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Perhaps not the way everybody does it, but when I pull individual frames out of boxes, I like to put them into a sealed tote each time, to keep the bees out, and prevent any varmits from getting in after I bring them in the house. So, they sometimes sit in the house for a few days before I put them in the freezer for a week or so, then I take them out for a few days to unthaw, and then I decap them and go the the extractor. So, there is an additional chance for rodent or ant intrusion either before or after freezing.

Trying to put a tote into the freezer isn't so easy, and I don't like the mess of bagging individual frames first. Are there any commercially available (ideally clear) food-grade type bins that I can fit frames into neatly (mine are all mediums), so I can minimize space in the freezer? Currently I put some wood rests screwed to the sides of a tote, but it's not ideal. Surely somebody has a better idea?

The freezer step is probably overkill I know, but I have always wanted to make sure there is no risk of hive beetle or wax moth invasion into my crop of honey. With the freezing step, there are no worries.
 

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Perhaps not the way everybody does it, but when I pull individual frames out of boxes, I like to put them into a sealed tote each time, to keep the bees out, and prevent any varmits from getting in after I bring them in the house. So, they sometimes sit in the house for a few days before I put them in the freezer for a week or so, then I take them out for a few days to unthaw, and then I decap them and go the the extractor. So, there is an additional chance for rodent or ant intrusion either before or after freezing.

Trying to put a tote into the freezer isn't so easy, and I don't like the mess of bagging individual frames first. Are there any commercially available (ideally clear) food-grade type bins that I can fit frames into neatly (mine are all mediums), so I can minimize space in the freezer? Currently I put some wood rests screwed to the sides of a tote, but it's not ideal. Surely somebody has a better idea?

The freezer step is probably overkill I know, but I have always wanted to make sure there is no risk of hive beetle or wax moth invasion into my crop of honey. With the freezing step, there are no worries.
These guys made a product perfect for you.

https://hivebutler.com/

I met the lady that invented this at a beekeeping meeting in February, before the . . . you know.

Awesome product. Well built. Good people.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
These guys made a product perfect for you.

https://hivebutler.com/

I met the lady that invented this at a beekeeping meeting in February, before the . . . you know.

Awesome product. Well built. Good people.
Actually you are exactly right, this product fits the need I described perfectly, I even use my own version as an uncapping tank as well. Unfortunately I think the cost is a bit high, but considering if the manufacturing is USA, and the inventor is local of course, perhaps it is justified, it is just not necessarily at my price point (usually cheap or free). Seems like they have a good design though, hopefully they can do well with it, definitely looks like they put a lot of thought into it.
 

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I am curious, Why do you freeze all your honey frames before extracting?
 

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"So, they sometimes sit in the house for a few days before I put them in the freezer for a week or so, then I take them out for a few days to unthaw, and then I decap them and go the extractor."

I would try and take the frames from thee freezer and THAW them before extracting. Honey flows easer at room temps then at 32 degrees.
 

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When I am clearing frames of bees I start with an empty box, but a lid on the ground upside down, put the empty box over it, and then put a clear plastic (polycarb?) sheet over the top. I clear one frame, lift the plastic sheet, put it in the box, and put the sheet down. I repeat this until the box is full and then add another empty box on top and repeat. I bring in the boxes at night when the bees are mostly in the hives.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
When I am clearing frames of bees I start with an empty box, but a lid on the ground upside down, put the empty box over it, and then put a clear plastic (polycarb?) sheet over the top. I clear one frame, lift the plastic sheet, put it in the box, and put the sheet down. I repeat this until the box is full and then add another empty box on top and repeat. I bring in the boxes at night when the bees are mostly in the hives.
Thanks for the info, and it is similar to what I usually try to do too, except for the last part. I've got a ton of oak trees near the hives, and with that, the ever present squirrels. I've always been concerned that if I left a tote outside until dark with a bunch of honey inside that may be relatively easy for them to break into, it might be trouble. But now thinking about it, they have never gotten into the pile of frames that I put out for the bees to "clean" after honey extraction, so perhaps my concern about squirrels in unfounded, and they don't care for honey. Do you ever have trouble with squirrels? Mine are nearly all the "fox squirrel" variety, no reds and nearly no chipmunks, and only an occasional groundhog.

As for trying to extract frozen frames, maybe that is why it seems to take forever... Actually I let them get to room temperature of course first, but I have not tried actually increasing the temperature to make the process faster. I have heard of some people doing it, but as long as the temp stays below 100°F it's probably no issue. Not sure if I want to heat it anyways though, so there is no risk to damage any benefits of the raw honey.
 

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Those boxes look great, but cost prohibitive. A much simpler, cheaper tote with a locking lid. I store 10 medium frames of honey in these till the day I get them spun out. I think they are about 12 bucks each, with the lid.

IMG_20200818_062715034.jpg IMG_20200818_062630026.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Those boxes look great, but cost prohibitive. A much simpler, cheaper tote with a locking lid. I store 10 medium frames of honey in these till the day I get them spun out. I think they are about 12 bucks each, with the lid.

View attachment 57883 View attachment 57881
Thanks lemmje, those seem like a good size to get into the freezer too, and thanks for posting the brand/size info. With a small wood spacer at each end, the frames could even be kept off the bottom so it could be used as a shallow uncapping tank.
 

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Btw, simply storing frames (or any comb in general) in these tight containers is sufficient.
They work fine just as is - moth proof.
I don't bother with freezing and such.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Btw, simply storing frames (or any comb in general) in these tight containers is sufficient.
They work fine just as is - moth proof.
I don't bother with freezing and such.
Maybe I should explain, in case I have the wrong idea... My reason for freezing isn't that I am concerned about moths or beetles invading after I have collected the frames, but in order to kill off any eggs or cells that may be somehow contaminated by varroa, SHB, or wax math eggs or larvae. I have never actually seen any with my fully capped frames, and I use excluders so there is never a mix of honey in old brood comb from the ones I extract, but I always had the concern that I'd rather guarantee the honey was totally clean than risk having a jar full of hatching hive beetles in a month.
 

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Maybe I should explain, in case I have the wrong idea... My reason for freezing isn't that I am concerned about moths or beetles invading after I have collected the frames, but in order to kill off any eggs or cells that may be somehow contaminated by varroa, SHB, or wax math eggs or larvae. I have never actually seen any with my fully capped frames, and I use excluders so there is never a mix of honey in old brood comb from the ones I extract, but I always had the concern that I'd rather guarantee the honey was totally clean than risk having a jar full of hatching hive beetles in a month.
I have the same concerns as you with regard to getting undesirable things in my honey, but I rely on a 200 micron strainer to handle that concern.
 

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For frames I need to freeze, the Jester box works well for me. As Psm stated, a filter is all you need. You are creating unnecessary work for yourself and who needs that, right?
I put my supers in my truck under a toneau cover to warm the honey before extraction. I have also used my car trunk. Your extraction will be much easier and successful if you warm it up. J
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have the same concerns as you with regard to getting undesirable things in my honey, but I rely on a 200 micron strainer to handle that concern.
Interesting, I use a fine mesh double screen but I wasn't aware that it would catch even presumably tiny contaminants too. If it's enough, then it can certainly save me a bunch of time, and my freezing method is overkill. The toneau cover idea from Fivej is interesting too, it gets quite warm under there since it's black, with low airflow, great idea.
 

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Thanks for the info, and it is similar to what I usually try to do too, except for the last part. I've got a ton of oak trees near the hives, and with that, the ever present squirrels. I've always been concerned that if I left a tote outside until dark with a bunch of honey inside that may be relatively easy for them to break into, it might be trouble. But now thinking about it, they have never gotten into the pile of frames that I put out for the bees to "clean" after honey extraction, so perhaps my concern about squirrels in unfounded, and they don't care for honey. Do you ever have trouble with squirrels? Mine are nearly all the "fox squirrel" variety, no reds and nearly no chipmunks, and only an occasional groundhog.

As for trying to extract frozen frames, maybe that is why it seems to take forever... Actually I let them get to room temperature of course first, but I have not tried actually increasing the temperature to make the process faster. I have heard of some people doing it, but as long as the temp stays below 100°F it's probably no issue. Not sure if I want to heat it anyways though, so there is no risk to damage any benefits of the raw honey.
I dont have any squirrels at my house right now, so I don't have that problem. If you think the animals will bother the boxes before you bring them in put a cinder block on top, and not many animals will be able to get into the stack.

I could move the boxes of filled frames in during the day/as I clear them, but my hives are 10 feet from my house, so it is easier to just wait and not have to deal with the bees finding the frames again. I wouldn't want to leave them out for more than a night or 2, but I don't think anything around here will will bother them in 8 hours. If you have bears in your area this may not be a good plan though.
 
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