Storing frames over winter

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by SuiGeneris, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris Member

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    So I am a year ahead about needing this info, but I was thinking about this last night and was hoping for a clear answer.

    I am expecting to have 2 or 3 mediums worth of drawn frames at the end of next honey season, which I will need to store (ideally as drawn comb) over the winter. Some of the reading and videos I've seen recommend keeping them in the freezer to prevent wax worm and beetles from damaging the comb.

    The issue I have is that while I have a very large deep freeze (a 4-body freezer as SWIMBO likes to call it), come November it will be completely full of goats and chickens and rabbits, and I highly doubt that there will be space for frames. What I am wondering is if freezing the frames for a few weeks, followed by storage in a sealed container in the shed, would be enough? The shed would average below freezing during the time freezer space was at a premium, but there would be days where temps could easily get above 10C (50F).

    Any other advice for storing frames and not loosing the comb?

    Thanks

    Bryan
     
  2. Paul Cottier

    Paul Cottier New Member

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    All the advice i have received about that have all said to store in the freezer period. Keeping the frames outside of a freezer even in a sealed container will attract beetles and moths.
     

  3. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris Member

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    I'm not sure how they'd get into a sealed container - my hope (which may be mis-placed) is that the deep-freeze will kill them, and then the sealed container will keep more from getting in.
     
  4. Paul Cottier

    Paul Cottier New Member

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    The deep freeze will kill them. I hope they wouldnt find their way into a sealed container but... :) i hope it works for you.
     
  5. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    I am in the middle of what you need todo, there are 2 methods to store them..you can freeze them or treat them with a natural insecticide that wont hurt bees...ill try and find the article im going by and link it, but in the mean time, I have frozen the frames for a few days in sealed bags and ordered moth balls, https://www.amazon.com/gp/slredirect/picassoRedirect.html/ref=pa_sp_atf_garden_sr_pg1_2?ie=UTF8&adId=A00437132BARV9GS60DH6&url=https://www.amazon.com/Enoz-Carpet-Beetles-80-mothballs-2-pack/dp/B00KXN3ZHE/ref=sr_1_2_sspa?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1512775114&sr=1-2-spons&keywords=moth+balls&psc=1&qualifier=1512775113&id=7770494677466576&widgetName=sp_atf these are not the original type and will kill moth larva but not harm the bees or keep them away, just air out the frames before use, im going to take the sealed bagged frames and put into a bigger garbage bag or you can used a sealed container and add the moth balls into the garbage bag , this should keep the wax moths at bay, as I dont have the freezer space to keep all the used frames with comb on them, I had 2 used frames I forgot about during the warmer weather I had sitting on a table in the garage, holly crap talk about worms eating, there was nothing left, I should have used the worms for fishing..lol..im not going to try the insecticide,it a type of BT for worms and that type of pest, the link will have the proper name... some say they dont like the moth ball way as it is a carcinogen..EH, I use moth balls alot for mice control and it works great, im not too worried by the small amount that may stay on the frames, thats another reason im putting the frames in a separate sealed bag inside another sealed bag that contains the moth balls, the freezing will kill all eggs and any larva of the wax moth so the frames will be free of that and sealed so the moth balls wont actually reach the frames, but keep an air space around the sealed bag free from any moths from getting to the sealed bag containing the frames..I will report how it works in the spring..so I think thats the best of both worlds and not have insecticide sprayed on the frames not knowing if that will have any long term health affects on humans..
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
  6. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    Bt aka Bacillus thuringiensis
    Some people use Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) as either Certan or Xentari, on the combs. It will kill the moth larvae and seems to have no ill effects on the bees and studies have supported this view. It can be sprayed on infested combs even with the bees on them to clear up the infestation. It can be sprayed on foundation before putting it in the hive. It can be sprayed on combs before storing them. I simply haven't had the time to do this in years now, but, as I say, my management seems to keep them under control except in failing hives. But it would probably help in the failing hives if I had it on the combs ahead of time. Certan used to be approved for use on wax moths in the US but the certification ran out and there was no money in renewing it, so it's no longer labeled that way in the US, but is available labeled for that use from Canada and available labeled for use against moth larvae (but not wax moth per se) in the US as Xentari
     
  7. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    you can't use moth balls. You can use moth crystals, but I have, and I won't again, the frames stink, I worry about the safety of the honey.

    You can initially freeze, make a stack of boxes of frames, wrap in shrink wrap, put a CO2 output on top, regulated, connected to a canister, and leave that on but if you walk in that building without airing it out first, it can kill you.

    You can freeze, leave in freezer and turn off (or have freezer fail) any moisture in the freezer and you have moldy frames

    BT Azawai is your best defence against wax moth outside of a freezer, it is approved, easy to use. Freeze first, at least 2 or 3 days, then spray, hang in boxes in shed to dry. SHB don't bother wax, they want honey. You may still get a couple of wax moths but the larva die before the pupal stage.
     
  8. SuiGeneris

    SuiGeneris Member

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  9. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    thats correct, I am going to use not the original moth balls but the type that wont kill the bees, and it wont have direct contact with the frames, even some of the people that use the BT have complained its not 100% effective against moth damage...short of scraping all the wax comb off the frames and melting down for use or keeping the frames in a freezer there doesnt seem to be a full proof method that keeps the moths away or have any chance of contaminating future honey...
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is very tough. BUT it's much worse down here than I would expect it to be in the north, as we have few freezes and the bugs are overwintering
     
  11. roadkillbobb

    roadkillbobb Active Member

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    im upstate now and its a whopping 10 degrees and well below 0 with the wind chill factor...I believe this week you guys down south got some snow..thats that white fluffy stuff falling from the sky..LOL..
     
  12. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I didn't get any. It fell near the gulf coast. Here snow wouldn't be incredibly unusual. Down in Austin, San Antonio, oh yeah it was a party, and I think Corpus Christi got some
     
  13. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    I've
    Paul, that's been my experience as well. I tried the storage bag, not container, method the first couple of years with moth balls in another bag and still got wax moths. It may have been the way I secured the bags. I used the heavy duty 55 gallon garbage bags, placed the frames in a freezer for a couple of days and then in the bags. I had moth balls in a separate bag inside the 55 gallon bag. I taped the bags shut instead of tying the 4 "corners" and still got wax moth damage in some bags.

    After losing several frames of drawn comb, I bought a freezer off of Craigslist for $50 and, knock on wood, haven't had a single problem with wax moths since storing the frames in the freezer.

    I realize not everyone has the space for an extra freezer so that may not be a viable option but if you do, I know it works. Or it has for 7 years now.

    It worked so well that I bought a second freezer. I store my frames, deeps and mediums in the freezer as well. A sealed container would be different that a bag but the question is then; how long is long enough to leave them in the freezer? I don't know if 2 or 3 days below freezing is enough time.

    I live in Alabama and normally we'll have several days of below freezing temperatures but between those days we'll have 50 to 60 degrees days as well. You'll hear folks down here say "I hope we have a cold enough winter to kill some of the bugs etc".

    I had a friend who farmed for a living. He planted hundreds of acres of cotton, corn and soybeans. His biggest pest was boll wievels. He collected a dozen boll weevels and placed them in a small plastic container filled with water and put it in his freezer. After 7 days he took it out and let it thaw. All 12 of those boll weevels crawled out after the ice melted. So 7 days of below freezing "weather" didn't kill those bugs.
     
  14. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Great info about the boll weevils. we just don't get enough cold anymore