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Thread: Cut Comb

  1. #1
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    Cut comb, that's different from chunk which is what is jarred in with extracted honey, right?

    What's the difference between Chunk, cut comb, and comb honey?

    Can cut comb be drained well enough so that it is packaged like the Ross Rounds/ comb honeys?

    Thanks, Waya
    WayaCoyote

  2. #2
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    Yes!
    Chunk is comb honey in a jar with extracted honey.
    Cut comb is just that "a piece of comb cut from a frame that is full of honey."
    Then there is comb honey like Ross, Hogg and the square basswood boxes. (Self contained?)

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/catalog/page19.htm

    [size="1"][ January 06, 2006, 05:42 PM: Message edited by: The Honey House ][/size]

  3. #3
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    I have a cafeteria tray with a piece of mesh on it that I set the cut comb on to drain. Then you can package it dry.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
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    I use wire queen excluders for draing being I have found no other good use for them lol.Im sure some will not agree but the do work well for draing cut comb.Waya try makeing some cut comb this year you can get great money for it.Another good thing to do is use a piece that is not so good looking and give samples.Even people who never saw comb honey love it once they know what to do with it.
    Mitch KD8IMF

  5. #5
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    I've found a lot of my customers don't really care if it's that pretty and will buy, at a slight discount or even at full price, the odds and ends and not quite perfect ones. But using them for samples is a great idea.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
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    >try making some cut comb this year you can get great money for it.<

    How much would you say I could get for 1 lb jar with cut comb in it? I'm curious how much more it's worth than what only honey without comb will bring.

  7. #7
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    "the odds and ends and not quite perfect ones"

    Michael

    We sell these in small plastic souce cups (like you get hot souce in) at the Fair and it is one of our best sellers probably 200 in 10 days @.50 each.
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  8. #8
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    I usually get $5 for a 4" by 4" piece of cut comb. Usually I put it in the clamshells because they are cheap. The plastic boxes are nicer but are more expensive.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
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    We sell the 4"x4"cut comb for $5 too but probably make more off the leftovers of cut comb in the souce cups (1"x1" pieces) than we do the 4x4.
    This started out with a peiece on a plastic spoon in a baggie but the cups are not as messy and we give them a spoon to eat it with and get a lot of return coustmers to buy the Cut Comb so we sell them a sample for .50 cents
    Ed, KA9CTT profanity is IGNORANCE made audible
    you can`t fix stupid not even with duct tape

  10. #10
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    question: how do you manage a hive for Comb Honey? I'm reading taht it is "tricky". due to the potential of swarming, (i'm guessing here). If that is the case, then could it be managed like a split?

    for instance, give most of the open brood to another hive who could care for it, remove the queen, so the hive has to raise a new queen from the one frame of open brood remaining. the hive wouldn't swarm and wouldn't have to busy work with the brood. Closed brood from the gaining hive could be given the comb honey producing hive.

    Is that a viable method or not. anything easier?
    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  11. #11
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    Waya,

    I've got a few questions along these lines too
    As I understand it, there are two kinda similar products
    One is something like Ross Rounds where you actually get the bee's to draw the comb and store the honey in the container
    this is what's pretty hard to do
    then there's cutcomb, where you just take frames and cut out squares with sortof a cookie cutter and put it in some kind of package
    I don't understand the motivation for the Ross Rounds approach
    it sound a lot more difficult and you really get the same product
    why would one do it?
    is it kindof a marketing thing??

    Dave

  12. #12
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    Cut comb -- more work for the beekeeper, less for the bees, probably more yeild.

    RR, etc -- more work for the bees, maybe less for the beekeeper (less packaging, maybe more management of the hive), less yield because the bees really don't like it.

  13. #13
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    >question: how do you manage a hive for Comb Honey?

    Crowd them into the supers. Maximize the foraging poulation. Minimize the brood. Do something to minimize the swarming under swarming circumstances (crowding).

    >I'm reading taht it is "tricky". due to the potential of swarming, (i'm guessing here). If that is the case, then could it be managed like a split?

    Usually it IS a split. A cut down split. Meaning you take away all but one of the brood boxes so they have to move into the supers.

    >for instance, give most of the open brood to another hive who could care for it

    Good start, or do a split to remove it.

    > remove the queen, so the hive has to raise a new queen from the one frame of open brood remaining.

    That's what I'd do. Lloyd gives them a new queen less than a month old.

    > the hive wouldn't swarm and wouldn't have to busy work with the brood.

    Excatly the goal.

    > Closed brood from the gaining hive could be given the comb honey producing hive.

    You could.

    >Is that a viable method or not. anything easier?

    That's pretty much the concepts. Timing is the only other ESSENTIAL issue. Two weeks before the flow is what I think is optimal. Right at the flow is ok. Any earlier is too early. Any later is really too late.

    >One is something like Ross Rounds where you actually get the bee's to draw the comb and store the honey in the container
    this is what's pretty hard to do

    Not hard, but it takes a different technique.

    >then there's cutcomb, where you just take frames and cut out squares with sortof a cookie cutter and put it in some kind of package

    After you let it drain.

    >I don't understand the motivation for the Ross Rounds approach
    it sound a lot more difficult and you really get the same product
    why would one do it?

    You get a similar product. Ignoring marketing let's look at the beekeeping side.

    You can just put supers with starter strips or foundationless or thin surplus foundation on a hive and you'll probably get some comb honey.

    The criteria for really GOOD comb honey is nice white cappings (no dark wax), filled out to the edges (no empty cells), and soft easy to chew wax. The best way to get this is to do a cutdown split.

    If you're going to do a cutdown split, then you COULD get Ross rounds out of it.

    The advantages to Ross Rounds (besides marketing) are that you simply take them out and put the lids on. With cut comb you take the frames out and lay them down and cut the combs and put them on racks to drain. How many racks do you have? How many racks do you need? They really should drain overnight. Then you put them in a box. At this point the products are similar except that the comb in the Ross Rounds haven't really been touched by human hands (other than the rings) and the cut comb has been.

    >is it kindof a marketing thing??

    That's the other part. A ross round has a sharp appearance and some people just prefer them.

    >Cut comb -- more work for the beekeeper, less for the bees, probably more yeild.

    Less work in the managment. More work in the harvest.

    >RR, etc -- more work for the bees, maybe less for the beekeeper (less packaging, maybe more management of the hive), less yield because the bees really don't like it.

    More work in the managment. Less work in the harvest.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  14. #14
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    Another thing to add...

    Ross Rounds have an actual market value, as
    they can be sold as a hygienic LOOKING food
    product for as long as you keep them reasonably
    stored and handled. Most cut comb looks like
    something the cat dragged in from the start, and
    tends to suffer "wear and tear" if hauled down to
    the farmers market more than once.

    People don't want to buy something oozing all
    over the place in a plastic box that looks like
    a leftovers box from a restaurant. People DO
    want to buy something that looks "pretty", and
    will trust something that looks "pretty" to
    taste good.

    There are exceptions to the above (for example,
    I recall a certain young lady's reaction to
    having shrimp served to her with the heads
    still on in a raw bar in St. Martens), but
    in general, packaging matters.

    Also, Michael did not mention caging the queen
    a few days before the flow. I stress this to
    new comb producers. It makes a serious difference
    in the number of bees available to draw comb
    and process incoming nectar.

    There is a thriving wholesale market in comb
    honey, and to my knowledge, the expectation
    is that one will supply "rounds", as there
    is zero interest in any other type of packaging.
    Not that I wholesale any of my comb honey,
    heck, the phone calls start even before the
    Tulip Poplar blooms asking "when will the
    comb honey be ready?"

  15. #15
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    >Also, Michael did not mention caging the queen
    a few days before the flow. I stress this to
    new comb producers. It makes a serious difference
    in the number of bees available to draw comb
    and process incoming nectar.

    I didn't. I suggested removing her altogether along with the open brood two weeks before the flow, but caging her is another way to cut down on the amount of open brood and increase the number of foragers, who would otherwise be nurse bees. Caging the queen might be easier for those that don't want another hive from a cut down split.

    Another trick, if you want to do something on these lines and you don't have chemicals in the brood nest, is what GM Doolittle would shoot for, which is to remove most all the brood, leave most all the honey when you do the cutdown and leave the queen in the old location. The bees have to move the honey to make room for the queen to lay in the brood nest, so they move it up into the sections.

    If you really want to do comb honey you should play with these concepts and see how they work for you.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
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    Well, I'm just gonna build a TBH and figure any capped combs could just as easily become comb honey. (Well, that's what they are, aren't they?)

    I don't understand the issue of draining etc. Please be aware that I know I have never had comb honey but I'm not sure I have even seen comb honey except in a picture.

    Couldn't I just cookie cutter it and put it into a vacuum sealed bag and be done with it?

    JohnF
    JohnF INTP

  17. #17
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    Jim and Michael,

    thank you both
    I have been educated [img]smile.gif[/img]

    Dave

  18. #18
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    John F.
    Here it is popular to slip a chunk of comb in the jar of honey. Old timers, anyway, always asking for it as they remember it in their youth. However, for myself who enjoys chomping the comb, i don't care for having to constantly lick my fingers. So simply allowing it to drain a while before containering it would increase my eating pleasure. Others perhaps like the sticky fingers and like it still wet. I would say that it is the personal preference of the consumer (read that as the eater). While I like it "dry", most the folks asking for the comb don't seem to care, so I could probably sell it still wet.

    Waya
    WayaCoyote

  19. #19
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    Ah, so you just eat it like a piece of candy.

    Thanks.

    JohnF
    JohnF INTP

  20. #20
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    >Well, I'm just gonna build a TBH and figure any capped combs could just as easily become comb honey. (Well, that's what they are, aren't they?)

    As long as there's no cocoons in it from brood. But freshly drawn comb is tender and soft. Older comb is tougher and chewy. Both are quite edible, but the tender comb is more marketble.

    >I don't understand the issue of draining etc.

    The way cut comb is usually marketed is clean and dry in a plastic box. A chunk in the middle of a jar of honey is "chunk" honey and it's also a way of marketing comb honey.

    >Couldn't I just cookie cutter it and put it into a vacuum sealed bag and be done with it?

    It will be edible. It can work. It will be messy. I don't know how the market will view it. I do sometimes put the odds and ends, without draining, in the clamshell boxes and sell them at a bargin price to my customers that I know don't care about having a pretty piece of comb. They don't care, but you have a couple of kinds of customers. The ones that just want some comb honey and the ones who are impressed by the presentation.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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