After extracting honey, we are left to deal with frames with uncapped comb, or frames with comb cut out and a sticky honey mess. This is known as wet frames. What should we do with them? How do we clean them up?
You may be finishing up your honey harvesting for the year and are wondering what to do with your wet frames. Here @ 1115, I have been keeping bees for four years and have experienced four honey harvests. With each harvest I tried a different methods of cleaning up wet frames.
This year I found the best method for me. Please allow me share my efforts with you.
- The first year I extracted, I stacked the frames in my front yard and it caused a free for all! All the neighborhood bees, wasps and yellow jackets came to visit.
- The next year, I made the mistake of putting them right in front of the hives. Once again it was a free for all but this time it set off a hive robbing frenzy.
- The third year, I used an extractor and saved the comb in the frames. Some of the comb was damaged but I figured the bees would repair the comb and reuse it and all would be well. The bees did clean it up but they did not reuse the comb as I had hoped. I did not like the results of this experiment at all.
Finally, this year I decided to just put the wet frames back into their supers and put them back on the hive they came from. I did this right at dark after the foraging bees had come in for the evening. My purpose in waiting was to avoid setting off a hive robbing situation. I left the supers on for a couple of days then removed them. I then cleaned the wax from the frames to prepare for storage until next year.