There are several ways to store your empty honey supers over winter. Why can’t you just leave them in your garage or shop for the winter? Well, wax moths are prolific at finding wax frames that are not in use. Within the hive, the bees keep the wax moths at bay, but unattended, a wax moth can destroy a frame of wax without much effort.
In Southern climates, winter is generally measured in weeks. If a hive is strong, you could, in theory, place the super(s) back on the hive. However, even a strong hive that can fend off beetles during these months of a dwindling bee population can be put in a tough position – so you may want to minimize the hive interior and store the supers in a freezer or large plastic bags where beetles can’t get to them.
So, what are your options as a beekeeper?
- Store in a freezer
- Use wax crystals (Para-Moth preventative moth crystals)
- Stack them like a checker board with plenty of light and space between each super and – hope for the best!
There are a few other options, but these are the ones we’ve tried that worked reasonably well.
What we actually do is:
- Harvest the excess honey
- Extract the honey
- Put the empty frames out for cleaning (can be put onto the hives themselves or left out in an empty pasture for the day)
- Store the supers one of the ways listed above
What’s your favorite way to store honey supers when they’re not in use?