If I had a dollar for every phone call, e-mail, or Facebook message we get about comb honey … well, y’all get the idea.
What is comb honey, you ask? Well, it’s really just honey that’s still in its natural beeswax packaging. Before the modern honey extractor was invented, comb honey was the only honey there was, and everyone happily slathered the honey-and-beeswax combination on their biscuits and peanut butter sammies.
But after the modern honey extractor was invented, and honey could easily be separated from beeswax, folks got used to the idea of liquid, beeswax-free-honey, and comb honey fell out of fashion with consumers. Comb honey fell out of fashion with beekeepers, too, as they noticed that their bees were thrilled to get their frames of wax back intact, ready to refill with honey – with comb honey, bees have to work much harder, creating the beeswax foundation that stores the honey again and again. Sometimes they’ll swarm rather than work comb honey frames. Sometime’s they’ll do crazy things with the rest of the honey in the hive, too …
As a result, comb honey is hard to find these days.
But as the phone calls continued to pour in, with folks searching for comb honey, I remembered that Honeydew’s parents had once run comb honey supers, and I wondered aloud to him if we could do the same thing. Honeydew grumbled, as he always does when I get yet another idea that involves expanding our retail business, but he dutifully pulled out the comb honey equipment that we had apparently purchased with our buyout of most of the assets of the Chief Mountain Honey Company, Honeydew’s dad’s. I didn’t even know we already had it, tucked safely away in Warehouse #1! Honeydew inventoried what we had, and instructed me to order more equipment to get started with.
Then, Honeydew’s mom came up to meet Maggie Rose, and she spent several days cleaning up the old equipment for us. When the new equipment arrived, the 2011 Summer Help, my mom, and I spent a rainy afternoon putting it all together.
We decided to try our luck with traditional Ross Rounds, and also with a new comb honey system from Bee-O-Pac.
Yesterday, Honeydew and the boys pulled the first of the comb honey supers, and we held our breaths as Honeydew gently pushed the frames apart from each other. To our relief and delight, the bees made comb honey!
Some of the comb honeys are more perfect than others, and so I’m brainstorming what to do with the comb honeys that bees left half full. I’m not sure if I can scrape them out of the plastic frames, drop them in a mason jar and cover them with liquid honey, but I’d like to. Wouldn’t that be purty?
We’ll be harvesting Ross Rounds next week, and then we’ll be announcing our new product(s) on our website. Comb honey lovers, stay tuned in for more!
2011. Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.