We crushed and strained another foundationless frame of honey last night. We cut and packaged some raw honey comb too. First we cut the comb from the frame:

Then we used a small Mason jar like a cookie cutter to cut out round pieces of comb (not the cleanest way to cut honey comb — though my hands and everything else were clean):

We managed to cut out a dozen round pieces from a single medium frame of honey (approximately 120g each, a little over 4 oz):

Proper cut comb should be drained over night and packaged dry, but there’s nothing proper about anything we’re doing. We’re having fun.

That was last night. We dug into the raw honey comb this morning:

And had it on toast:

We spread the cut honey comb over buttered toast, bees wax and all. You don’t notice the wax when it’s eaten with toast, crackers or other food. The butter and honey combo on thick home made whole wheat toast is incredibly delicious. I bottled about 1.3 litres of honey into small jars later on. These are sample sized jars (125ml).

(As usual, the lighting conditions in our kitchen aren’t the greatest. The honey in real life is golden, and it glows.) I scraped the left over honey into these small 75g (2.5 oz) containers. (I bought all the containers from a cash & carry wholesale store. They were cheap, though the Mason jar aren’t.)

We use a nylon paint strainer to filter the wax from the honey. We could use various micron filters to produce ultra clear honey. We could even heat the honey to prevent crystallization. But none of that improves the flavour or aroma of the honey. It might even detract from the beneficial properties of the honey. (I’ll have to look into that.) Either way, we like the rawness of honey, especially the cut comb — I’ve never tasted anything so delicious. We freeze the honey for 24 hours, which doesn’t affect the honey in any way, but that’s it. We’re hooked on the honey as natural as it can be. I don’t mean to get regal on you, but grocery store honey tastes like plastic to us now.

We plan to give away all this honey.

6 Responses to “Making Cut Comb (Old School)”

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  1. Emily Heath says:

    Oh man… those round comb portions are majestic

  2. Jeff says:

    Looks good Phil. I’m salivating just looking at it.

    I pulled 11 frames out of mine yesterday. Some fully capped, some 50% capped. I noticed there was little store below the honey boxes so I want to give the bees a chance to build reserves for winter.

    • Phillip says:

      11 frames aren’t bad. We’ll have to do a honey exchange.

      I notice from my records that my bees last year took down syrup all through October. That’s when I’ll top up my hives this year too. I plan to leave the honey supers on until next weekend, and then I’ll add the feeders. At the moment, though, I’m not even feeding my nucs, only pollen patties. All of my hives seem to have stored up honey very well this year.

      I bought some half-inch hardware mesh — it’s not called hardware cloth around here. I still can’t find any 1/8-inch mesh, but anyway. I plan to use the half-inch mesh to mouse-proof my entrances this year. I got the idea from Michael… one of the Michaels in one of the Brushy Mtn beekeeping videos. He stuffs a piece of the mesh inside the entire bottom entrance. It provides better ventilation and thus a dryer hive; the bees will do a better job of cleaning out the dead (mine didn’t clean out the dead hardly at all last year); and the half-inch spacing is enough to keep the mice out.

  3. Phillip says:

    I pulled 5 or 6 frames of capped honey from the hives today, some of it foundationless, some of it not. We’ll probably crush and strain the foundationless stuff tonight.

    I pulled some partially drawn comb on conventional frames too. That’ll come in handy next year. But I doubt the bees will have a chance to draw out the rest of the comb, fill it with nectar, cure it into honey and have it capped by next weekend. Removing those frames from the equation should, theoretically, allow the bees to concentrate on the remaining frames that they can finish capping by next weekend.

    If the weather is still warm, we’ll keep the honey supers on a little longer. But whatever happens, all of our honey for the year should be extracted by October.

  4. Jeff says:

    I agree. I think a honey exchange is in order. I have to try the comb honey…. Next year I will be doing a super of that. Still I can’t complain considering I’m taking 11 frames from a swarm colony this year.

  5. Phillip says:

    Someone on Google Plus threw out these thoughts today:

    “A teaspoon of honey has roughly 22 calories… a Snickers bar has 271.” He went on to say:

    “I keep a jar of honey in my desk here at work. When the afternoon sweet tooth attack occurs, which is nearly every afternoon, I take a spoonful… more often 2 spoons full of honey straight from the jar, one after another and my craving for sweets is gone.” He said:

    “I never have, but I could repeat that 5 times before approaching the calories in the single candy bar, to say nothing of honey’s being much better for me… just a thought on ways to use honey from your hive…”

    I’ve noticed since I’ve been eating honey from our hives every day for the past couple weeks that my craving for chocolate has diminished. Even desserts. I can take a delicious spoonful of honey after supper, or a small bite from some cut comb, and I’m totally satisfied. It tastes wonderful, it feels good, and it has less calories and fat than just about anything else I could have for dessert or as a snack.

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