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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    zanesvile, ohio, usa
    Posts
    104

    Default Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    I am thinking of doing a box of comb honey next season. I was checking out the Rossman Apiaries catalog and the "Ross Rounds" 10 frame is $95.
    My question is, is comb honey worth doing? What do they sell for at a farmers market? Also, is this a good or bad thing to be doing? Any advise from someone with experience making comb honey would be appreciated. Any advise on marketing it would also help..

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Gordonsville,VA USA
    Posts
    114

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Some bees take to it some have to be coaxed. Best advice would be to crowd the bees, place your ross super on and monitor, sometime you can add the ross super and your normal super you use above that.
    When I say crowd the bees, I mean if you have double brood chambers, place your brood and honey and pollen into bottom box , so your bees are oozing out. Then they will draw the rounds and round round we go, wee hoo! where we stop no one knows.....

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Thumbs down Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Cheaper to buy it then produce it. I produced 111 supers this year and I would bet I lot that many supers by producing it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Why make section comb honey, and have to deal with all the management involved with forcing the bees to work in the sections. Why not make cut comb. Not really much to it. If you can get an extracting super with wired foundation drawn and filled, you can do the same with comb honey foundation.

    I put on 300 supers this year. We're still cutting it up, but looks like there's 6-8,000 cuts. At $5@, is that not worth it?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Perth Western Australia
    Posts
    197

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    to produce honey comb there is a cost in honey to produce that wax.

    Based on info that it takes 30 grams of wax to hold 1 kg of honey I have done the following calculation.

    Or 1kg of honey comb is the equivalent of 1.32 kg of honey.

    You need to decide on the labour cost of honey comb verses extracting honey

    the set out of the table looks good at the moment but may not look too good when posted.

    I sell cut honey comb at my local market based on $38 per kg, that gives me a honey price of $29 kg.

    I sell honey in 1 kg plastic tug (tub cost $0.85 plus label) for $10


    HONEY COMB PRODUCTION
    ECONOMICS


    Assumptions
    Wax to store 1 kg honey 3% 46 gm
    Honey to produce 46 gm of wax 322 gm

    1 Kg honey comb equivalent to 1.322 kg honey


    Acceptable Minimum
    Honey price Honey comb
    Equivalent

    $5.... $6.61
    $6.... $7.93
    $7.... $9.25
    $8... $10.58
    $9...... $11.90
    $10.... $13.22
    $11 .... $14.54
    $12.... $15.86
    $13.... $17.19
    $14.... $18.51
    $15.... $19.83
    $16.... $21.15
    $17.... $22.47
    $18.... $23.80
    $19.... $25.12
    $20... $26.44

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Michael, how do you find a market for 6-8000 cuts @ $5? I hardly ever get people requesting cut comb honey, maybe its a local thing for you. John

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    790

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    I pull out a frame early in the season (as soon as it is capped) cut it up on the cooling tray and make cut comb. It is like the first tomato of the year. We put it in the plastic containers at under $0.25 and freeze it. Put the frame back in and let them do it over. I am obviously not in the same class as the other posters but the sell at our farmers market for $9 each (4" sqauares)
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    I sell by the super for $130 Avg. 33 lbs of honey. That works out to just under $4 a lb. For even super of comb honey, I could have produced 2 production supers. Wholesale honey price at $2.25 a lb X 66 lbs I'm at $148 and I still have the equipment. The only reason I sell the comb honey is to move the other 50-60 tons of honey, and it works.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,813

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Mr.Householder, What is it that you are selling? A super of basswood sections? Ross Rounds? Or Frames without wires?

    Crazy Roland

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    10 frames shallows. We use the thin comb foundation, what a pain.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Stevenson, Washington, USA
    Posts
    181

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Minz, on a similar scale, I made five frames of cut comb this year - just bought the specialty thin foundation and slipped them in with five other production frames. I made 15 squares and sold out in a few minutes on Facebookat $10 per. Of the fifteen, two had tried It before, 13 wanted to try it - all asked for more!
    For one ten-frame shallow that's $300 in sales. I used the fancy plactic boxes, but the clamshells are cheaper. I used a medium super, which had a ton of excess - should've used the shallows!

    I can't sell hundreds of supers of it, but I know I can move a few supers-worth easily!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Kingsville, OH
    Posts
    959

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    I had ross round given to me. The bees worked them nicely.
    I also jarred chunk comb honey. I have been asked to produce it for years. I won't have any left in a week or so.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Location
    DuPage County, Illinois USA
    Posts
    9,658

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    you can do the same with comb honey foundation.

    I put on 300 supers this year. We're still cutting it up, but looks like there's 6-8,000 cuts. At $5@, is that not worth it?
    Your using comb honey foundation? Are you not concerned about contaminates in the wax? If I was doing cut comb, I'd let the bees build natural comb.
    Regards, Barry

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Fair Grove,MO,USA
    Posts
    1,665

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    I use comb honey foundation, i cut 2 in. wide strips and put them in med. frames, they will draw the foundation to the bottom of the frame with new wax. I can get eight 8oz slabs from one frame and sell it in a clear plastic sandwich box for $4.00, thats $32.00 a frame x 10. Jack

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Quote Originally Posted by jmgi View Post
    Michael, how do you find a market for 6-8000 cuts @ $5? I hardly ever get people requesting cut comb honey, maybe its a local thing for you. John

    Took some time to develop the market, but most of the comb honey I sell goes to beekeepers who can't make enough honey to supply their customers. Same as my extracted honey. Almost all goes to beekeepers who can't make enough honey.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,594

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Quote Originally Posted by Barry View Post
    Your using comb honey foundation? Are you not concerned about contaminates in the wax? If I was doing cut comb, I'd let the bees build natural comb.
    Sorry, I don't buy into the contaminated foundation bit. And as far as foundationless goes...I'd like to see someone make as much comb as I do without using foundation. I like my comb honey without drone cocoons.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Whats the method to getting nicely drawn comb honey done quickly before the bees track it up? John

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    I like my comb honey without drone cocoons.
    I take it you don't use excluders for comb honey? If not, can I ask how much space the queen has to keep her from laying in the comb honey?

    On using foundation, I agree with your thoughts about contamination. On the other hand, being a small-timer, I use the natural comb sales pitch to sell comb at a good price. I see it as a nitch market for those of us with more time than hives.
    Last edited by DonShackelford; 09-14-2012 at 07:06 AM. Reason: kan't spel

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,963

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    There is an art to making good comb honey - I don't know the secrets. Every time i try to crowd the bees and get them to do Ross Rounds the bees end up swarming. Suggest reading Richard Taylor's book and talking with people (like Mike P) who make excellent comb honey. (Hint, try the people who win the comb honey contests at places like EAS - think Karen Thurlow-Kimball, winner at EAS this year)
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Ohio
    Posts
    868

    Default Re: Making "Comb Honey" Good or Bad..

    Year ago we produced with just a starter strip, but costumer like nice straight comb honey and lots of it.

    One of the big secrets in comb honey is that you have the right hive to do the job. Not every hive can produce comb honey.

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