comb honey how to??

You have just gotten your bees, either in the mail or you have gone and picked them up in person. Now what do you do? Covers from installation in your hive until the end of the first winter and the first blooms of spring.
jig4bass
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comb honey how to??

Postby jig4bass » Mon Jul 25, 2016 8:09 pm

Hey guys had a question on producing comb honey, I've read so much on this subject I'm starting to doubt even trying it as it seems so complex. In my simple little mind I think that if I add a super filled with frames with 1" top guide strips to get them started and added the super before a good honey flow would they not produce comb honey?? Does anyone have a simple method they like to use?

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Michael Bush
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Re: comb honey how to??

Postby Michael Bush » Tue Jul 26, 2016 1:12 am

For millennia humans have eaten comb honey by simply stealing the honey and eating it in the comb. As long as it doesn't have any cocoons it's fairly edible. The concept of comb honey, though, in modern times is usually to get very soft new comb that falls apart in your mouth and this requires a particular set of circumstances, i.e. a strong flow that makes them draw and fill the comb quickly, a crowded hive, a lot of the right aged bees to draw a lot of comb. The complexities are challenging and can be fun. But if you don't mind chewy comb, they are not necessary.
"Everything works if you let it"--James "Big Boy" Medlin
http://www.bushfarms.com/bees.htm

bryan4916
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Re: comb honey how to??

Postby bryan4916 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:33 am

I do it by accident when rehiving wintered 5 frame nucs (15 medium frames total) to 10 frame boxes keeping the same box positioning at the start of spring flow. Turn the toe board down and let the bees go to town. If the hive is strong and you can keep up with it, It will happen.
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Nordak
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Re: comb honey how to??

Postby Nordak » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:09 pm

Wow, what kind of honey is that? I thought clover was fairly transparent, but that's a whole other level. Very pretty.

bryan4916
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Re: comb honey how to??

Postby bryan4916 » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:32 pm

Thanks. I think its the 2016 version of Autmn Olive but the lack of smell doesn't line up fully. The bees produced similar honey/comb in 2014 but it smelled like someone used a bottle of perfume. This time it just smells like hive. Maybe I waited longer to pull it this time? Who knows. Once you have been around this plant in full bloom, its hard to forget. With hundreds of these plants in my area, this is the first big flow item for me and blooms just after Bradford pears.

It could be privet which comes in mid to late spring and I'm not sure what that looks like. My Linden trees don't seem to attract the bees yet though I hear it will be water color with a slight green hue.

The clover honey came much later. This picture is of honey harvested a little later and looks to have a little more clover mixed with who knows what and has the much stronger taste I prefer.

Comb honey makes a great picture and is fun to eat. I crush and strain all my honey and seek certain tastes that only pollen can provide. This honey and the other honey around cut comb has very little pollen to begin with. What I love is the pollen that adds a distinct citrus taste but its sometimes hard to find and I don't know anyone who slings their honey finding the taste.

In the end, each apiary and sometimes each hive makes a unique experience that is hard to repeat anywhere else. A friend of mine 4 miles away has honey completely different from mine. This year's honey is more like 2014's than 2015.
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Nordak
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Re: comb honey how to??

Postby Nordak » Thu Aug 04, 2016 12:28 am

That bottom pic looks more like the honey I get here. I too love cut comb, and will often process mine like you, a chunk in the jar surrounded by honey. It is interesting how much variation there can be, even between combs at any given time of the year. Most I've harvested this year (last month) has an almost buttery, caramel tasting undertone. It's quite delicious. I have a foundationless lang I was considering building a shallow for just to do cut comb in clamshells. I think that's a project I'd like to try next year. Anyway, great pics, and best to you and your bees.

lharder
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Re: comb honey how to??

Postby lharder » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:50 pm

My urban honey is similar in taste. Rich buttery undertones with some herb highlights. People love it.

Has anyone sold chunks of comb in jars of honey? I would be interested in the response.

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Nordak
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Re: comb honey how to??

Postby Nordak » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:09 pm

So far, I have only given honey away to friends and family. Next year, I believe I will be trying to sell at the local farmer's market, and plan on utilizing the comb in jar as people seem to like it around here if only for the display effect. It's kind of a way to sell cut comb and fluid honey all in the same jar. From what I gather, it seems pretty popular.


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