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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a!
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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Making and Boxing Cut Comb Honey

Today I took a super of honey off of my Bermuda hive with the plan to cut comb and box it in plastic boxes. I've never done this before so I didn't make a movie but instead I made a slide show. Maybe I'll make a video of it next year!

I learned a lot doing this harvest method.

1. I had a difficult time cutting the comb and not dripping the frame onto previously cut squares of comb. I finally figured out that to help with this problem, I needed to lay the frame of comb on top of the draining rack. Then cut the squares all out at once before moving the frame.

2. My bees made all of their comb from starter strips this year. Sometimes they didn't make straight lines of cells and my comb isn't as pretty as it might have been. I appreciate their hard work, however. Next year I might look for the straightest lines of cells in choosing frames for this process.

3. I have another hive, Mellona, that produced some gorgeous comb, but I kept waiting for them to fully cap all the frames in the super before harvesting it. It took them so long that when I harvested that super I had to use crush and strain as a harvest method because there were too many travel stains on what had been gorgeous white comb. Next year I may harvest frame by frame for cut comb, rather than wait for the entire super to be ready.

4. On the Internet forums, I was advised to use a serrated knife. I didn't because I have a wonderfully sharp Victorinox knife with a really thin blade that went through the comb like butter. If you try this at home, however, you may want to use a steak knife with a serrated blade. I cut on the inside of the cutter to make sure the squares actually fit into the 4" boxes.

5. I bought these plastic boxes from Brushy Mountain. They snap shut but not really tightly. I think if I do this again, I'll find a different container. When I take these out of the freezer and label them, I'll probably use tape to keep the box securely closed.

The slide show should start automatically. If you want to see the pictures larger, then click on the picture and you should go to my Web Album where you can see the pictures more easily.



From the eight frames that I harvested, I got about 26 pounds of honey product (since comb is included in cut comb and chunk). This brings my harvest this year to approximately 103 pounds of honey from 32 frames or about 3.2 pounds per frame. That isn't a particularly useful statistic since some of the frames were mediums and some shallow.

Note:  (added 2011)  I learned an improved system posted after this was made.  You can read about the changes here.

6 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:49 PM

    Last year I began my beekeeping. And before the winter came,My bees had escaped. There was no bees in my hive. Only terrible worm!
    This saturday I'll get two colonies from my friend. Today reading your harvest make my mouth watering. And so much expectation.

    redteeth

    ReplyDelete
  2. great information. Thank you for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous2:15 AM

    Hi Linda,
    Like yourself, my husband & I are relatively new to Beekeeping - this being our third year. What fun! Early this summer, for the first time, we harvested our English wild flower cut-comb honey. We were advised by an experienced friend how to encourage the bees to produce straight comb! He suggested alternate frames of fine foundation wax and empty frames (well marked on the top bar for later identification.) The bees then have the 'framework' to produce beatifully straight and deep cut comb - every other frame being entirely their own masterpiece. It worked for us!
    BATH, ENGLAND

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous12:51 AM

    it works great if you take a torch and heat up the knife and cut the wax. Also, I love to do one of two things.....

    1) save my ends and use them in my chunck honey

    or

    2) cut little many pieces and place in a small container (like small deli cup that hold dressings) and sell them for a dollar at the market.

    Take care,

    Chef Isaac
    Sweet as can BEE Honey Farm
    http://www.sweetascanbeehoneyfarm.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. Anonymous9:52 AM

    Beautifully done job on the cut comb. We are not so ambitious. We just bottle our honey and do a lot of finger licking. We are very popular with all of our friends, especially around the holidays.

    Beekalmer from Lowell MA

    ReplyDelete
  6. This year I tried something I had seen on Youtube and it worked! For comb honey place a frame with foundation, then a frame with no foundation and repeat this process in your supers. I did it this year and it worked! The bees have made 100% comb honey without the foundation. Hope this helps you! Dawn @ Coon Hollow Farm, CT

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