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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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Sunday, June 15, 2008

Today's Honey Harvest with a Special Helper

I've read that if a mouse lives in a beehive (as mice often have the propensity to do over the winter) and if the mouse dies, the bees are likely to encase the mouse in propolis. I have in my own hives found small hive beetles encased in propolis near the edge of the frames.

Imagine the gross surprise when I pull these gorgeous frames of honey from Mellona and there between two frames, the bees have encased a roach egg with wax. It literally was bridging the space between two frames.

I cut out the piece containing the roach egg and ground it up in the garbage disposal! I did crush and strain on the rest of the frame in case there were any hidden eggs of any type elsewhere in the frame.


Some of the honey in this super was so well-capped that it begged to become cut comb honey, so that's what I did with it.

Last year I allowed the cut honey to drain, boxed it and then put the boxes in the freezer. When I thawed the boxes, there was more bleeding of honey in the now-boxed honey. I wanted to prevent the post-freezing honey drain into the packaging. So these squares of honey will be frozen overnight, allowed to thaw and drain into the pan below, and THEN I'll box the cut combs.

My favorite part of the honey harvest today was that I had my enthusiastic grandson to help me with this super. If you're interested you can click on the slideshow below and see all of his and my adventures with the honey.


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7 comments:

  1. Wow, that comb honey looks awesome. You've inspired me to try that next year.

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  2. Anonymous10:08 PM

    How do you measure your comb for cutting so that it fits into your boxes? Thanks for the tip about draining the comb again after freezing. You saved me a lot of mess!

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  3. I have something called a "comb cutter" that is the right size for the boxes. If you watch my slideshow on making and boxing cut comb honey (next to last on the list on the right side of the page) you'll see a picture of it.

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  4. Ick! I wonder if the egg wasn't laid by the roach you photographed the other week. I wonder why the bees didn't throw it out.

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  5. Anonymous1:13 AM

    Hi Linda ~
    Great info. You've inspired me too & this year I'm going to do the crush & drain method. I also hope to get some cut comb but was wondering why you cut it & then freeze it before you put it in containers?

    Is it to kill any bugs or larva? I was a little confused on the draining, freezing & draining? thanks! Tam

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  6. Even though it's unlikely, I would not want to give a box of cut comb to someone and have a wax moth hatch out of it. Freezing the comb for 24 hours assures that any tiny eggs will be killed. It's standard procedure for unfiltered honey. I also freeze the jars of chunk honey for the same reason.

    You drain the cut comb purely for presentation. I will box it (see the slideshow on the right) and I don't want liquid honey sitting in the box, marring the appearance of the cut comb.

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  7. Thank you for your clarification :) Appreciate it. I'm just getting ready to add a super over my brood boxes. Tam

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