Cut Comb Honey Fresh From the Hive

in beekeeping •  last month

A friend's daughter asked for a piece of honeycomb for her birthday so we went digging through one of the hives looking for a suitable comb. It turned out to be a lucky coincidence, because one of the combs had broken off of its frame and was propped up against two other combs. Sometimes that happens in the heat of the summer when the wax is soft and the honey is coming in heavy. The bees will fix the problem, but will often attach a bunch of combs together, making it difficult for the beekeeper to do regular inspections.

In this case we were able to cut out a piece of comb and neaten up the hive so that the bees can continue making straight combs and my friend's daughter can get a taste of comb honey on her birthday.

Cheers,
Professor Bromide

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Reading the comments on this blog, I can tell you are a man of much expertise in these delicate fields. Your blog is superb! Vote earned.

Oh man this looks so tasty!!! I love honeycomb but have only ever had shop bought processed stuff... is the real thing even nicer?

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One of the benefits of honey in the comb is that it can't be processed even if it is in found in the grocery store. This piece was very tasty. Our mid-summer honey often has a vanilla flavor that I like. No feedback from the birthday girl, though.

Ive been using a long bread knife to separate the "cross comb frames" or is that "cross frame combs" anyway it works well to separate those frames that have been joined with "crazy" comb.

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I do the same thing. This comb collapse was probably the result of one of my previous repair attempts. Sometimes you can cut some of the comb loose and push it back into place. In this case it didn't work.

Thankfully, comb collapse is rare in brood comb. I hate damaging the brood.

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It always hurts a bit to see the pearly white larva spill out. I have 2 x 10 frame deeps filled with with the crazy comb I got from the Go Big or Go Home cutout I did. I added a 3rd 10 frame deep to the top. I'm hoping she will move up there before I decide to "fix" the two lower boxes.

I still remember the honey combs I had in summer when my grandfather was still among us. He had about 50 hives for more than forty years and I sure had plenty of honey. The acacia was my favorite.

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We get perfectly white honey from our native acacia, black locust, but there isn't enough of it to harvest it on its own. It gets mixed in with our main flow of tulip poplar.

Are you in central Asia somewhere?

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No. Eastern Europe. A matter of fact the place where I live, having a Central European climate, is almost perfect for bee hives. My grandpa had really good amounts of honey "harvested" from his bees. There weren't all the years the same though, but overall his hobby/small business went very good. After his death though nobody in the family knew how to handle bees and we had to sell the bees. We still have the place where they were placed though...

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So cool! A few years ago, I saw a video on this beekeeping product from Australia. I'm not affiliated with them or anything - I just think it's an interesting idea. Check out How Flow Works under the About menu. There's a video there. I'm interested in hearing what you think. https://www.honeyflow.com

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The videos are awesome. If harvesting honey was the difficult part of beekeeping then it would be really popular. Right now, most beekeepers are struggling to keep bees alive long enough to make honey.

I would probably consider buying some Flow Hive frames to try them, but I don't use queen excluders. If the queen gets on one of the Flow Frames it will be full of brood that will die if you try to harvest.

Funny that you would comment on this right now. Nikv just resteemed your Indian Fudge recipe and I was telling my wife about it.

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We (Canada) are about to ban a whole bunch of neonics. Europe already has. Is that the problem you're having with your bees?

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We don't have a lot of corn here so neonics are not a problem. It is the mites and viruses. Virginia had its worst winter losses ever.

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That's interesting. Are these mites and viruses that have been around for awhile or something new?

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The varroa mite was introduced to N. America 40 years ago, but it has only been the last 20 that have been bad. The mites feed on bee larvae and spread viruses. The feral populations seem to have developed some resistance, but the major producers of domesticated bees have to use miticides to keep the colonies alive.

I catch and propagate feral bees. The honey production is less, but I don't have to dose them with chemicals to keep them alive.

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Interesting. Thank you.

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Yes, funny about the fudge. I have heard a beekeeper near here saying the same thing. Some people wanted to buy bees for big lots at the edge of the city and the beekeeper won't sell bees to them. He said there was so much corn being used for ethanol there, and it can be sprayed more or with different chemicals than the edible corn, resulting in bees that won't last 48 hours.