Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,272 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,086 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,272 Posts
I have my eyes on a big chest freezer at Lowes that is big enough to hold ten frame supers.

Alex
 

·
Moderator - In Memorium
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
6,888 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,087 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
65 colonies +/- mostly Langstroth mediums, a few deeps for nuc production
Joined
·
524 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
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-yard-blog/2017/11/7/oct-16-2017

https://youtu.be/c1rS7eAmhvM

https://youtu.be/sfplm7BmKkw
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,272 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,087 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
105 Posts
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.jpg Inside Coop.jpg Outside Stack.jpg
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
398 Posts
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) View attachment 54099 View attachment 54101 View attachment 54103
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
737 Posts
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
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
463 Posts
Hoot Owl:

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

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,080 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,080 Posts
How do you prevent mouse damage of the combs in this setup?


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.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top