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A Better Way to Bee
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  • 02/13/14--09:34: Comb honey and smokers
  • Many comb honey producers use smoke sparingly and some forgo it altogether. In Honey in the Comb, Killion notes that “Heavy smoking may cause soot particles to adhere to the surface of freshly capped comb.” Heavily smoked bees may also rip open capped cells in order to scarf down honey reserves quickly. I’ve seen smoked […] Read more

    The post Comb honey and smokers appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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    Right now in the US there are two comb honey systems that include embossed plastic foundation in a plastic tray. You put these plastic trays in a honey super and the bees build their comb right on the base of it. Once filled, the beekeeper only needs to add a lid and a label. Previously […] Read more

    The post Comb honey: Hogg half-comb cassettes appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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  • 02/25/14--14:18: Comb honey in glass jars
  • The glass jar comb honey super shown below is a refinement of the one made by beekeeper Morris Ostrofsky of southwestern Oregon. A detailed description of Morris’ equipment and process can be found here: Glass Jar Beekeeping—Creating Edible Art. After reading his account, I decided to make several tweaks to fit my own situation. The […] Read more

    The post Comb honey in glass jars appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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  • 03/21/14--12:50: Comb honey: Ross Rounds
  • You asked about Ross Rounds, so after years of avoiding them, I broke down and ordered a complete super three years ago. Until then I avoided them because I hate plastic. I’m not fond of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, plasticizers in my food, or wispy sacks that defy time itself. But alas, in the […] Read more

    The post Comb honey: Ross Rounds appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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  • 03/25/14--13:40: Comb honey: Kelley squares
  • Years ago, square sections of comb honey in fragrant basswood boxes were everywhere. I adored the honey, the boxes, the pristine little combs. But as the years rolled by, the square sections disappeared and were replaced by extracted honey in bottles that squeeze like ketchup and jars shaped like preadolescent bears. I never quite understood […] Read more

    The post Comb honey: Kelley squares appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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  • 06/12/14--14:22: The suspense of the sting
  • Bee stings are not so bad: a sharp jab, poker-hot pain, the urge to swear, throbbing pressure, gradual dissipation. Before you know it, it’s all gone but the itch. Why, then, is the anticipation so much worse? Two weeks ago I met with a beekeeper who had been working all winter to design and build […] Read more

    The post The suspense of the sting appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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  • 03/11/15--13:34: Comb honey with instructions
  • While the rest of the world is gaga over the Flow hive, die-hard comb honey fanatics like me still wonder why anyone would do that to honey. Like rum without Coke, macaroni without cheese, or fish without chips, honey without the comb is unthinkable. Some couples are just meant to be. So whenever I give […] Read more

    The post Comb honey with instructions appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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    The very best comb honey is melt-in-your-mouth tender with minimal chewiness. The honey itself should be front and center, while the comb should be a pleasant addition to the texture, not a tasteless wad. When I first began making comb honey, I used the extra-thin surplus foundation that is designed for this purpose. But even that […] Read more

    The post How tender is your comb honey? appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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    How can you do that? How can you lower the value of your honey? Extract it, of course. If you think I’m kidding, consider this. According to on-line sources, the average price for a pound of extracted honey packaged for retail sale is about $8. Now go and price a pound of comb honey. Depending […] Read more

    The post How to make value-subtracted honey appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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    Two years ago, Detective Anthony Planakis (retired) from New York, shared his secret to large honey crops: access holes with platforms. His awesome photos and impressive production records convinced me this was something I had to try. My situation is a little different because I produce comb honey instead of extracted honey. Nevertheless, I promptly […] Read more

    The post Upper entrances can enhance your honey production appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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    So gross! A few days ago, I received a message from a purchaser of honey. She had just acquired her very first sample of honey-in-the-comb from her local farmer’s market. Based on her description, I would say it was “chunk honey,” a piece of comb in a jar surrounded by extracted honey. When she got […] Read more

    The post Delete the protein from your comb honey appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.


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  • 11/03/17--16:35: Tasting honey in new ways
  • After I wrote the post “What do you do with your honey harvest?,” I just had to try some of the suggestions, especially those that used comb honey. Someone recommended I try Trader Joe’s Toscano cheese dusted with cinnamon. I have to tell you, they were absolutely right. There is something about the flavor combination […] Read more

    The post Tasting honey in new ways appeared first on Honey Bee Suite.