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 in order to easily undertake storing honey frames before extraction 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.
The only issue I have with using a freezer for storing honey frames before extraction is the time it takes to get the honey warm enough to flow easily again. This is different from my wife’s issue with all the frozen bees in “her” freezer. I try to remove all the bees before freezing the frames, but you can never seem to remove them all.