One of the reasons I decided to start keeping bes is my love for comb honey, I am planning on attempting to make some this year. I like the ease of the Ross Round,a and the cassette style of comb honey supers, but didn't know which one was better for a first time try. Any advice from those more experienced?
Well I don't know about "ease", getting the bees to fill ross rounds and section comb is sometimes a real trick of honey super management.
If the honey is mostly for you and yours, then I would just go with cut comb. And you might even consider Top Bar Hives which are even easier.
Go with the Ross Rounds or Section Comb if you are going to market that honey for a specific crowd that you know already wants to buy it. Health Food stores is a good place to start asking.
I'd go with the ross rounds.
I have had good luck with the Hogg Halfcomb cassettes - very easy to assemble and install. Getting the bees to cooperate in the plastic cassettes requires good timing - I agree with the previous post that cut comb is a little easier, bees seem a little more eager to work the wax foundation.
If you e-mail Lloyd Spear, who runs Ross Rounds, (lloyd@RossRounds.com) he will
most likely BURY you in helpful information about how to start making comb honey.
I feel that any one of Richard Taylor's books on comb honey would be a good investment for anyone who wants to start making some. Glancing at my bookshelf, I have the following Taylor books:
"The Comb Honey Book"
"The New Comb Honey Book"
"Comb Honey Basics"
"How to Raise Beautiful Comb Honey"
Like Richard suggests, I "move the bees
down" to a much smaller area by driving
the bees out of and removing one of the
(most often 4) mediums that make up
my brood chambers to "crowd" the bees,
and get them making new comb up in the
Ross Round super(s).
Now that Brushy Mountain is offering
what they call a "Ventilator Fume Board"
(I've always called it a "breeze board".
You can build one yourself if you read
You can do this even in chilly weather or
in the evening without all the brushing
and "shaking" bees off frames that seems
to intimidate most beekeepers from
reducing the amount of drawn comb available
to the bees, and getting them to draw
new comb quickly. If you don't do this,
the bees will not be "motivated" to draw
new comb, and you will end up with partly
drawn comb, and little actual comb honey.
As far as round versus square gizmos go,
I know of no large-scale producer of
comb honey that has found any advantage
in the more expensive Hogg Cassettes over the less expensive Ross Rounds.
I have lots of Ross Round gear, so I've
never tried the Hogg gear. The Ross gear
is paid for, and works just fine.
From the catalogs that I have seen the Ross Rounds are the most expensive, not that I mind the price if the reward is worth the effort, but I am not in the habit of spending more then I need to. If the ross rounds are woth the extra money I would definitely grab them, but from what I see in the catalogs the ross rounds are at least 10 to 15 dollars more, and you get at least 8 less products to sell. Please explain how hey are cheaper, and why you feel that they are Worth the extra expense. I would be Happy to spend the extra money if I could justify the expends to the other half of the checkbook.
I believe the Ross Rounds are cheaper to refill than the cassettes.
Thanks dcross, I hadn't looked at it that way, I was just looking at initial purchase. Jim I will e-mail Lloyd, thanks for the input, hoepfully i wil have a strong enough hive to make some this year.