Why Honey Frames Should Be Frozen Before Storing

 This was the last honey frame in the bottom box from a pile of six, 10 frame boxes.

This was the last honey frame in the bottom box from a pile of six, 10 frame boxes.

Why Honey Frames Should Be Frozen Before Storing

It's always tempting to say it won't happen to me, or I don't see them, or not to concentrate on the warnings I pass on at our bee club meetings. See, I know some of you are snoozing when I talk about it but here's why I say honey frames should be frozen before storing.

I had six boxes of honey frames stacked in my cold basement utility room as I cycled the frames through my tiny freezer before storing them in plastic totes. The honey frames were beautiful, all drawn out across the foundation, some even foundationless, not a hint of trouble as I cycled through the boxes.

By the time I got down to the bottom box, it was easy to think I got through this honey batch without any problems until I pulled out that last honey frame. Up in the upper right hand quadrant of one side of the frame was the telltale signs of small hive beetle larvae, and it was apparent they had had some time to enjoy the fruits of the honeybees labor before I found them.

 Close up of the culprits, small hive beetle larvae in empty comb.

Close up of the culprits, small hive beetle larvae in empty comb.

Needless to say, I wrapped the frame up in plastic and stuck it in the freezer to kill off the bugs.

I tend to leave small hive beetle larvae in the freezer for a good week before pulling the frames out, washing it off before it thaws out and letting the bees rob out the honey and clean out the comb.

That is one of the many benefits of having bees, they are meticulous housekeepers. If I have a honey spill of any kind, or leftover honey in a container, I take it outside and let the bees clean it out. They do fast work and leave it squeaky clean so that I can then easily wash it without sticking to it myself.

Now can you imagine what this, and the other frames of honey, would have looked like, and smelled like, had I stored it straight into the plastic tote?

I don't even want to think about it!

Charlotte