Preparing for winter

Not much new and exciting to report this week, but we are getting ready for winter.  Our “bad behavior” hive was still queenless and after harvesting honey we decided to combine them with one of the smaller swarm hives in order to help them overwinter.  We are going to check how the combination went later this week.  We are really hoping the “bad behavior” girls do not kill the queen from the hive we combined them with.

Besides that we have removed all supers (those are the top hive boxes where the bees put their honey) and have each hive down to one deep body.  We got a tip from my brother-in-law in Greece (who is also a beekeeper) on how to store the empty built frames.  After the bees have cleaned off all the leftover honey, you should place them in the freezer for a day to kill off any wax moth eggs.  After that you can put them in an empty hive box and close them up or put them in a sealed plastic bag.  My concern here is ants and roaches that may come after the wax and any leftover residue.

If any other beekeepers would like to share how you store your empty built frames to keep them safe from pests, I’d love to hear from you.

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2 comments on “Preparing for winter

  1. evie says:

    Keep up the sweet work!!!!!

  2. Scott Ward says:

    Storing medium frames with drawn comb: I let the bees clean them after extracting, sometimes in the hive and sometimes in the open away from the hives. Cleaning in the hives sometimes results in a bit more nectar being stored (not what I wanted). Away from the hives usually results in shreds of wax torn off during the feeding frenzy, but the frames are always well cleaned of residual honey. I then freeze the frames for a couple of days, spray them with a suspension of Bacillus thuringiensis subsp. aizawai for wax moths, and then hang them on a long overhead rack I built in my garage. I control cockroaches in the garage (and in my house) with a periodic spraying around doors, cracks, baseboards, and corners with Demon WP (cypermethrin). Scott Ward, Indialantic, FL

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