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Hey guys,

I know this topic comes up quite a bit, however, I'm kinda confused as to what to do with the supers with drawn foundation after I extract the honey in the fall.

Do you store the supers with drawn foundation, or scrape the foundation off to make candles?? I keep hearing and reading that the drawn foundation becomes very brittle when cold, therefore making it useless.

If your're wondering which frames I use..I use the Brushy Mountain English Garden Hive Equipment that has the Beeswax coated plastic foundation.

Thanks alot.
 

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Cyndi,
It is best to store them until you need them next year. Set them on their sides in the beeyard for a day first and let the bees clean the residual honey from them (Don't leave them out overnite or the critters will destopy them).
It is best to store them in freezing temperatures if possible to protect them from wax moths. Wax does get brittle when cold but returns to nromal when it warms up.
 

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You'll have to either store them in a freezer or treat them with Paradichlorobenzene and keep them sealed up where the moths can't get to them Hive beetles will also get in there and feed on the residual honey. I was thinking about using shrink-wrap or stretch- wrap plastic to seal stacks of supers to keep moths out. They will get in through a tiny hole. the foundation matters only in that the wax moths can't eat it. They'll still eat the rest of the comb and foul it with worms and webs and waste. I like my permacomb because the wax moths try, but fail.
 

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Newer wax from supers would make nice candles but if you're planning to "super up" next year you (and the girls) will be way ahead if the foundation is already drawn.

If you don't have too many supers to deal with - the following has worked well for me for several years -

After extracting, set the supers containing frames back on top of the hive - some folks set them out in the open and this works fine, too - they say it can promote robbing, I've not had that problem but I do like to make the "gleanings" more available to the hives I feel have lesser winter stores. Leave them for at least a day or two.

As you remove the supers from the hives, slide each super into a clean garbage bag and seal up well. They don't have to be heavy weight bags, but you do need to be careful not to tear or puncture them. Duct tape comes in handy here.

As soon as you can, rotate your supers through the freezer - I leave them for 24 hours at 0 degrees. Not very scientific but so far has worked.

Remove from the freezer, leave in the bags and stack carefully where the bags won't be in danger of being torn.

I've done this with as many as 40 supers and that's getting to be too many. Works fine on a smaller scale.

Don't worry about brittle wax. Good luck!
 

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If you store them in bags, make sure that the mice can't chew through. If they chew through the outside of the bag, even if they don't get inside that will let the moths in.
 

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[ September 06, 2006, 06:48 PM: Message edited by: Ravenseye ]
 

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One of those rolls of shrink wrap...the small, hand held roll works good. Take a few frames and hold them together...then, wrap until you're happy. It'll stick to itself. Finally, pop them into one of those big plastic containers with the lid that seals up tight. That way, if you have bunch, you can stack them without damaging them at all. I friend of mine does this and stores them in his barn. No mice...nice and cold...no damage. Ready to go in the spring.
 

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