First Comb Honey + Calculating Honey Harvest

A moment I’ve been waiting for — for the past year and a half — happened this morning. I ate honey fresh out of a hive and right off the comb. It was a beautiful thing.

My first cut of honey comb. (September 3, 2011.)



I got over 4 pounds of honey (1.8kg) from the single medium sized foundationless frame. I’m not sure how much of that is the weight of the wax. Some of the honey wasn’t capped (or fully cured), but I shook the frame upside-down to remove whatever nectar wasn’t honey yet, and there’s wasn’t much. So most of it was honey. If 4 pounds is the average amount of honey per frame (4 pounds seems like a large amount to me), then I’ll get over 100 pounds of honey from the three honey supers — if they’re filled before the honey flow ends. I think that’s being optimistic, but there you go. And that’s about it. I’ll have more to say after I harvest the rest of the honey in a few weeks. In the meantime, here’s a quick video of some of the comb being cut off the frame.

September 4th, 2011: I crushed and strained the honey. The liquid honey is coming in at about 1.5kg, which is a little over 3 pounds of honey. Three honey supers with 9 frames each would come in 81 pounds or 37kg of honey. We’ll see.

September 5th, 2011: My measurements were off. I got four bottles of honey from the single frame, approximately one pound per bottle.

September 24th, 2011: It doesn’t look like I’ll get that 81 pounds of honey. That was a best-case scenario. I just took a look at all the frames in all the honey supers. Most of them are not fully capped. I’ll still harvest most of it, but most of the frames aren’t nearly as thick and heavy with honey as the first frame I pulled. I’m guessing I’ll get about 50 pounds or less.

6 thoughts on “First Comb Honey + Calculating Honey Harvest

  1. We pulled three more fully capped frames, two of them foundationless. It’s going to be great. We plan to dig into them this weekend. New photos and videos will be up in a couple weeks.

    And I agree. It’s fantastic.

  2. Yeah, foundationless — in the honey super, not necessarily the brood chamber — is fantastic. Frames with plastic foundation are fine if you want to extract and have the frames refilled quickly. But foundationless is way more fun.

    I say this from my vast experience of harvesting a single foundationless frame.

    We’re crushing and straining another frame tonight, and then again on the weekend. I’ll have photos and videos posted in a week or two.

  3. That comb looks delicious. I tried foundationless hives this year…my first. A topbar hive and a regular Langstroth hive. Unfortunately while I was on vacation…wax moths got in and the bees left. The topbar was a package that was just starting and the other hive a trapout that was just starting. Neither were big enough to keep the waxmoth larva population down. I’ll try again next year.

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