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Extra honey storage till spring


#1

i removed the flowhive today and need to deal with the honey in the frames. Most all of the frames had about 1/4 to 1/3 of the cells filled with honey but none of it is capped. I wanted to get the box off to reduce the space to heat as the cooler months are coming and they have a deep that is 100% full of capped honey to eat for the winter. My question is how to deal with the honey in the flow frame. All but one of the frames are now in the freezer to kill any pests. I did not have room for the last frame so I leaned it near the hive and they cleaned it out in less than an hour. Here are the 3 choices I can think of. Which is the best or is there another solution i am missing.

  1. I would prefer to just leave the uncapped honey in the frames after taking them out of the freezer so I can put them back on the hive in the spring and hopefully it will provide an incentive to start storing in the flow hive as it took them a long time to get started this year. My concern is that since it is uncapped, will it cristalize over the winter in storage? If it does will the bees eat it anyway once it is put back on the hive in the spring.
  2. I can just lay the frames by the hive and let them eat the honey now and store it in the standard frames on the hive.
  3. I can store it in a small room with a dehumidifier and keep testing the uncapped honey till the water content is below 18%

#2

Hello there,

last autumn we drained the flow frames at the end of the season - three of the frames were uncapped nectar/honey- so we froze that. It was too watery to store as honey. We used some to make honey mead- some for honey ice cream- and some we fed back to the bees in spring. We still have a little left. We placed the frames near the hive for a few days for the bees to clean up- then we rinsed them in hot water and stored over winter. the wax was kind of messy- but when we put them back on in spring the bees had no trouble cleaning them up completely in a few days. In fact they were able to start storing nectar much quicker this year as much of the original wax was still in place.

I don’t think you should leave yours in the frames over winter- as if it isn’t capped- chances are it is not honey yet- and it might ferment or go bad. You could test the water content to be sure. There is no real problem to harvest it and feed it back to the bees over winter or in spring.

We are in Adelaide and have relatively mild winters with no frost or snow. In fact our bees are out and about throughout much of winter- so next winter- I am considering leaving the flow frames in place. I think they don’t need to be removed over winter here.


#3

If it’s in the freezer it won’t crystallise or spoil. If you can keep it there why not? I would bag the frames so that when you defrost them you don’t get condensation even further diluting the honey


#4

Hi, just letting you know I asked Stu about freezing the Flow Frames.
Here’s a bit of info from Stu:
"Darryl (Brisbane based Flow troubadour) froze a Flow frame full of honey a month or so ago. He found that after it had thawed out (in a hottish car) it seemed even easier to crack the frame for harvest - which he did for a demo in front of dozens of beekeepers.

We know that freezing won’t affect the plastic but it looks like it does change the nature of the wax/propolis as, according to Darryl it becomes more brittle/breakable.
And the suggestion on the forum of putting them in a plastic bag first is a good one."

Alas, if you need to freeze your Flow Frames it will not be a problem for the frames.


#5

Thanks for asking Stu, @Faroe. This question seems to come up on a regular basis, and it is really good to get information direct from the most reliable and knowledgable source. :heart_eyes:


#6

Yep, I’m onto it :wink: Good to get an answer for all the upcoming wintering questions :slight_smile:


#7

Yes it does. That’s been known for a long time and is an excellent way to clean plastic crown boards and queen excluders…pop them in the freezer and the wax and propolis just drop off


#8

Yes indeed, always putting my candlesticks into the freezer to get stubborn drips off! Nice to know our Flow frames can go in too, thanks @Faroe :blush: