Cut Comb Honey

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by riverbee, Jun 29, 2012.

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  1. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    this is my method of producing cut comb honey. if you are interested in producing comb honey for the first time, with minimal expense, using foundation-less frames, and equipment you already have, this is a great method to try or use, and a great way to get started, especially if you want to experiment and try it and don’t want to invest in extra, expensive equipment. this method works very well with a very strong hive and and a very strong nectar flow.

    i run 8 frame medium supers. this will work for a 9 frame setup as well. the foundation-less frames(one or two per super, depending on the strength of the hive), are placed off center between drawn frames used for liquid honey extraction, so i would have 6 or 7 drawn frames and one or two foundation-less frames to equal 8 total frames in a medium sized super.

    a girl could make her own frames, okay, a GUY could make his own frames……. :lol: but i just use the regular frames. i don’t use any starter strips, and i do melt a bead of beeswax in the grooves of the top and bottom bars of the frames to get them started, so the girls have a head start and are not wasting their energy to fill these grooves in, because they will. i also had someone fabricate a stainless steel cutting tray for me, larger than the cutting tray i initially purchased from walter t. kelley, but the kelley tray works great to start out with.

    my cut comb honey will weigh anywhere between 412 to 530 grams or more (14 1/2ozs to 1lb 2 ¾ ozs or more) and i sell by the gram, .03+ per gram, so anywhere between $14 and $20 for a section. ross rounds and section squares typically weigh about ¾ of a pd, or about 12 oz., or 340 grams. in my area these sell for anywhere between $12 and $15 or higher.

    once customers who love comb honey find you, they will make tracks to your door to purchase it. the other nice thing is you can cut it up in smaller slices and use it as chunk honey in jars.

    enjoy!

    [video=youtube;xval9IFV2_I]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xval9IFV2_I[/video]
     
  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Fantastic display riverbee! :thumbsup:
    I have 8 comb honey boxes (and a pound of edible beeswax foundation) but have yet to try collecting any. This step by step tutorial is perfect and easy to follow.
    Thanks.
     

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    Very nice looking comb honey. Glad you have customers that even know what it is and what to do with it. I find people who have never even tasted honey and give you that look when i offer honey comb from a cut out. I always ask if they want some honey and it is a "YES". I think they say that because it is free or something. Then they look at you all funny like and always ask "what do I do with it" and "is it clean". I just laugh, pick a piece up and take a big bite.

    You do a good job on packaging that, should sell like hot cakes!!
     
  4. JUDELT

    JUDELT New Member

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    are there pictures, i don't see any?!
     
  5. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    there is a video of a slide show of pics.
     
  6. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    judelt,
    g3 got it right, it is a video of a powerpoint slide show i converted to video, push the play button:grin:

    btw g3, it sells out in a hurry, and my packaging does look great, might have to post a pic of the final packaging. i got a friend hooked on the comb honey. over the weekend i had scraped some comb and bits of wax from the hives and inner covers and use a tupperware, there was very little honey, if any in the chunks. the container was laying on the table on the porch. he opened it, took a chunk of it, started chewing on it, got a funny look on his face and said "where's the honey"!
     
  7. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    As I stated in an much earlier post: "I am keeping bees to feed my comb honey addiction."
    This is absolutely my favorite. Nothing like biting into a big chunk and having the honey fill your mouth!

    Another advantage of comb honey. You can taste the distinct blooms over the last 2 weeks or so it took them to draw it out, fill it and cap it.

    The last two frames I pulled (a couple weeks ago) was a very light honey, but had a distinctly minty after taste. During that same time span, the main three plants my bees appeared to be working in my yard were Lavender, some type of lilly my neighbor has all over her yard and Dill. When first harvested, the dill was very distinct but a very nice flavor. This has waned a bit over time...

    Instead of using foundationless, I am using wtb frames with just a 1/2" wide strip of wax foundation pinched in as a guide (a bit less then 1/4" of wax exposed). Not only are they drawing them very straight, I am saving money on wax foundations!

    I will be pulling at least a few frames (possibly the entire super) this weekend. I wonder what these past couple of weeks will taste like???

    I was lucky to be able to start this hive with such a large swarm (Ken's Bees). A first year harvest from this hive is a very welcome thing.
     
  8. blueblood

    blueblood New Member

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    Thanks for posting that! Very good alternative to buying a comb kit and such. I wasn't going to try comb until next year but going to give this method a whirl. I love COMB HONEY!! And, it sound like a profitable venture as well...just off of that one frame.
     
  9. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Riverbee, great slide show!
    Looks like that Walter tray is just too darn stingy in size- I don't blame you for switching to your own racks.

    Because i use the crush&strain method and I don't own an extractor, I have nothing BUT foundationless frames in my honey supers. I don't use any foundation in my supers at all. Once capped, it all gets cut out and then I can either use it for comb honey or chunk honey, or crush & strain it for liquid honey and then clean and keep the wax.
    There's something so wonderful about having big chunks of honeycomb to work with!
    DSC07324.jpg
     
  10. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    Dang it Omie... ...you made my mouth water!

    Where'd I put that package with the last bits???
     
  11. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

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    This was some capped honey from a cut out yesterday............

    100_2717.jpg 100_2720.jpg
     
  12. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    i started doing this method a few years back. i met a keep in british columbia, CANADA, (those canadians are industrious keeps :lol:) who uses this method and convinced me to try it, he runs about 250 hives. the beauty with foundationless frames, the cells are much larger, and the comb they build is exquisite.
    great pictures g3 and omie! beautiful!

    i wanted to go back to g3's earlier post:
    "Glad you have customers that even know what it is and what to do with it."

    some folks don't, some of the customers are bluebloods (sorry dave!) and know how to serve it up, but i help everyone out with this handout, or give it to anyone who is interested in comb honey but don't know what to do with it, the recipes change on the 2nd page, but this really does help to sell it: (this is a pdf file)

    TASTE THE EXPERIENCE OF COMB HONEY

    paul said:
    "You can taste the distinct blooms"... and " but had a distinctly minty after taste".
    yes, this is true paul, and most likely you had comb honey from bee balm, and an excellent flavor, and really is my favorite.

    dave's post:
    "it sound like a profitable venture as well...just off of that one frame."
    yes, it is dave, figure 15 to 18$ from one frame per slice, so average, at 15 x 5 = $75 for one frame, it is profitable!

    omie, thanks for your compliment, the kelley tray was 'stingy' :lol:, especially with the amount of frames i was cutting! my veil is off to you for totally foundation-less! your method and pix are awesome!
     
  13. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    :thumbsup:
    Great presentation. I was thinking about ordering the cut-comb kit from ML, but I think I'll give your method a try. Some of my customers have been asking for comb honey. Thanks.
     
  14. Marbees

    Marbees Member

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    I had two shallows of the comb honey last year, it was perfect. As I get older, if the weight of honey supers becomes an issue(using deeps now), I may switch to shallows and stay in business.:grin:
    Great presentation, thanks riverebee:thumbsup:
     
  15. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    Speaking of cut comb honey: The medium super I added to my largest hive two weeks ago was 100% drawn, filled and 95+% capped (tomorrow I am going to need to look for swarm cells in the bottom deep!). I pull 8 frames and replace these with foundationless (with 1/4" foundation starter strips).
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    After trimming around the uncapped, giving a few squares to my neighbors and the handful of "imperfect" squares (like the drone cell one in the picture directly above) that we will keep for ourselves, I still have almost 30 squares of comb honey to bring and sell at work next week!

    After trimming out the comb, I gave the wet frames to my Carnie package hive. They were due for a super as well.
     
  16. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Very nice Paul! :thumbsup:
     
  17. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    Oooh Paul those look so perfect! Nice.
     
  18. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    gunsmith's post:
    "Great presentation. I was thinking about ordering the cut-comb kit from ML, but I think I'll give your method a try. Some of my customers have been asking for comb honey. Thanks"

    marbee's post:
    "I had two shallows of the comb honey last year, it was perfect. As I get older, if the weight of honey supers becomes an issue(using deeps now), I may switch to shallows and stay in business.
    Great presentation, thanks riverebee."

    thanks gunsmith and marbees....it works, without a kit. the keep that got me started i think i said, is in british columbia and runs about 150-200 hives, and this is the way he does it, and you don't need starter strips of any kind in the frames, just a bead of beeswax in the grooves. when i first started doing it this way, i just left the frames as is, put the bead wax in the grooves later. the bead stays in place when the comb is harvested and ready to go for next year.

    give it a try, you will be amazed at what the girls do.