How to store frames over winter

This is the first year we have hives during the winter. We have gotten some great tips from my brother-in-law on how to treat and store the frames.   The popular way to store frames seems to be outside in the cold, but here in Florida that is not the case.

The first step is to place the frames in a freezer for 24 hours.  This kills off all wax moth larvae and eggs.

Frames in deep freezer

Frozen (dead) wax moth larvae

By the way, the reason our frames got wax moth was because we left them sitting outside after we extracted the honey and moths got to them.  We won’t make that same mistake next time.

After you remove the frames from the freezer, let them sit out for a few hours so the moisture dries off.  This prevents any fungus from growing on the wooden frames.

Once that is done you can store your frames inside unused hive bodies.  In between each hive body you can put a sheet of newspaper with dried lavender as a natural repellent for wax moth, then tape up and seal the hive bodies so that no new pests can get in.

A local beekeeper also told us we can use Para-Moth inside the stored hives to prevent wax moth.  Do not use this in live hives, with cut comb honey, or unextracted combs of honey. We prefer the non-chemical method.

Hives taped and sealed up

When spring arrives you can also treat the frames in the freezer for 24 hours again just to be sure they are clean and free of any pests.

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