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We Has Got Hunny! Part Deux: Cutting the honeycomb

26th December 2007

We Has Got Hunny! Part Deux: Cutting the honeycomb

posted in Our Hives |

We’ve been putting off cutting the comb out of the harvested frames of honey and putting it into the small boxes we’d gotten for it (suitable for gifting etc.). I’m not really sure why,m except that other things always seemed to get in the way! Anyway, it turned out to be quite straightforward.

We now have 20 small boxed of raw, in-comb honey, from 2 of the most full shallow frames. (The rest of the frames in that box of harvested frames are not as complete; we’ll be extracting the honey from those and making mead with it.) It worked out quite nicely! I’m glad we got the special boxes for the cut comb from a beekeeping outfit, since the comb divided perfectly into 10 boxes per frame.

I was very low-tech about it. I put the frames on a large cookie sheet to contain the drips, and used a sharp paring knife to cut around the comb, then divide it into 10 pieces. I put each piece in a box with a simple spatula- I used a silicon one because I thought it’d be more gentle, but might use a very thin steel one next time.

The only hard part is that everything got gummed up with honey! On the one hand, waiting until winter to do this was good, since the honey is a lot thicker now than it is when it’s warmer, so it drips less. On the other hand, though, it does coat the knife and spatula pretty thoroughly! and then the pieces of comb want to stick to them… Still, it was a bit fussy work, but not really hard, and it didn’t take as long as I feared it would.

After the holiday rush is over, I’ll cut up a bunch more frames and do the same thing with them. These 20 are pretty much just for seasonal gifts. We can’t really sell them; I’m sure our kitchen would not be an acceptable processing area for commercial honey (the rules are quite strict), plus there’s considerable variation in how much comb is in each box. I just eyeballed the cutting, and there’s bigger and smaller pieces. Plus the bees built deeper and shallower comb in some places!

-Amanda

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 26th, 2007 at 6:29 pm and is filed under Our Hives. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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