So everything I read makes it sound like making comb honey, is the hardest thing in the world. Logic says if the bees are filling comb with honey anyway? I guess you would need either thin wireless foundation, or natural comb, but what gives?
The literature does tend to make comb honey production seem difficult. This is unfortunate as it only requires strong colonies with lots of bees that do not swarm and a good nectar flow. You need either sections or thin foundation, depending on what type comb honey you wish to produce. It is a little more difficult to get the bees to work the sections than it is to produce cut comb honey. You can even produce cut comb honey using no foundation at all!
Get Dr. Richard Taylor's book on comb honey and give it a try.
Michael, I read that whole section, and am a bit confused by the "concepts of a cutdown" . Are you syaing the hive with no queen will still produce honey? I always thought queenless bees lack direction/motivation?
>Michael, I read that whole section, and am a bit confused by the "concepts of a cutdown" . Are you syaing the hive with no queen will still produce honey?
A hive with no queen during the flow, will produce more honey than a hive with a queen during the flow if all other things are equal. This is because they have no brood to care for so the nurse bees are recruited to forage.
> I always thought queenless bees lack direction/motivation?
If it was the buildup time of year (early spring) or the wind down time of year, and if they were HOPELESSLY queenless as opposed to a hive with queen cells in progress, yes. But otherwise, no.
one reason I do not do comb honey is the comb its more valuble then the honey. it takes about ten pounds of honey for the bees to consume to make one pound of beeswax to build the comb. thats the only reason why I don't do comb honey. The girls work way to hard for me to wreck their work.
I simply drop a 2nd super with cut comb foundation on a hive during heavy flow once they are starting to fill the 1st drawn super. If I'm a little late and they're just about finished with the 1st super I'll put a 3rd drawn super on top of the 2nd super. You've got to watch it a little to see how they are drawing it out and capping it. You sometimes have to rotate the outer frames to the center to ensure all of the comb is completed. I'll also use queen excluders in those colonies with an upper entrance to ensure the queen stays out of those frames.
Don't be afraid of trying it. It's even easier than it sounds and any mistakes that happen can be fed back to the girls or you can crush and strain it. Either way you'll feel much more confident the next year.
>The girls work way to hard for me to wreck their work.
Making comb is what bees do. I sure they don't see it as hard work. Think of it this way, if you don't let them draw comb you're depriving them of a natural activity for which they are designed and which they desire to do. You are not "wrecking their work", you are allowing them to do one of the things bees do, which is draw comb.
"A hive with no queen during the flow, will produce more honey than a hive with a queen during the flow if all other things are equal."
I also agree with Beeslave-
"It isn't as hard as u think but it takes time. Right time right place."
I wish to add-
You need the right time, right place, right weather, and the right hive manipulations.
It is not so difficult to make poor basswood section comb honey, but if you want all the cells filled, the caps not in contact with the honey, and very light "foot prints"(travel stains), all your ducks must be in a perfect row. We had several hives all set up to do comb honey, full of bees, in the best yard, at the right time, but the weather did not look good, so we aborted. Tracked up sections that are not full are a good way to waste money.
brac, To me, comb honey is not particulary "difficult" to produce. It just takes some techniques that may be "different" that what you are acustomed to. I agree with BeeAware's advise...get and read Richard Taylors books on comb honey production, then give it a try. I find it interesting and enjoyable to produce comb honey.
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