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First Massachusetts winter

Hi all. This will be my first winter and I just wanted to clarify what to do with the honey super when it comes time to remove. As this was my first year, I did not harvest any honey. I have a few frames in the super with capped honey, none of them are close to 100% capped. When it’s time to remove the super, what do I do with the capped honey that is there? I’ve read a few threads where people say they extract the honey and feed it back to the bees. Do you just place it in a baggie or feeder? Then what do you do with the super for the winter? Is it safe to place it as is in a contractor’s bag or large Rubbermaid container? Thank you all so much. I just want to do what’s best for my bees to survive this winter, and I’ve been trying to read through as many threads as possible.

How many brood boxes do you have? If 2, you can probably keep the honey. If one, the bees are going to need it.

Well, if the frames are less than 90% capped, I would extract it and freeze it. I actually extract off the hive if the frames are not almost fully capped, to avoid flooding the brood boxes. If it isn’t capped, it may ferment at room temperature. It will be fine in the freezer for you or the bees, you just can’t sell it as honey.

You can feed it back to the bees in a baggie, a pail feeder or anything else that you like for liquid feed, but when night temps are consistently below about 55°F, you should not use liquid feeds (switch to candy or solid sugar).

I take it off, freeze the (empty) frames for about 48 hours, then store it in my garage wrapped in burlap (hessian) to keep out wax moths. I don’t use bins or Rubbermaid containers, because mold loves that kind of environment.

Good luck! :blush:


Thank you so much, Dawn! I do have 2 brood boxes. I’m a member of our local beekeeping club but because of Covid it’s been especially difficult to make sure I’m doing what I’m supposed to. I’ve been following a lot of your comments in the forum, so I appreciate your input. I’m not really interested in the honey (even though I love it), I just want to do what’s best to help the bees survive. Thanks again!

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