View Full Version : Which comb honey system?
12-04-2010, 09:41 PM
I'm trying to figure out about doing some comb honey next year. I'm not sure what system to use. I'm looking at both of these.
It seems like the bee-o-pac might be a good deal, but is it any good?
12-04-2010, 10:15 PM
So, I realized that there is a ton of information about this topic already posted. So, no need to respond unless you feel strongly. thanks
12-05-2010, 01:03 PM
Or find a local supplier of the clear plastic food grade containers that your local store uses. See what size would fit comb cut from a frame of unwired super foundation. look for small and med size. Good luck. I just hate parting with 50 bucks.
12-05-2010, 01:29 PM
I hate parting with $50 bucks too, that is why I recommend waiting until 1/1/11, when we will have an $8 rebate on our Ross Round supers (http://blueskybeesupply.com/ross_round_super_kit_1.html). That will save you $17 or more each, depending on where you purchase!
Seriously though, jrbbees is right. Cut comb is the way to go, for cost.
Nonetheless, the reason for choosing Ross Rounds or B-O-P, is the labor savings. I love doing Ross Rounds, because they are SO EASY to harvest. They are basically self-packing. No cutting, draining, or mess. For about $1.44 in consumables, you have a product which you can sell easily for $8-$10 (for 8 ounces). That's an awesome return for barely any labor, when you consider extracted honey has to be uncapped, spun, filtered and packed/labeled in your container.
I have heard poor feedback on B-O-P, so we never carried them; although, they look great when finished.
However, comb honey production requires a lot of bees and a strong honey flow--all while trying to avoid swarming. There are good books on the subject, including Richard Taylor's comb honey book, which we include with each RR super.
If I could do comb honey production exclusively, I would. However, in our market, extracted honey outsells comb about 14:1. That being said, we quickly sell all comb honey we can produce within a few months of harvesting.
12-05-2010, 05:20 PM
The answer is simple: go with what your customers want.
I've tried them all. However, 99% of my comb honey sales go with slabs of cut comb honey (from unwired shallow frames) inserted in a wide-mouth pint jar with extracted honey poured around them.
1% is a slab of comb honey cut from thin surplus in shallow frame presented in a plastic clam shell.
My second recomendation is to go with what the bees like. Bees instinctively balk at cassettes and small cavities, whether they be Ross Rounds, Kelley Basswood Boxes, Hogg Half-Cassette. Good management can get these filled. Yet the bees will eagerly build comb honey on thin surplus in a shallow frame.
Messy? Yes. A little more labor? Yes. Approved by customers? Absolutely.
Your area may vary, but find out what your customer want. Research the archives as there are many, many posts on the different systems. Each has their own advantages and challenges. Each has their fans and detractors.
Personally, the B-O-P was the most difficult to fill and market. If I had someone I really wanted to discourage and frustrate to the point of making them give up beekeeping, I'd buy them the B-O-P.
If I was to choose a cassette system, I'd pick the Ross Round.
If you want some great information, check out John Hogg's pages. He's a genius and generously shares his insights. http://www.halfcomb.com/ click on the publications page.
12-06-2010, 01:44 PM
honey sales go with slabs of cut comb honey (from unwired shallow frames) inserted in a wide-mouth pint jar with extracted honey poured around them.
cheapest way and also lest apt to fail :) there are tricks to using those comb systems and they often defeat new beekeepers.
12-06-2010, 03:52 PM
The easiest way to get cut comb honey is to place an empty frame in between two drawn frames in your supers.
I get all the comb honey I need this way and there is nothing extra to buy and very little effort needed.
12-06-2010, 06:50 PM
When you can consistently make good comb honey with the cut-comb method then advance to the Ross Rounds or Bee-0 Pac.
12-06-2010, 07:03 PM
With the cassettes the labor savings is in the processing. With thin surplus and frames the labor savings is on the font end.
cassettes = lots of time managing the colonies, preventing swarms etc.
frames+thin surplus = time cutting and packaging the comb.
all-in-all I think the labor savings is about a wash.