I'm thinking I might be better off producing comb honey since this is my first time at this. The kits I've seen are pretty expensive, Ross rounds and the one Mann Lake sells. I read in my beekeeping book that there is a foundation you can buy without wire but havent located any yet. Do any of you guys use this product? and is it worth trying?
It is called "thin surplus" foundation. The suppliers have it as a stock item in their catalogs.
Galveston, Mann Lake page 10 has "thin surplus" foundation, Betterbee page 13 has cut comb foundation, Walter T. Kelly has cut comb foundation on page 16 and on page 8 they sell a basswood sectioned comb honey super for a resonable price. Check them out. The Basswood sections are what everyones Grandfather told them about. Comb Honey is fun to and can be profitable. Steve
I have no problem selling cut comb. I buy surplus foundation from Walter T. Kelly. You could also do starter strips. I just do cut comb. That means you just use shallow or meduim supers with thin foundation and no wires. The only real trick is that you shouldn't put the foundation in until just before you put it in the hive and you shouldn't put it in the hive unless there is a honey flow and they will soon draw it. If you put the foundation in too soon or put the super on the hive too soon there are two problems. The heat will warp the foundation. The bees will get bored and chew it up. I like the starter strips because I don't have either of these problems.
I would definitely suggest cut comb over the premade rounds or sections. Most of my cut comb customers are from the older generations and are more familiar with this type of product. I didn't put any cut comb foundation out this year for a few reasons but next year I plan on putting out ten shallows just for cut comb as well as some chunk honey. I did find that I need to package my comb honey in two sizes, large (one pound combs) as well as small 1/4 pound combs. Some people who had not tried this before were a little shy about buying such a large piece of comb. Michael is very right, timing is everything, know your bees, honey flow and be flexible about checking these supers more often that wired supers. You don't want to leave full frames in the supers for the bees to track on, When I get a couple frames filled and capped I will remove these frames, push the other frames together and put in wired frames toward the outside. If you are not planning to extract just move the finished product to the outside as they fill them up. Just don't leave them on the bees long enough for the nice white capping to get dirty. Appearance is the key to selling cut comb honey. Good luck and have fun.
David Wallace and Family