Today I want to share a tip that has made my beekeeping life a little easier. As I go through my hives, and pull off capped frames of honey I want to make sure that I have enough frames to make it worth extracting.
It tends to take me a full weekend to extract, most of that being filtering and cleanup, and it seems that the cleanup is the same no matter how much I have extracted, so I don’t want to got through the trouble for only a box or two
Also, after the season is over, and I have partially capped frames I don’t want to extract, but I want to ensure that pests do not get into the honey. I need a method to store the frames so they are protected, out of the way, and the honey won’t be degraded
What I do is to freeze the frames in my chest freezer.
I have found that my freezer’s sides are the same size as the wings on my frames, so that the frames hang down naturally. I can fit about 2 and a half super’s worth of frames in the freezer and still shut the lid.
You may wonder about crystallization, but in my experience (and the experience of our state apiarist when I asked him), as long as you don’t have repeated thaw/freeze cycles, it shouldn’t be a problem.
Since I take the frames out of the hive, and keep them frozen until I extract, I have not have any problems with the quality of my honey.
The only caveat I have is that it does take some time to thaw the honey out and get it to a good temperature to flow in the extractor, so take that into consideration.
Otherwise, this technique has saved me a lot of trouble.