I look forward to using it! Here are some pics:
3 1/2" hole saw makes the right sized hole for this application. Jars sit on the queen excluder-with screw lid on for less than 1/16" gap between jar and the hole. (Add some shims to support the queen excluder so it won't sag in the middle with the weight of the honey)
Lay queen excluder so the smooth side is up-then jars will lay flat and stable
holds 12 quart sized wide mouth mason jars. Of course, a shallow box and regular lid will cover all the jars from the sun! You can vent and screen this chamber if you are worried about excess heat. In my area it rarly gets above 80 degrees. Or put it where it gets late day dappled shade.
here's how I laid it out. Used pilot holes to guide the 3 1/2" hole saw
After I made this one I realized I could drill a much smaller hole and just let the jar sit on top the plywood..Not sure which would be better. Got to have the correct bee space ya know-so you don't get a mess.
I LOVE it!!! ... now I think I'm gonna have to run out to the garage & start building a new cover for my TBH with 3.375" holes in it & some rails to secure a deep box on top of it (make a lip right inside the edge of the box so rain can't get in by puddling on the rest of the lid...and so our high winds won't blow it off) & make a new lid for the deep....what an awesome idea!
Hard to read the ruler to see exactly the points of reference for drilling pilot holes. Can you input this data?
Just measured a 1qt Ball Jar....4" wide (from flat to flat), so 4.25" minimum Center-to-Center spacing on the holes will keep the jars spaced at least 1/8" apart. I also checked the height, overall height=7" if that matters to you.
Hope this helps,
P.S. I just blew up her pic....looks like between 4.375" and 4.5" spacing on the pilot holes.
I did this a few years back, (2008) but, I did it a little different. I used a hole saw to cut the holes the size of a Ball Mason Jar lid. ( I think this is 2 1/2 inch hole). Use the ring and lid type tops. Place the ring on the jar, but don't use the lid. This will keep the threads on the jar clean, and will fit tight enough that it will stand on its own. Use 3/4 plywood or Advantec and the jars will support themselves. Pour about 1/4 inch melted bees wax in the jar to give the bees something to start on. Place a super over the jars and a top to keep the sun from melting the wax as they build it. Even with this super I got some melting of combs. When the jars are full, remove the ring lid, and place a regular lid. Add honey to fill, or leave as comb honey.
Only problem I had was it makes the bees want to swarm like crazy. Too confining for a strong hive. I tried giving them a super and the 9 pint jars, but when I did that, they ignored the jars all together, and only worked in the super. I used a one deep chamber hive, but they swarmed three times during the summer. Also, did not want to complete the combs, did not fully cap the combs and finally just stopping work in the jars.
I also tried with another hive, laying the jars horizontal. Not as good as vertical.
It is a novelty, but, my experience is that it was not profitable enough for me to want to do it the following year.
These are certainly interesting, but I find they look kind of gross. I showed them to my girlfriend, and she thought they looked like a jar full of organs. I also find most people here don't really "get" comb honey. They ask what they should do with it. If you can get the prices Fatbeeman talks about ($35 a jar) - then I guess it would be hard not to get into it.
Probably would make great gifts for some people too.
That is WAY cool ! My girlfriend and I are wanting to jar some comb honey also so we just installed foundationless frames in a medium super, placed it on our strongest hive and then planned to cut the comb and insert it in the jar with honey to top it off. This way looks much better and cooler looking ! Plus I bet it doesn't make near the mess we are about to . lol Thanks for the construction drawings . Jim
LOL, yes, the one photo does look kind of scientific and creepy
But interesting none the less- and less work for the beekeeper to harvest I assume.
I have a link to fat beemans video in a post shown above. $35.00 for a quart??? Not sure about that, maybe in a tourist area or around the holidays.
Thanks Cleo for the swarming tip. That is a great bit of info we can keep in mind. If that is so it would make a difference in which hive I try to get to fill these jars. Perhaps I will get a nuc or two out of the deal with frames of swarm cells (Which are always amazing and huge)
But I will keep a sharp eye out for cells!
Now an experiences beekeeper might take the queen and all the open brood out of a strong hive and let the hive concentrate on filling the jars during a good flow, then reintroduce the queen and brood after a few weeks. The hive wouldn't swarm without the queen and not set back since the queen and hatching brood and larve would be reintroduced. Just a thought..lots of ways to manipulate and experiment!
Glad you all got some ideas. That is why I poat pics of stuff I've been building-to give others ideas for themselves.
To be profitable you would need to get $35.00 per jar. I wasn't able to get any where near that. You will not get a lot of production. My experience is you don't get that many that are usable. You will get lots of unfinished comb in the jars. , lots not capped, so not usable, and a lot of bees who decide to swarm rather than work in glass jars. It is a novelty, I tried it, but no more.