Storing built out frames
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2019
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    Harleysville, PA, USA
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    12

    Default Storing built out frames

    Freezer use question. Do you guys/gals actually store your built out frames in the freezer or just freeze the frames temporarily to kill critters and store elsewhere? We are looking to buy a freezer and aren’t sure of the size/investment we really need.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    I freeze my brood frames during the season unless I am transferring them directly between hives. I also freeze my honey frames after extraction and clean-up, before spraying with Bta for long term storage in my barn. I also spray my brood frames for long time storage.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,473

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    I spray empty, drawn comb frames with BT and store them outside in their boxes with ventilation and critter protection. I bought a large upright freezer that I store frames of honey/pollen over the winter. These I have in Jester nuc boxes which fit pretty well. When I need to freeze a frame for a few days to kill, those have a designated Jester box in the freezer. If you are thinking of buying a freezer, get an upright and as big as you can afford/fit. My small bee "operation" is in heavy competition with my wife for freezer space with veggies and meat. In addition to frames of stores, you will soon have pollen patties, formic acid,drone frames etc. Go big, look for energy star and rebates. J

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
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    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,686

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    I have my eyes on a big chest freezer at Lowes that is big enough to hold ten frame supers.

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,956

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    I have my eyes on a big chest freezer at Lowes that is big enough to hold ten frame supers.

    Alex
    Let me know what you end up with. I need a large chest freezer also and have not had much luck on Craigslist.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
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    699

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    I have 2 chest freezers and 1 up right. I pull most of my honey and freeze it till I am ready to extract. The chest units are nicer because I just lay slates between the layers of frames. The up right has fixed shelves and wasted space.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  8. #7
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
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    1,007

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Quote Originally Posted by AHudd View Post
    I freeze my brood frames during the season unless I am transferring them directly between hives. I also freeze my honey frames after extraction and clean-up, before spraying with Bta for long term storage in my barn. I also spray my brood frames for long time storage.

    Alex
    what is bta?

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Bacillus thuringiensis aizawai, which is a strain of Bt that is better than other strains at killing wax moth larvae. Other strains are good for killing mosquito larvae, etc.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Powhatan, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    399

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Btk (Dipel, thuricide, etc) also works on moth larvae.
    Bti is for mosquitoes.
    None of the three (Bta included) are labeled for use on bees, comb or wax moths.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Quote Originally Posted by JenGavin View Post
    Freezer use question. Do you guys/gals actually store your built out frames in the freezer or just freeze the frames temporarily to kill critters and store elsewhere? We are looking to buy a freezer and aren’t sure of the size/investment we really need.
    Jen, for reference I've got the Whirlpool 15 cubic foot chest freezer from Lowe's. I manage to squeeze up to seven medium supers into it at one time. So I use it to freeze supers if I need to let them sit for a few days before extraction (which means I typically only pull seven supers at a time). Over the winter I use the freezer to store supers with honey that I'm saving to put on weaker hives in the spring. Right now it's also holding a bucket of old comb I plan to melt down this summer, and I use it throughout the spring and summer if I have something I want to "cleanse" of pests.

    I see a chest freezer as an integral part of a bigger storage scheme, so I think it's money you'll be glad you spent. But in addition to a chest freezer, this integrated storage scheme can include Bt, paramoth, freezing, and open storage. One thing I learned years ago was to never try and out-maneuver the moths by spraying the comb with Bt and then "sealing" it up, because all it takes is a couple eggs to get past your defenses and ruin your comb.

    The open-air storage is by far the most efficient. I started experimenting with it in 2017, and it has worked out swimmingly. If you want to see some pictures (and even a video showing how I build my storage racks), here are links:

    https://www.mitecalculator.com/bee-y.../7/oct-16-2017

    https://youtu.be/c1rS7eAmhvM

    https://youtu.be/sfplm7BmKkw

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Scott county, Arkansas, Usa
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    1,686

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    Let me know what you end up with. I need a large chest freezer also and have not had much luck on Craigslist.
    The one I was looking at was a floor model discounted to $400. I didn't buy it because the weather was bad and forecast was calling for even more foul weather and I would have had to make space etc. Plenty of time I told myself. Now priced at $686?

    Alex
    Ten years of Beekeeping before varroa. Started again spring of 2014.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Skaneateles, NY
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    1,007

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    i store my frames with moth crystals in a feeding shim in the middle of the stack. Boxes are taped together and top and bottom of the stack are covered with black plastic bags.
    Have had no wax moth damage at all so far in the last 6-7 years.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Location
    Newtown, ct
    Posts
    71

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Last year I had been playing around with some "outside storage". I have no real storage space in our freezers and can only put in a frame at a time. So last year I stored some trial comb outside in boxes with 2x2 PT spacers between each box. I first did it while queen rearing and combining making nucs and the yard smaller. Comb would live like this for no more than a few weeks. Although when winter came I left a few trial boxes out for the winter and there was no damage to the comb at all. I also have a space within my wife's chicken coop to store comb, sometimes its to let bees open feed the residual honey after harvest. I got the idea from a beekeeper I met in New Zealand. As a commercial operation they keep all their comb in the boxes but stack them 90 degrees so air flows through and out the top. They have a large shed maybe 50'x100'x20'. The top 3' of the shed is cut out all around to allow light and air to penetrate. I have attached a few pictures of my storage options. The Plexiglas top is new this year (COVID-19 stuck at home) Coop.jpgInside Coop.jpgOutside Stack.jpg

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Quote Originally Posted by HeadofMeadow View Post
    Last year I had been playing around with some "outside storage". I have no real storage space in our freezers and can only put in a frame at a time. So last year I stored some trial comb outside in boxes with 2x2 PT spacers between each box. I first did it while queen rearing and combining making nucs and the yard smaller. Comb would live like this for no more than a few weeks. Although when winter came I left a few trial boxes out for the winter and there was no damage to the comb at all. I also have a space within my wife's chicken coop to store comb, sometimes its to let bees open feed the residual honey after harvest. I got the idea from a beekeeper I met in New Zealand. As a commercial operation they keep all their comb in the boxes but stack them 90 degrees so air flows through and out the top. They have a large shed maybe 50'x100'x20'. The top 3' of the shed is cut out all around to allow light and air to penetrate. I have attached a few pictures of my storage options. The Plexiglas top is new this year (COVID-19 stuck at home) Coop.jpgInside Coop.jpgOutside Stack.jpg
    Cool setups. Similar ideas to what I'm doing. I have no issues hanging frames on my racks in the summer, but I could see how hanging them inside boxes could provide enough closed space that moths would move in.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    699

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    This is how I store my frames. I don't have any wax moth damage and the bees clean them out very well. After the ceder trees produce there clode of pollen the bees clean the frames again. Each of the racks hold 25 frames and can be removed from the larger rack.20180203_141237.jpg
    Zone 6b 1400'

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Ocala, Florida, USA
    Posts
    623

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    I put the entire super, box and all into the freezer. I have two of the largest chest freezers I could buy.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Location
    New Haven, CT
    Posts
    438

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Hoot Owl:

    Can you give dimensions for the individual and larger frame racks for those of us who want to copy your approach?

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,952

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    I have kept bees for 50 years. I have never frozen a frame. I manage about 150 hives and a few hundred honey supers. I suffer minimal wax moth and SHB problems primarily on hives that die in mid summer and are not caught on time.
    I use queen excluders to keep my honey supers free from pollen and cocoons. I dry all my extracted supers on the hives and as soon as possible store them in my bee tight extracting room. I store dead brood chambers on strong hives or in the extracting room.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Forsyth, Missouri
    Posts
    699

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    Knisely
    I will check them and post a little later.
    Zone 6b 1400'

  21. #20
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,952

    Default Re: Storing built out frames

    How do you prevent mouse damage of the combs in this setup?


    Quote Originally Posted by Hoot Owl Lane Bees View Post
    This is how I store my frames. I don't have any wax moth damage and the bees clean them out very well. After the ceder trees produce there clode of pollen the bees clean the frames again. Each of the racks hold 25 frames and can be removed from the larger rack.
    All of my opinions and suggestions are based on my five decades of actual beekeeping,
    not so much on book learning, watching YouTube videos nor reading internet sites.

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