRidgeBee: dozen-ish hives & nucs, Western NC Mtns,
    Zone6, Elev. 3004ft, chem-free IPM since 2011

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Kamloops, BC, Canada
    Posts
    1,407

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    I have all mediums and also make lots of nucs. Extracted comb gets given to the nucs so they don't have to work so hard building up.

    I haven't had lots of comb to store over winter so far.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Location
    Fayette, IL
    Posts
    68

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    I am in Illinois, about the latitude of St. Louis. I use paramoth drawers. You just stack the boxes with frames inside and add a drawer with moth crystals about every five or so boxes.

    I place a pallet down, place a piece of 1/2" ply on top, then stack the boxes on that. About five boxes high and you place a drawer on with moth crystals. You could stack as high as you want, just add a drawer about every fifth box. If you have any gaps between boxes, you can use duct tape to close them off. You do have to add crystals periodically, more frequently the warmer it gets.

    When you need a box of frames, you do have to let them air, I usually get them out and allow 24hrs to air.

    Dadant Paramoth Drawer, other suppliers also sell these.
    -David Zone 6a

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Sawyer County,WI USA
    Posts
    365

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Gough View Post
    Squarepeg, That is an interesting way to store supers. I have not heard of anyone in our bee club around here, in northern Missouri, doing that. That would be much more convenient than trying to find space in the garage.

    I have always just waited until after the first frost and brought them into the garage. Waiting until after the first frost hopefully eliminates the wax moth possibility. The garage is attached to the house with a concrete floor. I usually stack them on the floor 7 or 8 high and put a screened board on top. I have not had a problem doing this, it just takes up space and I have to move them.
    We've always done the same, making sure both 'bottom and top' are protected from pests. Since we can get winter temps well below zero, we've had few if any issues storing supers with drawn comb over winter.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Chilton County, AL, USA
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Quote Originally Posted by WD9N View Post
    I am in Illinois, about the latitude of St. Louis. I use paramoth drawers. You just stack the boxes with frames inside and add a drawer with moth crystals about every five or so boxes.

    I place a pallet down, place a piece of 1/2" ply on top, then stack the boxes on that. About five boxes high and you place a drawer on with moth crystals. You could stack as high as you want, just add a drawer about every fifth box. If you have any gaps between boxes, you can use duct tape to close them off. You do have to add crystals periodically, more frequently the warmer it gets.

    When you need a box of frames, you do have to let them air, I usually get them out and allow 24hrs to air.

    Dadant Paramoth Drawer, other suppliers also sell these.
    Was going to try this method this year. Question, do you enclose the top of the supers with a piece of plywood also?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    663

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    I built racks to hold my frames on.
    After freezing for several days the frames are placed on the racks.
    Each rack holds 25 frames and then they are placed on a shelf unit that holds multiple racks and are stored in my open air wood shed .
    I have 4 shelf units full and I will be making more to hold frames as they are built and foundation installed.
    This way I can make up a box how I want it when I need it in just several minutes.

    Sorry but it is side ways.

    20150109_174650.jpg
    Zone 6b 1400'

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Quote Originally Posted by cornbred View Post
    Was going to try this method this year. Question, do you enclose the top of the supers with a piece of plywood also?
    Yes. I close the top with a board, extra top cover, or political sign.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    5,211

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Spray with BT and store them in their boxes. Easy and effective.
    http://OxaVap.com Your source for the ProVap 110
    OA Vaporizer. The fastest vaporizer on the market!

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,148

    Default

    Will wax moths and pests get in them if the lid is left off to allow light in? I don't have the advantage of freezing weather and it is humid here. This is the first year I've needed to store comb.
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Nevada, MO
    Posts
    557

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Is storing them on top of the hive a problem in colder areas? I wonder if the cluster might move up above the stores and starve?

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Hubert, North Carolina
    Posts
    378

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Freezer for 2 or 3 days and then in a pest-proof screened cabinet I built. Sufficient for my 25 hives, but as I continue to grow I'll have to look at other options.

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
    Posts
    4,646

    Default Re: Where and how to store drawn comb

    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    I built racks to hold my frames on.
    After freezing for several days the frames are placed on the racks.
    Each rack holds 25 frames and then they are placed on a shelf unit that holds multiple racks and are stored in my open air wood shed .
    I have 4 shelf units full and I will be making more to hold frames as they are built and foundation installed.
    This way I can make up a box how I want it when I need it in just several minutes.

    Sorry but it is side ways.

    20150109_174650.jpg
    Nice!!!

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