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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Saguache,Colorado,usa
    Posts
    117

    Default comb honey without special frames???

    Please forgive me I have seen comb honey but I don't think I have ever tried it except stealing a little taste from my own bees, but certainly never bought a chunck. So here is my question, why the special frames. Could a person just through and empty frame in let the bees draw comb and then cut it once it is capped. I am sure everyone is going to say that the comb will not hold the weight but in nature I have seen huge combs bigger than a super frame full of honey and they had no problems holding the weight. So why doesn't this work? I was looking at ross rounds setup and wow a $100 for one super of frames! I am sure it is probably worth it but that is a chunk of change.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    People use extra thin foundation in shallow supers for comb honey. There's no reason you cannot do the same with foundationless frames or top bars. Save a bunch of loot to boot.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    moravia,ny
    Posts
    1,259

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    sure look up cut comb honey. thin fdn is available for shallow or med frames. If they draw the fdn it will be thicker. useable but lower quality.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,710

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    The benefit to the Ross Rounds system is that once the bees finish their part, you can pop the comb out of the holder, just add the top and bottom caps, and you are ready for market. If you don't use the Ross system, (or a competitor) then there is more work for you to do to prepare cut comb for sale. Of course, you need to weigh time vs cost to decide what is best for you.

    If you chose to just use foundationless frames and are concerned about supporting the comb, some users here have recommended wiring the frame using fishing line. You can then easily cut the line when harvesting cut comb and then pull the line out of the comb.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    I do foundationless cut comb all the time. Just have a comb guide (a row of cells from the last comb will do, or a wood strip etc.). I like mediums because I can get more perfect 4" by 4" combs out of it and I can cut the remainder up for free samples (or better $0.25 samples). Or if you really have no use for it, you can use it for crush and strain or throw it in with your cappings...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    524

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    I did a bit of cut comb last season. I used medium frames with thin surplus foundation and no wires or fishing line. The soybeans were blooming and the bees were able to draw out and fill the frames quickly. Once the frame had the comb cut away, I added them back to the hives and the bees filled in the cut away sections and recapped the cells.

    If the thin surplus is added too soon, the heat will cause it to warp and possibly fall out of the frame. I used kellybees N style frames. The frame has grooves in the thicker end bars that helps support the foundation. There must be a good flow on in order for the unsupported foundation (by wire or fishing line) to be drawn out before it warps. I had one hive that was slow to draw out and the heat caused the foundation to bow to one side. These combs were cut away and crushed and strained.

    The frames that have been cut away are then placed between two fully drawn out perfect frames of honey. This will give the bees a good guide to rebuild the missing portions of comb straight.
    Nick Hubbell
    www.findlaybee.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Saguache,Colorado,usa
    Posts
    117

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    Thank you Mr. Bush. I thought I could but just wasn't sure, now do you have a good source for popsicle sticks

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    craft section at Walmart. Paint stirers from HomeDepot or Lowes.
    When you stop learning you're dead.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    >now do you have a good source for popsicle sticks

    Any craft store or craft section has what they usually call "jumbo craft sticks" which are the thicker Popsicle sticks like the Dilly Bars come on at Dairy Queen. Or as beyondthesidewalks says, paint stir sticks work fine as well and you can even split them into two guides.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: comb honey without special frames???

    I make and sell quite a bit of comb honey, but 99% of what sells in my area is cut comb in a jar with honey poured around it. I"ve tried all the expensive kits, and while I like them, my customers balk and ask, "What's this?"

    I cut some comb out and put it in a clear, plastic clam shell. This also sells well. But any of the kits don't seem to work for my customers despite the convenience. Plain comb, either thin surplus or foundationless frames, seems to be more welcome than the kits by my bees.

    The only thing I can think of is to keep the comb free from brood.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

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