We pulled four deep frames of honey from each of our hives this past summer to prevent the queens from becoming honey bound. We stored the frames in a cardboard nuc box and kept them in our house. Later in the fall we fed all but one of the frames back to the bees (see Feeding The Bees Honey Instead of Syrup). This morning I took a look at the remaining deep frame of honey stored in the nuc box and noticed it had mould growing on it.

Damn.

My best guess is that some uncapped cells at the bottom of the frame began to ferment and got mouldy. Then the mould spread from there.

I don’t think I can feed mouldy combs of honey back to the bees.

But I couldn’t just throw away the whole frame. Instead, I cut off the mouldy portions of the comb (it was from a foundationless frame), then the not-so-mouldy portions, and sealed them inside plastic bags.

I’ll keep them in the freezer until next spring when I might be able to feed the honey back to the bees. Next time I’ll make sure the seal the frame in plastic wrap if it has any uncapped cells on it.

Should I throw away the mouldy comb? I don’t know.

6 Responses to “Mould on a Honey Frame”

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  1. Lynn Hefler says:

    yes throw it out, it will make the bees sick. I know it seems like a waste but it is better for everyone.next time freeze the frames until you need them

  2. Phillip says:

    Yup, I should have froze them. One half of the honey is still good, I think. I’ll have to check it closely. Damn.

  3. Jeff says:

    Save the wax though. There are a couple of candles there now.

  4. Phillip says:

    Does anyone have any tips on how to store drawn out frames over the winter?

    I have some of my frames stored in my house, but it looks like mould is growing on some of them, even though the room I had them stored in was fairly dry.

    I had the frames stored in cardboard nuc boxes. Maybe that’s the problem.

  5. Phillip says:

    I took the honey from this frame that was still clean (it’s been in the freezer) and fed it to a few of our hives today. I crushed it up and just put a glob of it over the inner cover (sheltered inside a super). BEES LOVE HONEY. Forget about syrup. They go nuts for honey.

    I wonder if making pollen patties with honey instead of syrup is a good idea. Probably not. Anyway…

    The foundationless hive seemed to go at its glob from the edges, calmly sucking up the honey.

    Another hive seemed to attack their glob with a vengeance, and most of them got stuck in it. And died.

    I’m an idiot. That really was not the smartest thing to do. We gave our bees left over crushed comb last fall, but that wasn’t thick globs of honey they could get stuck in. Dumb.

    My biggest learning curve is overcoming my own stupidity. I’m also impressed with how quickly bees can bounce back from bad beekeeping. At least I’m getting it out of my system. That means I’m learning. I hope.

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