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Frames of candied honey- what to do?

OK, so today I helped someone harvest their two hives that had both swarmed, both having two completely full 10 frame langstroth supers on top of them… I’ve helped him catch four swarms to date, and today I helped him spin his honey…

Many of the frames of honey were about 60% candy having been left on over winter. I am now wondering what to do with those frames… I have an idea but I’m guessing everyone will say ‘no don’t do that…’:

I was thinking to put them in an empty hive in the middle of a bee yard with 15 hives and let all the bees have at it?

I doubt robbing at this time of year- but I suppose disease could be an issue though the hives the honey came from are seemingly extremely healthy and disease free.

I think I already realise this is a bad idea and potentially do more harm than good.

I’m guessing there aren’t many options beyond rendering the frames, making mead or some such?

On a lighter note here’s a video sent to me by master beekeeper Vicky Brown from Sydney- ‘queens be hatching’

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Give them to hives to overwinter on. They will be empty or mostly empty by spring. I would not put them in the open. Too likely to set off a feeding frenzy which can lead to a robbing frenzy. Frenzied bees are not a good thing for the bees or the beekeeper…

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Hi Jack, there are plenty of options besides setting off a feeding frenzy. Winter is a fair way away for you. You could put them, one by one in the brood boxes. The bees will shift it out, possibly consuming it in the mean time to make the cells available for the queen to lay in. Decap it first. Or decap it before placing it back into the honey supers.

Bees cope well with crystallized honey, it’s one of the reasons why bees collect water. They use water to re-liquify crystallized honey.

Another option would be to cut the comb out of the frames to fill a bucket, then sit the bucket in a warming tank as you would normally do to de-crystallize honey. Once it’s de-crystallized, strain the wax out.


Winter is a long way off in the Southern hemisphere so not an option I would consider, so I would go with Jeff’s thinking as a good option in giving the frames back to the bees in the brood box and they will eat it out quickly and the frames will then be used for brood. It is so much safer to internally feed the frames back to a hive than run the risk of external feeding triggering a robbing frenzy no matter if the risk is slight.
Cheers Jack

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Thanks Everyone. In the suburbs here we don’t need winter feed- but I could use them in hills. I added two to a swarm I caught last night- and we have uncapped them all and spun out what we could. So I think that’s a plan- I’ll try and use them on swarms - and/or cut them out and warm them before pressing them.


Just got home and a nuc swarmed up into a tree- was preparing a plan to catch them when they suddenly swarmed back into their hive. Perfect time for a Taranov split. This is the craziest swarm season I’ve ever seen.

Here they are two minutes after going back home:

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Hi Jack, I’m almost certain this is the craziest non swarm season I’ve ever seen. I have been doing a lot of splits, however the colonies aren’t building up anywhere near as fast as I’d expect. I inspected the brood of one colony for the first time this spring. Admittedly it had drone larvae between the QX & some top bars, however they still had 3 frames dedicated to honey, which weren’t really full.

I’ve heard of a few swarms, but not directly to me, which is a bit surprising. Hang on: there was one a couple of weeks ago, my youngest son, who just recently got the bee bug picked it up. Plus a lady had bees move into her wall cavity. I couldn’t do anything that day, so she kept ringing around.

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I had one frame of candied honey that wouldn’t flow out of my flow frame super after winter.
I just opened and closed the key several times to crack the capping.
The bees then completely stripped the frame within a week and moved all the honey to the next (empty) flow frame.

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You also REALLY don’t need a feeding frenzy… that will get the neighbors excited…


Why wouldn’t you just store them for use when needed? You had a very bad season last year…

How long did you live in Adelaide Michael?
It has been years since I have spent a Winter there but my memory is it was a cold place in Winter and long hot Summers, but top heavy in park-lands and heaps of trees for bees to forage on in the suburbs.
I think that Jack has lived there long enough and had bees I would take his advice on his local conditions.

I’m in Nebraska, USA. The nearest town of Sidney is 50 miles and is in Iowa. The next nearest town of Sidney is in Nebraska and is 400 miles from here. Sidney Australia is 8,800 miles(14,000km) from here. Maybe you meant the original poster.

@Semaphore is in Adelaide, South Australia and he was talking about there being no need for Winter feeding there where you replied to him.


that’s certainly a possibility- it’s just they are not my frames- and even if they were I don’t have a freezer big enough to store them in. They are a mess too- having been half spun and uncapped. Here on the Adelaide plain we don’t really need to add any honey frames over winter- the issue with these exact frames was they were left on over winter and candied. I have advised that beekeepr that he needs to harvest his supers going into autumn. Basically he is a victim of his own success and lazy beekeeping. he had two hives coming into spring with 60kg’s of honey sitting on both of them. They have now swarmed at least 2 times each despite me going in after the first swarms and removing honey and queen cells. The hives are now missing out on the spring flow as they recover.

We overwinter our hives with just a brood box and no stores- and they often come out of spring with large stashes of honey that needs to be removed.

But in the hills for sure feed is needed over winter- it gets much colder- and bees have been struggling up there the last few years.

Anyhow- it’s all good- thanks for everyones input.

I knew feeding them in a yard was a dumb idea and I am glad I didn’t do it. there is a major flow on in any case and the bees hardly need it.


Hiya Jack, I’ve had some buckets with remnants of candied honey from last season out for the bees to clean up and the bees aren’t really interested in them as we are in a Flow, they’re all over the propolis though.
My plan for my over wintered honey frames is to feed it back during the summer dearth in a box above an inner cover.

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