The first time I saw extracted honey in a jar with no comb, I wondered why anyone would do that. Why would someone separate two things that belong together? Imagine eating a yolk without the white or a chocolate chip without the cookie. What’s the point?
Where I grew up in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, honey came in a comb in a little wooden box. There was no alternative. This regional tradition apparently began in the “comb honey era.”
Honey the way bees intended
According to The ABC & XYZ of Bee Culture, the comb honey era lasted from 1880 to 1915 and was a time when most beekeepers in America produced comb honey. Before the enactment of the pure food and drug laws, some beekeepers “extended” liquid honey with corn syrup. In response, consumers preferred to buy honey that came straight from the bees with no human interference. When they ate a chunk of comb honey they knew it was pure, just as the bees had intended.
As time went on, several things happened. New laws assured better food handling and labeling, honey extraction equipment improved, and beeswax itself became popular for industrial uses. Beekeepers could make more money by selling the honey and the wax separately.
In addition, if a beekeeper re-used his wax combs year after year, he could get bigger crops of honey. It takes a lot of bee-power to make the comb, so providing ready-made comb allows the bees to store more honey.
The loss of a special treat
Unfortunately, we lost a real treat when comb honey disappeared. Each batch of honey retains the floral essences of the plants that made the nectar. In addition, the flavor of wax comb also differs according to what the bees ate and adds a richness to the flavor that extracted honey doesn’t have. Add to this the aroma of the basswood section box in which the comb was built, and you have a combination of flavors, textures, and aromas you can’t find anywhere else on earth.
Think about this: A comb of honey captures the taste of a short time span, perhaps a few days. Comb honey from early April tastes different than comb honey from late April. But once the beekeeper extracts honey from many frames and many hives, he mixes it together. As a result, all the honey from the whole season tastes the same. So sad. So many taste treats eliminated.
Look for real wooden boxes
Today comb honey is experiencing a re-birth, but it is now considered a luxury item. I’ve seen it for sale for as much as $26.95 for a 12-ounce square—and it’s usually made in a plastic box. Plastic! Take away the basswood box and you’ve lost a major component of the comb honey experience. But this product is fast disappearing. As far as I know, there is only one manufacturer of basswood section boxes left in America.
So if you have the opportunity to try comb honey in a basswood box, go for it. For novice honeycomb eaters, I always recommend the following:
- Toast a piece of your favorite bread or an English muffin. While it is still very hot, spread it lightly with butter. With a knife, cut a chunk of comb honey and spread it over the toast. You may have to mash it a bit, but the heat will soften the comb so it flattens into the toast along with the honey. It doesn’t melt, but becomes soft and aromatic. It is also good on hot biscuits, French toast, or pancakes.
- The upscale restaurants often serve comb honey in the center of a plate surrounded by a selection of expensive cheeses and multi-grain crackers. The idea here is to cover the cracker with a piece of cheese and top it with a small chunk of comb. This works great with cheddar or brie, but any cheese will work.
If anyone has other favorite ways to eat comb honey, let me know and I will post them on this site. In the meantime, enjoy!
Honey Bee Suite
I grew up helping my father produce comb honey in basswood boxes. This summer I purchased all of the equipment, including the carton shown above from Kelley Bees. My bees have filled the boxes in one super and I am ready to take the super off. I would like to sell the honey at my local farmers’ market, but have two questions that I can’t find answers to. First, what are people charging for this type of comb honey and secondly, are there any health department regulations that I should be aware of.
Thanks for any help you can provide me.
I live in Seattle and would like to find a bee keeper in Washington who sells honeycomb that I could buy for myself. If you sell at one of the farmers markets in Seattle or by mail, please let me know. Thank you,
I am a beekeeper in Seattle who has comb honey available. You can contact me on my facebook http://www.facebook.com/beezyntine
Hello Karen. I am a beekeeper in Michigan. Just harvesting our honey this week. If you are still looking to buy honey or honey comb please contact me. Thank you. Nancy K.
I’m so glad you are producing comb honey in section boxes! Congratulations! I wish more people would do it.
The thing that really shocked me is that this year Kelley’s basswood sections went from about 30 cents apiece to about 80 cents a piece. The window cartons are another 45 cents each, and then you may use plastic liners and you may have purchased or printed labels. In any case you’ve spent about $2 per section before the bees have even seen it.
Quite frankly, I have trouble pricing because I don’t want to be ridiculous but I don’t want to give them away either. I tend to hover around $15/section. I have been selling them in bulk to some people for $10, but now I think that’s low. I’ve seen them in catalogs for $24 or $25, but I think that’s high.
If I were to sell them at our local farmer’s market, I think I would try for $15-18. You can also vary the price depending on the weight. Some of my sections are under a pound (14 or 15 ounces) and some are over (up to about 17 ounces.) So you could go a little higher for the bigger ones, less on the smaller ones. You could maybe have two prices, one for over a pound and one for less than a pound.
Even if you don’t vary the price by weight, you should label the weight because round sections and hogg sections are usually much lighter (around 12 ounces) so you want the consumer to know that. Also, I don’t know where you are but you can get higher prices in the city than in rural areas.
As far as I know there are no food handling laws for comb honey. At least, not here in Washington. It’s like selling a zucchini or peach from your garden. But once you extract you have “processed” the food and laws may come into effect, depending on where you live. I’d have to do some research, but it seems that there is some special exemption for comb honey that applies throughout the country.
I’d like to know how this works out for you and what you end up charging. In the meantime, I will try to go more in depth on the laws, just for curiosity.
Good luck and congratulations again. Producing section honey is an accomplishment.
That is too weird. Will it get you sick?
I hope it is fun. I ate a bee before.
Most humble apologies for the following dumb question:
Are you supposed to eat the wax or spit it out? Do you swallow it? I assume if it is all mixed in with corn meal mush or oat meal, then you’re not going to be bothering much with separating the wax from the food in your mouth. But I don’t presume to know that, either.
I just filtered all the wax out of my comb honey and rendered it because it seemed like the “thing to do.” Next time, I’ll set at least a little aside for “eating” or whatever you are supposed to do with it in your mouth.
There is no such thing as a dumb question, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t funny . . . lots of entertainment value in the way you worded your question.
Okay. You eat it, you swallow it. For all practical purposes, it is gone from the face of the earth.
Here’s the thing. If you spread it (honey and comb) on something you chew–such as bread, toast or crackers–you won’t even notice the wax. Believe me on this. It will be down the hatch and you won’t notice anything but the enhanced flavor of honey in the comb.
This is hard to imagine because if you eat it alone–just a chunk of comb–you are left with this big wad of wax in your mouth which, quite frankly, is awful. Yuck. So while I love eating comb honey, I never eat it unless it is on something I’m going to chew. Like toast.
You absolutely must try this before making a judgement on it. Some of my classmates in graduate school called me the “Johnny Appleseed of comb honey” because I was always giving it away in return for a promise they would at least try eating it on something. I don’t know a single one who was disappointed. (Well, one guy put it in his tea and ended up with a film of floating wax which he didn’t like. But I figure this doesn’t count because I told him to eat it, not drink it.)
Warm food such as English muffins are really good because the heat from the food causes the wax to melt down into the interstices. All the better. I had it for breakfast this morning. I also like peanut butter and comb honey sandwiches. Yum.
Promise me you will try this, okay? And report back whenever. And you can write entertaining comments whenever you want.
I had no idea that’s how you’re supposed to eat comb honey… I’ve only had awful experiences eating it plain, with wads of not-quite-one-bit-lump wax in my mouth (and teeth). Thanks for explaining it… and making it sound so delicious. You know what? I promise you the next time I see it at a farmer’s market or fair, I’ll buy it, and try it on toast.
Be sure to report back. As much as I love comb honey, I don’t like it plain because of that reason.
I love to cut off a piece of the comb and eat it when I need an energy boost. I have a local person I almost always get it from and it is a must have in my house. It’s liquid gold! The wax doesn’t bother me.
Smooth or crunchy?
What brand peanut butter?
Thank you so much for this information! A friend gifted me a jar of honey with comb. I did everything wrong. First I tried in hot tea. You know what happened. Then I read that you’re supposed to eat it, so I took a bite. You know what happened. I went online, found your site and went and spread some on a cracker. It still doesn’t make any sense to me, but it worked. It’s like the wax changes when it’s mashed up on food. Very bizarre. And very delicious. Thanks for the education and new taste experience!
I love your comment, and I’m so glad you discovered the joy of honey in the comb!
Wow! I’m glad I googled this! I’ve tried comb honey before, but only by itself and ended up with teeth FULL of wax. Ugh the honey was good, but the wax was awful!
I swore I’d never bother with the comb again and now you’ve got me reconsidering! Next time I will try it on toast, geez I feel silly for not thinking of that in the first place!
That is so funny. If I could only teach people that one thing…
A friend gave me a little plastic box of comb honey. Was just about to offer it out, regift it, as i didn’t know what to do with it.
Glad you showed up in my search!
Just had some pumpernickel toast with butter and a bit of comb honey. My daughter thinks I’m nuts and not supposed to eat the wax.
It was yummy!
Thank you for asking, I was going to ask the same thing.
I noticed that if I put comb honey in my oatmeal, it breaks it down and makes it runny. Must be those active enzymes. To avoid having soupy oatmeal, I overcook ’til it’s thick enough to hold a spoon up on end. The heat from the oatmeal probably destroys the enzymes, but the honeyed oatmeal sure is delicious.
Forgot to mention, I don’t cook the comb honey with the oatmeal. It’s just a garnish, placed on top at service.
I put some cut comb honey on a cracker with some blue cheese yesterday and holy jumpin’ Moses was it ever good. I did not expect that combination to work, but it was crazy with flavour, like nothing I’ve tasted before. For a split second it tasted like grape soda but then took off into something else I can’t describe. I did the same thing with a cheese called Red Leicester, a cheese that’s similar to Old Cheddar but more crumbly. That was good too. I also had some chipotle smoked goat cheese and cut comb on a garlic baguette and that was incredible.
It was just me, my special lady friend and another couple getting together for some simple food and a game of Catan, nothing fancy, and that blue cheese and honey was the highlight of the night. I can understand how upscale restaurants go for that kind of thing and can charge premium for it. It was certainly a new experience for me.
I recommend it to anyone who hasn’t tried it yet.
(Some of this comment was copied and pasted from a comment I left on another website. I just want to spread the word. Blue cheese and honey — what a killer combination.)
Hi. In New Zealand where I live we always ate our manuka honey from the comb. It came in wooden boxes of about 1 kg in weight and we used to eat it on its own and spread on hot ham slices for dinner. Whenever we were sick as kids we were given a shot glass of heated whiskey, honeycomb and squeezed lemon juice to help with sleep and I still do it for my children now, we really believe in it and would much rather give something natural that works than some over the counter remedy full of chemicals.
I would love to taste your American honeycomb sometime to see how different it tastes.
As a kids we just chew honeycomb and leftover wax functions as a bubble-gum substitute. Honeycomb honey was considered to be a “proper” honey. It was in Soviet Union (and we did not have a bubble-gum). Here in US, my American girlfriend introduced me to this “honeycomb spread” on the hot toast. I have to admit that I did not try yet because eating melted wax was sounded strange to me, but I will try, promise!
My mom brought a wood box of comb honey from Australia to southern California for me where I live. It was the best honey I ever had. I ate it straight from the box. Now I want to have my own hives and make it in this way, with the basswood boxes. I am having a hard time finding info on the web. If anyone knows some sites that have info and/or equipment please let me know. Thanks
Here’s a confession. You are the first person I’ve told the whole story. I started this website so I could teach people how to raise bees in such a way that they will fill basswood sections boxes with honey. It’s an art more than a science. It’s my favorite thing about beekeeping. And, to me, it’s the only way to eat honey. After I started the site, though, I realized most people aren’t interested in it, which is why you can hardly ever find it for sale even if you’re willing to pay a small fortune.
If I thought people were interested, I might still write a series on it. The thing that’s tricky is that bees don’t want to store honey in squares and the only way to coax them into doing it is by keeping them on the verge of swarming . . . always just a breath away from leaving. It’s lots of work, but worth it. I produce comb honey in section boxes every year and I don’t intend to stop. I just don’t write too much about it.
Anyway, for now, you can buy equipment at Walter T. Kelley Company (way too expensive) and you should read Honey in the Comb by Eugene E. Killion. I don’t agree with everything in the book, but it’s close enough to get you started.
First, I’m sure I speak for many who quietly read and read and never post (like me until now) when I say, thank you so much for your site overflowing with useful, well-written, and good-natured words on bees. It’s already been hugely helpful in filling in gaps (big ones) in my knowledge, and fascinating besides.
After having bees for about 3 years I got out of them for about 10, and just last month got back in again with 3 new hives (from packages) in the back pasture. Fun stuff.
Second (getting on topic), I have two requests…
1. I officially request that you write a “serious”, as you called it, on basswood comb honey production – I for one have become strangely interested for a number of reasons. Anyone else…?
2. Would someone PLEASE get Aroha’s mailing address in New Zealand and send her some “American Comb Honey” that she’d like so much to try… What a simple and wonderful wish. Come to think of it, if someone gets me her address I’ll go find some and send it to her MYSELF. It’s the least I could do as a gesture of international goodwill toward our faithful friends in New Zealand.
You don’t know what a serious is? Well, me neither. It took me a while to figure out what you were talking about. But okay, I’ll see what I can piece together in the way of a serious series.
As for Aroha . . . If you are out there, Aroha, you can send your mailing address to me using the “Contact Me” form for privacy. And I will make sure our friend Mark here knows where to send your comb honey . . . seriously.
It is illegal to import honey to NZ except from two of the small Pacific islands and then only under tight restrictions. We got varroa anyway.
NZ honey is excellent.
Thanks for posting back on my comb honey request. I’ll keep an eye out for if and when you have something to share regarding that.
Sorry for the confusion over “serious”. I should have assumed in context that you meant “series”. Thought maybe you were coining a new noun form of “serious” meaning: a straight forward, no-nonsense instructional article. Maybe you did… I kind of like it. 🙂
And if you hear from Aroha in New Zealand let me know – thanks for mentioning that in your post. That would be neat.
Thanks again, Mark
Thing is, I like it too. I’m always making up words when I can’t find the right one, and I think “serious” as you defined it, “a straight forward, no-nonsense instructional article” is perfect. It’s not the first time a typo has turned into something really good (or really funny). So . . . a serious on comb honey production is on my agenda. I’ve been thinking about it for about three years, but it’s complicated. I’ve developed a system that works great but it will take a number of posts to map it all out. For example, just folding section boxes is a whole post. Selecting the hives with APUs that will do the job is tricky too. I’ll work on it.
Where can you get some honey combs? They are really rare here where I live. And I was wondering where do you have your hives because I can’t come up with a good place to have it.
Sorry, I do not sell honey.
I have my hive a few feet in front of a large tree. The tree acts a wind-breaker in winter and provides afternoon shade in summer. My hive faces south because I read it is suppose to. I am not sure why.
Find a Farmers Market in your area. Stop by and see if any of the farmers have honey for sale. If they don’t have comb honey, ask if they know a beekeeper who does.
While you are there, buy something – a winter squash, some kale, late tomatoes or chile peppers. Most of us can’t make a living just selling honey.
Unless you are really really urban, your County has an Agricultural Extension Service. That office can put you in touch with a local beekeepers’ organization.
Hi Rusty, et al.
I’ve often heard there are no stupid questions, only stupid people asking them. So here goes one.
Each morning I drink a cocktail of healthy juices, supplement powders, and other healthy ground seeds, and top it off with a tablespoon of local honey. I contacted one of the local bee farms that supplies some of the Whole Foods Markets I frequent (I’m in Houston TX), and the owners introduced me to comb honey. They place a chunk of comb in mason jars filled with liquid honey. I bought a case, and keep the extra jars in the freezer (on their instruction).
I mashed the comb with the external liquid honey. Each morning I nuke (on 30%) the jar so the combination will essentially become soft enough to spoon out a serving. Then I blend it all in a mug with a hand spinner (Starbucks Via Mix mug, a seriously ingenious contraption). The cocktail goes down pretty smoothly until I get to the bottom, where as you can guess, some of the wax accumulates. So I just toss it back and get most of it down. I notice that the spoon I use to manipulate the honey gets coated with wax that dries on it quickly, and that got me wondering the following (long way to the question — I apologize): does the wax coagulate in my body anywhere and could it cause gum up problems in my system?
Here’s a short answer to your long question. Beeswax is indigestible to humans. It leaves in the same format it went in. It doesn’t hurt anything, but neither do you get any food value from it. Wax (either beeswax or paraffin) used to be used in chocolate coatings to make them shiny. Paraffin and beeswax are both “neutral” and pass through your digestive tract unchanged.
Rusty I somewhat disagree about beeswax exiting unchanged. I think we use parts of it and would tend to agree that some of the wax would pass but beeswax has many components, some of which are digested.
And the bears like it……
A cut and paste from another site. (http://www.beeculture.com/a-closer-look-beeswax-wax-glands/)
Beewax is a complex substance made up of wax esters, fatty acids and hydrocarbons (Piek 1964; Tulloch 1970). Over 300 individual chemical components have been identified from pure beeswax (Tulloch 1980). Beeswax consists primarily of monoesters (35%), hydrocarbons (14%), diesters (14%), triesters (3%), hydroxymonoesters (4%), hydroxypolyesters (8%), free fatty acids (12%), acid esters (1%), acid polyesters (2%), free alcohol (1%) and unidentified (6%). It is this great diversity of composition that gives beeswax many unique properties (Goodman 2003) and keeps us from fully understanding the synthesis and secretion process.
Reading through your post I feel inclined to invite you to not “nuc” the honey. A few years ago I did an experiment with 3 plants all rooted from the same mother plant and all sitting side by side on the counter. One I fed water that had been boiled in a microwave oven; one was fed with water that had been boiled on the stove and a control plant that was fed unboiled water. Within a few months the results were so obvious that I no longer have a microwave in my home. So, if the microwaving destroyed the properties of water such that it interfered with the plant’s ability to grow and thrive…….I question just what those energy waves would do to the enzymes and other beneficial aspects of the honey. Food for thought anyway…….
There is nothing I love more than someone who has no idea why or how something works performing and experiment with said device. There is no way water boiled in a microwave is chemically different that any other boiled water or any other water for that matter. Also, three plants do not constitute a viable experiment. Perhaps 10 plants in each category would be sufficient to notice a trend. Not to mention the possibilities of a weak plant to start with and soil differences, sunlight and other factors that would have to be regulated with extreme precision. You also never mentioned what the results were. Wholly unscientific and basically meaningless. Three plants indeed. Incidentally, I still own a microwave oven.
So, I’ve heard this before, only it was second hand. Besides the obvious “sample of one” issue, I need to ask – how hot was the water when the plant received it?
I’ve recently started keeping bees and although I’m not taking any honey this year I have tidied up the hive a little and acquired a few chunks of honey and comb. I’ve had a nibble but the wax is too chewy – but I will not try a little on hot toast as you’ve made it sound utterly delicious.
Hi Ya’all — Your comments are such sweet fun, as I sit chewing my honey gum, and running to the kitchen to try goat gouda, round cracker, and honeyinthecomb!
Thanks for helping me find simple joy in sharing! Love to Laugh.
Eating honeycomb? I thought it’s bees home… I’ve never saw those sold here in Erie, PA? Anyone know where I can buy those locally? I’d really love to try some!!!
Honey bees use wax combs for many things, including raising young, storing pollen, and storing honey. The type we eat has only had honey stored in it, and is tender and light colored. Check your local farmer’s markets or call your local bee club. Someone will know where to find it. It’s great stuff!
As a kid I ate lots of wooden boxed honeycomb. Recently I found some in a tourist shop and bought it. It was terrible. No wooden box and the honey was not good tasting but the worst part was the wax. It was like taking a bite off a bar of paraffin (though I have never done that) I had to spit it out though I had never done that before. This comb was not formed in the container but cut from a large piece and boxed in plastic.
First, do beekeepers today not start the process with preformed combs from paraffin?
Second, today I extracted some honey from a natural hive in an underground irrigation valve box. it was all natural. The honey was wonderfully flavored and the wax melted in my mouth. It was barely noticeable except for the added flavor and texture. How do you account for this difference?
Please continue your column. I believe I am going to become a beekeeper.
I’m not sure I understand your first question, but beekeepers do not now, nor did they ever, start honeycombs with paraffin. The bees start and complete the combs with their own secreted wax.
I suspect the honeycomb you purchased from the tourist shop was old. Natural beeswax contains volatile oils, which is one of the reasons it burns so well. Over time, many of these oils evaporate from the wax and what is left is hard and brittle. To be really tender and tasty, comb honey should be eaten during the first year or so. I have eaten much older comb honey (my own) but I stored it carefully to limit its exposure to air.
When you took the natural honey from the hive, it was obviously new and fresh. I’m sure it was age of the comb that accounted for most of the difference in texture. Differences in taste of the honey itself is more dependent on the flowers from which the nectar was collected.
Thanks for the thorough and insightful answers to my questions.
Last night I offered my daughter and grandchildren some comb. This was a great experience that was a first for them. Watching them eat comb by the spoonful and not even considering spitting anything out was a joy. I feel like it was a meaningful Christmas present for them and me.
I am serious about the beekeeping and have a book “Beekeeping for Dummies” which I am reading now! May I pose questions to you in the futures that i can not find answers to in the book?
Thanks again, Wayne
Ask away. Sometimes it takes a few days for me to answer; I get swamped with questions at certain times of year.
I started beekeeping just so I would have a steady supply of comb honey. Nothing else that comes straight from nature could possibly taste so good!
Yours is only the second time I have participated in a blog in my life. I connected to it buy asking a question on Google. I have since discovered it is part of a very attractive and substantial website devoted to bees. Redirect me to a more appropriate place if this “How to eat Comb” string is not the correct place for non-comb questions.
After relocating the bees from my irrigation box I have leftover comb honey that was rightfully their winter food. It is in comb form in a plastic container occupying a full shelf in my refrigerator. I would like to feed it back to them as needed. How should I do that???
You can attach your questions to any post you are reading or the most recent one. It doesn’t really matter.
Before I can answer the question on how to feed the honey back to the bees, tell me what you did with them. You said you relocated them, but into a hive or someplace else? I have to picture it to answer correctly.
Almost a year ago bees decided to take residence in a green plastic subsurface irrigation valve box I had topped with a piece of 2-inch thick foam insulation. There was a small hole that they used as an entrance/exit. I noticed them but did not have time to address the situation.
Weeks and then months passed. I knew I would someday have a problem which would require me to work on the valves. Therefore, I would have to move or kill the bees. The later was not a choice.
Have no experience with bees I went to the net. I learned a little about bees and saw various bee hive pictures and plans. I constructed my version of a top-bar hive. Time passed. Suddenly a valve malfunctioned and would not turn off. I shut off the water supply and promptly purchased a very cheap veil and smoker.
This week I moved the bees. I pried the foam top loose and lifted it. The brood and pollen combs and a couple honey combs came with it but most of the honey combs broke loose and stayed in the valve box. I cut the foam so that it would fit exactly in the width of the hive and placed it where the top bars would normally be. It fit nicely leaving 30% of the top open. I then move as many honey combs into the hive as would fit. I stood them upright so that most of both sides were open to the bees. I placed top bars to complete closing the top, and replaced the cover.
The balance of the honey combs, perhaps 20 pounds, are in my refrigerator, except what we ate.
We live in the Mojave Desert where climate extremes exist. January and February will have 20 degree nights and 50-60 degree days with only a few blossoms occurring.
Sorry to be so long winded, Wayne
Moving the rest of the honeycombs into a top-bar hive is fairly easy. Take a top bar and tie a comb to it. I usually use kitchen twine; some people use rubber bands, dental floss, or whatever you have available. Tie one comb per bar and put them in the hive. Normally the bees will connect the comb to the top bar and then chew through the twine and get rid of it. In no time, the bees will have fixed it up to their liking and you will be able to inspect the hive like normal.
My friend keeps bees and does the mash and strain method for extracting honey. This leaves a honey-soaked beeswax mess which is like chewing gum but much better. It’s great to dig out handfuls and chew on for a while then spit out the wax. Definitely an outdoor eating activity. Yummy but messy. Pull a gob, chew, enjoy, spit, repeat.
Thanks for the website.
Question regarding last post. Would the bees benefit from having this honey, wax mess left over from honey extraction placed near or in their hive for reuse? I assume they would use the honey again. How about the wax?
If you give this crushed comb back to the bees, they will clean it up and store the remaining honey. They may re-use some of the wax, but often they just leave it it a pileit depends on the time of the year and their current need for wax.
The beekeeper needs to be cautious when feeding crushed comb in a container because if honey pools at the bottom of the container, bees can get stuck in it and drown.
Thanks for the advice and the website.
Does the cut comb need to be frozen to kill any eggs or larvae from wax moths or hive beetles? If not, what is the longest cut comb can be stored before it starts tasting funky?
I always freeze my frames of comb honey as soon as I remove them from the hive. Overnight works, or until the comb is frozen all the way through. Once this is done, it will remain fine for years as long as you keep it covered and dry and away from pests that could re-infest it.
I stopped by the local apiary to get some frames for my hives (I will make any part of the hive except the frames. The unassembled frames are too cheap to try to make some) and I saw some comb honey laying on the counter. It was just cut comb not section. None the less, I asked about it and was told it was last fall’s honey. My wife loves comb honey so I picked one up. When I got home I noticed a package of Nutter Butter Crème Patties. Not the peanut shaped ones, the wafer ones. I like them…I like honey, soooo I cut a piece of comb and placed in on a cookie. Definitely worth trying. Mmmm
I would like some more suggestions on comb honey uses. I liked the cracker and blue cheese recommendation. I sell comb honey at our farmers market and I’m looking for easy ways to provide samples for my customers. I can’t easily make toast or oatmeal but can definitely provide crackers and cheese. I’ve found most people have no idea what to do with the comb. I need to try the basswood boxes since currently I sell it in the plastic viewable containers.
I put a request for ideas on my front page, but so far no one has answered. Most people I know put it on biscuits, toast, or crackers and cheese. For samples, I think the cheese and cracker is the best. I also like it on rye bread. You could cut up squares of rye bread (not toasted) and try that, but some folks may not like rye. Maybe just plain whole wheat bread? Or bagel pieces? Or make a peanut butter and honey comb sandwich and cut that into pieces. This is making me hungry.
Scott, I think we all owe a debt to Phillip’s original post about honey and bleu cheese! I just read the post and tried some comb with some crumbled gorgonzola I had on hand (just a really strong type of bleu cheese), and it was fantastic – the two tastes go wonderfully together. I’ve got to do some experimenting!
I would like to start a conversation with you about comb honey. I am a chef and beekeeper.
Message directed to Scott but open to anyone.
I would love to hear your thoughts. I believe comb honey is under utilized.
Since I’ve joined this blog (just a few days ago) I have been reading the posts and following their leads.
I could not agree with you more. Including an older post where you talk about the value of drawn comb to beekeepers
As a chef, I feel that the modernist use of comb honey — beyond cheese and toast has yet to be explored.
So I set out to offer a chefy friend and others an uncut half frame of honey. This led to needing a display board to hold the comb…
Hi Scott, I see it has been many months since your question about how to provide samples to your customers, but I thought I’d share this idea in case it may be of use to you. The North Carolina Zoo has local beekeepers provide honey samples to zoo-goers as they tour the honeybee exhibit. One family “My Daddy’s Honey” provides a honey sample on a single oyster cracker, you know, the ones to sprinkle in your soup. Perhaps you could have some 1/4 in squares of sharp cheddar cut & ready to top on each oyster cracker, and then a very small portion of comb honey on top for customers to sample comb honey.
If you get some comb with crystallized honey in it I find that to be very good to eat just by itself. The crystals don’t squeeze out of the wax so easily as liquid honey, so it all chews up together, a real treat! You can just scrape the outer comb off and leave the foundation on the frame so the bees can re-use it. I don’t know about selling it that way but it sure is good to eat if you keep bees!
Have been given a wonderful Christmas present of a whole 1kg honey comb in a wooden frame. It will take me ages to eat this much honey. How should I store it, especially once I have cut into it? (The box is too big to sit easily in my cupboards or fridge.)
That is a great present. Just cut it out of the frame right along the edges. Then cut the pieces to fit in a covered glass dish of some sort. For me, one frame takes two or three dishes. Use the cover to keep the dust out, but do not refrigerate it. The cold and dry air will cause it to crystallize prematurely. Don’t worry about spoilage or eating quickly. Honey will last for years.
Unlike a honey vinaigrette, the great advantage to having comb honey fresh, candied or set is that you can have moments of sweetness in a dish without every mouthful being of honey.
Using the classic combination of cheese and comb try this salad:
A bitter green salad (arugula or kale) tossed with some salty cheese (semisoft pecorino or parmesan or a less salty manchego) shaved in slivers with a peeler, add a few walnuts and olive oil, and a twist of black pepper. Go easy with the salt because the cheese will add salt; mix lightly and finish with several tiny 3/8 x 3/8 cubes of comb sprinkled about each dish and wow. Every mouthful a different combination of sweet, bitter, salt.. You can add an acidity of lemon or vinegar if you like. Adding walnuts creates a chew that balances the wax of the comb. I think you will enjoy this.
Okay, Richard, you’ve got my attention. I can’t wait to try this! What you say makes so much sense, about not having the sweetness in every bite. I will report back as soon as I try it.
This is what I need, a chef on call . . .
If you visit my web page straightfromthehive.com there is a photo of the salad on the fifth page — use of comb honey, at top left corner. You can drag it off the site and see it better on your computer.
Being a chef and beekeeper I have a keen interest in furthering this endeavor.
Including a pasta dish that I am fond of that features comb honey with roasted beets and greens. I haven’t as yet uploaded recipes but have been toying with the idea of a honeychef blog. But not as yet. Would you consider posting a photo and recipe on the other “comb honey” site you mentioned at the top of this page?
I don’t know what you mean by “on the other comb honey site you mentioned at the top of this page?” But I would love to post your recipes and photos, with credit of course, and a link back to your site. That would be so cool! And probably what you said above too, I’m just confused what “comb honey site” you are referring to.
Thank you for the collaboration; I feel like I have found home.
Sorry for the confusion. At the top of this page there is a link toward the end of the opening rap that highlights the words “comb honey” and when you go there it opens a page titled “Update on how to eat comb honey” that shows a picture of a bread crostini with cheese and honey comb followed by numerous comments.
I think this would be a great forum to post recipes and comments. Leaving a more general discussion of comb honey to this page. Just an interpretation of what I think you have already set up.
I just finished my snack of plain greek (or any ‘regular’) yogurt sweetened with honey comb. I love using it for this because the wax gets stirred into the yogurt and I usually am less inclined to spit it out, and it sweetens the yogurt perfectly. No need for any artificial sweeteners or preservatives they need to add to store bought flavoured yogurts.
I just made a fantastic discovery. While hunting for some chocolate syrup to top off vanilla ice cream I realized there was none. I am not a big ice cream fan but had a sweet tooth that evening. I have two large jars of honey and comb mix. I took several spoonfuls and topped off the ice cream. Wow is that good. The honey gets cold and more chewy. Can’t begin to describe how wonderful the combination of honey ice cream and bits of chewy comb are together.
Here is my take on honeycomb ice cream:
Oh yes, honey (with or without comb) on good quality vanilla ice cream is to die for… 🙂 I love eating comb honey, it’s hard for me to stop. I chew the wax like gum. I feel good eating such a healthy treat! 🙂
Thank you for your insight, I want to purchase that basswood comb honey what is the name, address and phone number so I may do so?
I do not know who sells basswood comb honey. You will have to do an internet search.
One of my best friends, a farmer named Lea is selling honey combs in sheets bigger than 2 of my faces for 55 dollars. She gave me 12 dollars worth as a gift. And its in the wooden box!!!!
I know, the wording sounds weird, but it’s awesome, and 100 percent natural. She’s a beekeeper!!!
(It’s in a frame, as well.)
For me the very best way to ear honeycomb is as follows:
Place honeycomb in refrigerator
The next morning using a short knife cut a small square of honeycomb
Place in mouth and enjoy an unique and wonderful sensation
The full flavor of the honey and wax will come out
Plus the wax totally fractures into minute pieces
It also tastes good in the afternoon and evening
Thanks, Wilhelm. I’ll give that a try. Don’t think I ever had it refrigerated.
Welp, I came here to learn how to eat the slice of comb honey my husband and I bought this evening, and now there’s hardly any crackers, feta or comb left. I had to make myself leave some for himself to try tomorrow; the things we do for love.
Glad you like it. When people try, they get hooked!
Hey, Rusty! Enjoying your great website/blog.
Let me ask you a quick question about comb honey…how hard is it to extract pure honey from a comb that was produced in a Ross Round? I love comb honey, just eaten straight with a spoon, but the wife hates it. So we usually compromise with a jar of chunk honey.
I’m getting my own bees next year, and to save money on extractors and jars, etc… I want to use strictly Ross Rounds. What would be the best way to make a couple jars of regular honey if all you had was Ross Rounds?
Here are two posts for you: “No extractor, no problem” and “Crushing and straining and moaning.”
Happy New Year, Rusty. Taking a break from making spun honey to have some dinner; my buddy Lenny had just cleaned a pomegranate for good luck in the new year and suggested we make a salad with arugula. I offered up some candied basswood-framed comb honey that happened to be in my pantry. The honey comb was collected in 2012. I cut a square inch from the top corner, pushed it out and diced it up…A little salt and a toss of olive oil made a wonderful / beautiful / simple salad. The seeds of the fruit ate like they were a nut. The only issue was getting a perfect bite with the pomegranate seeds as they would try to escape the fork. Soon conversation centered on your terrific website and all the knowledge you share promoting comb honey. Thank you…
That’s interesting about the pomegranate. I didn’t know they were used for good luck in the New Year, but it just so happens that I cleaned a pomegranate to serve with New Year’s dinner. I wanted something to add color to the plates and that’s what I used. So I guess that was my first piece of good luck!
Hey Rusty great blog, thanks for all the info you and others have shared! I’ve always used honey but never combed. I have tasted on occasion but had a tough time with the waxy teeth at the end lol! I found your blog by researching the uses of combed honey after purchasing a fair sized chunk of Africanized bee comb from an intrepid vendor who removes Africanized hives by request in southern AZ. Brave indeed! (I also bought some pure honey)
He offered a sample as I was checking out his selection of honeys blended with various berries and spices. I loved the flavour of the pure honey very dark and sweet with a wild taste not found in the store-bought lightly coloured and homogenized variety. Yum.
My question regards the combed honey from these “killer” bees. They weren’t cultured into combs, the product is sold in “chunks” in a plastic container. You and others in this blog speak of a “frame” of comb sounding like a cultured controlled environment designed for the harvesting. Is there anything that I should be aware of when using this “chunked” comb harvested from Africanized bee hives discovered in people’s barn rafters or various abandoned structures? The honey in the comb is fairly well christalized and there are some very dark edges and the odd dark “spot” that I can see within the comb.
I’m so looking forward to trying it on hot toast with peanut butter, or on a cracker with cheese…..
We speak of frames of honey because many of us use frames. But not everyone does, and bees on their own don’t either. In fact, your comment makes me realize I should be more careful of my terminology.
Chunks of honeycomb are . . . well . . . just chunks of honeycomb. There is nothing different or unusual about Africanized bee honey. In fact, many beekeepers now keep Africanized bees in those regions where they are common, including Arizona. Dark spots may mean the comb was used by the bees for another purpose before they put honey in it, but that is completely normal and harmless.
Don’t worry about this honey, just eat and enjoy.
Hi! I’ve been getting local raw honey from an urban farmer down the street and also got some honeycomb. Is there any propolis in the comb?
Sometimes there may be a little on the edges, but not much. It is usually dark brown or reddish.
In my experience with handling, serving, enjoying comb honey I have never seen propolis in the comb. As Rusty said it could be in contact along the edge that is against the frame. But not much as there is a wax barrier between the wood and the comb cells.
On occasion I do find a few cells packed with a special bee preparation called bee-bread. It is a fermented pollen honey mix that the bees use for food. Usually kept in the brood area, on rare occasion they share it.
Hey I just grabbed some honeycomb from the grocery store! It came in a glass jar. What do you make of that? And is all honeycomb natural along with the honey that is packed along side the comb in the jar? Also this morning I put a nice amount of honeycomb in my smoothie. Do you think it loses any of its wonderful healthy things in doing so?
Honeycomb in a jar surrounded by liquid honey is call “chunk honey.” The honey in the comb and the liquid honey could come from the same source or a different one; there is really no way to tell just by looking. If you want to know more about the source of the honey you buy, purchase it directly from a beekeeper or at a farmer’s market. Putting honeycomb in your smoothie won’t hurt the honey or the smoothie . . . does a job on the comb, though.
On the way back to Miami from Gainesville I saw raw honey signs and stopped to go get some. The honey was in a mason jar and a piece of comb was in it as well. The lady selling was very rude and wouldn’t let me see wherethey had the bees, the jar was also kind of dirty on the outside. Should I trust the honey? It looks delicious…. I’ve been wanting to have green tea with honey and ground organic cinnamon. Also, I was reading and if you heat the honey the wax would go on top? Can I scrape the wax and use it for other stuff (lipbalm, I have no clue what else). I am so sorry I am new at this natural stuff, my mom has overwhelmed my young life with processed food and ramen noodles….
Honey has lots of anti-bacterial properties, so the honey and comb are probably just fine. I hate to hear about a dirty jar and a rude beekeeper, though: that’s not fun at all.
I don’t recommend heating the honey because it may damage the flavor. Do read the rest of the comments to see how you can eat comb and all. I’m glad to hear you’re becoming acquainted with more natural foods. Honey is a good place to start.
Omg I just read the comment ahead of mine, I am so sorry
So funny, I had to go back and read the posts to see what you were referring to.
DO I NEED TO REFRIGERATE HONEYCOME
I BOUGHT IT IN THE STORE
IT WAS MADE IN HUNGARY.
OR TO LET IT STAND IN THE KITCHEN IN SUNLIGHT? OR DARK?
You do not need to refrigerate honeycomb. Keep it in a covered container on a table or in a cupboard. It can be dark or light, although I would keep it out of direct sunlight so the wax comb doesn’t melt. It will keep for years at room temperature, or you can freeze it.
Do I need to freeze the comb honey before selling? In my regular supers, I was taught wax moths lay eggs, even in strong hives. I don’t want to sell a great looking product to someone who may leave it on the counter for a month, then the eggs hatch. When I make chunk honey, I freeze my supers for 48 hours in 0 F to make sure all eggs are dead. The bees are still processing this year’s honey, but I need to prepare because they should be ready to harvest at the end of June. I’m in Eastern NC.
If you have wax moths in your area, definitely freeze your comb honey before selling it.
Hello! I found your blog when I was looking up how to use fresh honeycomb. Thanks for a great blog/website! For mine, I paid $24 at local farmers market in a remote, non-farming tourist town (Rocky Mountains). It’s in 5*5 plastic and I guess it weighs a bit more than a pound. And it is delicious! Thanks for sharing about honeybees and for your efforts with them!
Thank you, Pam.
Hello! We immigrated to New Zealand from California two years ago, and are fortunate enough to have a local beekeeper who sells delicious raw honey, as well as honeycomb. We just purchased some honeycomb, but I was unsure as to how to consume it. Thank you for this post! I will try it this morning!
I’m glad I found this website, as I am excited to learn the art and science of beekeeping; not only because I am passionate about producing our own food, but because we go through about 2.5lb / 1kg of honey a week! We managed to pick-up a large stainless honey extractor for an excellent price, now we just need to acquire some property, and take beekeeping classes etc. 🙂
Thank you for this article! It came up first as I was researching how/if I should eat honeycomb. I have a jar of honey that came with a piece of honeycomb inside and I wasn’t sure what to do with it. I tried your suggestion of spreading it on warm toast with butter. It was amazing! I gotta say I wish honey was still made the way you described it (old-fashioned in basswood) because I am probably missing out on all that flavor.
Thank you for sharing your passion!
I just want to echo a previous comment about Greek yogurt. It’s my favorite breakfast. Plain Greek yogurt with its tangy flavor and a generous spoonful of comb honey. I bought it at our local farmers market – a mason jar with a couple long chunks of comb and filled with honey.
I find that the honey comb chunks – which I mostly scrape with a spoon as I serve onto the yogurt – add a nice slightly crunchy texture to the yogurt. My friend love so bad almonds or pine nuts to the mix but I think the texture of the honey comb bits is perfect to the flavor a or tangy yogurt and sweet honey.
I’m not a breakfast person in that I’m not hungry in the morning so my instinct is to skip it all together. so this works because it’s not heavy but gives me the protein and energy needed to jump start the day.
I have also noticed that if I eat this every morning throughout the winter – with local honey from our farmers market, come spring I struggle a lot less during allergy season. But it has to be a regiment of daily local honey intake during cold months to build up to the warm months.
Rusty, after my question earlier today, I looked further for section equipment. Found the Kelley Beekeeping website, and then this post. If it wasn’t a stupid question, it was at least premature. Thanks.
Right, Kelley is the only place that still makes square sections (that I know of).
I spoon a chunk in my mouth, use my tongue to flatten it to the roof, and then roll the wax up and put it aside to use for other things. Once you figure out your own way around the wax, the rest isn’t an issue. And it’s so very, very worth it! The honey is to die for.
Hi. I am trying to find a good pure honey in Florida, any idea ? I chow on honeycomb instead of gum and I realized that after a while they will melt in your mouth! Better than sweetened gum.
Try looking for a local beekeeping club or a farmer’s market for local honeycomb. I’m sure the local beekeepers could give you several options on where to buy it.
We recently purchased comb honey at a local specialty food store. Sadly, yes, in a plastic clear box. 🙁 Both my husband and I remember getting comb honey and eating it from a spoon, how the wax used to be able to be chewed and was lovely flavoured with the honey, without being super “waxy”. For some reason, this batch seems really waxy. Like when you have a spoonful and eat it, you are left with a LOT of wax in your mouth (more than I remember – I remember it being almost soluble to an extent, with just a small amount remaining).
Did I just get a bad batch? Or has honey changed? Should I press on and buy more somewhere else? I want to keep my eye open for a local apiary and get some there this summer.
Honey has not changed but beekeepers have. The delicacy of the comb depends on a number of factors including whether the beekeeper used foundation or not. Please read It’s all about the wax.
So if i put a spoonful of honey with the comb in my hot tea and drink the wax does not bother your system? Just maybe spoon off some of the wax on top of the tea?
Beeswax is inert in the human body. It goes right through without causing any problems. People have been eating it for thousands of years.
I’m in Australia, and went to a local farmers market, where I picked up some comb honey (unfortunately in plastic), which I have always been wanting to try. I decided to look up how to eat it, to see if there was a procedure that needed to be done first, such as heating it up.
I really enjoyed reading the history, and I’m saddened by the fact that it isn’t sold as much as it used to. It sounded like a wonderful experience to have it come in a wooden box. So thank you for writing this!
I too find it sad that comb honey has lost its popularity. I only produce and eat comb honey because I think it is the very best honey in the world. If you’d like to read more of my ranting about it, see “
If you extract honey and feed it back to a ‘boiling’ hive, after putting everything in place for the bees to draw fresh wax then fill with the fed honey. Do you think this counts as proper comb honey? I haven’t tried it yet, just wondering your thoughts on it.
I think it counts. After all, it is their honey. They just moved it from one pantry to another.
I am enjoying some delicious Goya US fancy pure honey (8oz) jar, packed with comb! Delicious. Only $5.49 in my local Brazilian market (on Cape Cod Mass). Wonderful!
I’m glad you like it!
I have just read through all of the comments on this page and enjoyed the read. I live in Kitchener, Ontario in Canada. I just purchased my first ever comb honey in plastic and tried a spoon full the other day. My hubby, good friend and I all spit out the wax, lol. I can not wait to try it with cheese and on toast!!
I look now forward to exploring your site. I have “dreamed” of one day having some decent property where I can have a nice garden and thought of keeping bees as well so I look forward to your knowledge and hope that one day my dream becomes a reality!!
Thx for the good read 🙂
Please let me know how it goes when you eat it the “right” way. Can’t wait to hear!
I made it for my daughter one day the “right” way 😉 She only ate half of it and did not want any more, which I do not find surprising since she has never really liked honey. I finished the piece of toast for her and found that it was just ok.
That being said, I made some this morning and ate it while it was still nice and hot/warm.
It was VERY tasty and good 🙂 Definitely much better than just your regular jarred honey. Although mine is in the plastic container and not the wood, I am still left wanting seconds 🙂
Thank you for sharing how to have this Amazing treat!!
And thank you, Sid, for trying. Most people get hooked once they taste it, but it’s often hard to get them to try.
I actually have very good luck finding comb honey at middle eastern stores! Great quality too!
Good to know. Thanks!
A friend of mine is a beginner beekeeper from whom I regularly buy my honey. His last harvest in 2016 won a special prize in the regional competition here in the Netherlands (9.5 out of 10 criteria points).
Anyhow, he said his stock is totally sold out at the moment but since I am a regular, he sent me today a honey comb still in the wooden frame (about 1′ x 1.5′) instead. He mentioned to keep upright and cut pieces from it. I missed the chance though to ask for instructions on how to store it properly, since I am sure I will not finish it within a very short time. Any tips? 🙂 Much much thanks in advance!!
Store it at room temperature and cover it with something, plastic wrap or a cloth, just to keep the dust out. You can also store it horizontally; just realize that any open cells will leak, so you need to have it on a tray or something that will catch the drips. Eating honey from the comb like that is an ideal treat.
I grew up eating honey off the comb, just like you said that was how honey was sold. Gone are those days which is sad because eating honeycomb is one of life’s great pleasures.
I did find some in France for 8$ which I was able to sneak thru customs. It is absolutely delicious and I wish I could find some in Southern California. To know you are eating the raw product of the bee is a special experience. The taste and feel of the wax is almost nil.
I’m always surprised that more beekeepers don’t offer it. There is huge demand for untouched comb honey. I don’t always sell it, but when I do, I sell out immediately. Beekeepers shouldn’t assume that nobody wants it.
What city are you in? Maybe I can find a seller.
Rusty, A very interesting and enduring discussion on comb honey. I will talk to the owner of the hives in my back yard about it.
Where can I get the details on the basswood boxes? We have an enormous clump of basswood in our backyard near the hives, and need to “trim” one of the trunks, Should be neat to get honey from the basswood blossoms in a basswood box to boot.
Kelley Beekeeping Supply still sells basswood section boxes. I’m sure there’s lots of history behind it, because they always use basswood.
What do you think would happen if I bottled my home brewed beer with a chunk of comb honey instead of a sugar pill, or 3 tablespoons of dissolved honey per 10 bottles? The sugars in the honey are fermented the by yeast in the beer to make a little more alcohol, but more importantly the carbonation in the bottle. I was thinking that the fermentation might not be as quick as with dissolved honey, and that the wax comb would be left. Any other thoughts? Do you know how much comb would be equivalent to 0.3 tablespoons?
I have only ever used sugar for priming home brew. I’m sure that dissolved honey would work just fine, but that the honey might not come out of the comb. If you crush the comb it will probably work, but if you just drop it in there, it might not.
Honey is about 20% water, so you would have to compensate for that when using honey instead of sugar. But as for how much volume the comb itself takes up, I really don’t know. Just guessing, I’d use about 0.5 tablespoons crushed comb to replace 0.3 tablespoons sugar (or a half tablespoon crushed comb instead of a teaspoon sugar). That’s what I would try, but it’s just a guess.
My friend got me a square of comb honey and some brownies for my birthday. I cut a slice of the comb off and put it on the brownie and pierced it so the honey oozed onto the brownie and ate it like that. It was so good!
I will give it a try!
I went to Mercier Orchards in Blue Ridge, Georgia. They had lots of varieties of honey for sale there. I purchased a pint of raw unprocessed sourwood honey with the comb in a mason jar. Walter Woody of Hayesville, NC is the producer. $17.99 was the cost. I also order online from the Blue Ridge Honey Company who offer a variety of honeys and beeswax made items as well as beekeeping supplies and classes. The grass roots movement has a lot of local beekeepers springing up. One here near home is Dazzle Mountain Farm and Apiary whose honey is wonderful! I really love that backyard beekeeping is making a comeback.
Hi, I take the honeycomb after draining off the honey and add the whole chunk to homemade granola which is a mixture of oats, nuts, seeds and oil. The honeycomb melts into the granola beautifully while its baking adding plenty of sweetness and you cannot detect the comb when its cooled. I live in NZ where Manuka honey is a staple and the prices here are similar to what we pay here. I live about 20km form Comvita which is NZ’s premier honey centre.
I’m always looking for ways to use honey in the comb. I will try this one. Thank you.
Great info. We were asking “Why would anyone want honey in the comb?” Now we know!
Loved the response about you being the Johhny Appleseed of Honey Comb and the guy who drank it when he should have eaten it.
My “thrifty” husband got 2 jars of organic comb honey at a membership chain store. He’s unhappy about the comb & planning to toss the jars. I know he won’t change his mind about eating it – – very set in his ways. Is there a way (I’m sure this is blasphemy to you) to extract the honey, salvaging it? Seems wasteful to throw them out. Please help.
Just press it with a fork and strain it through a mesh screen.
Just bought some raw honey with comb in it, the other day. I use honey in everything, to replace sugar, mainly in my coffee.
So, this morning I made my cuppa & saw that I’d gotten down to some of the comb & I’ve just been breaking it off with the spoon & eating it straight from the jar!
This time, it stuck in my teeth & I had a half-asleep (incredibly bad) “epiphany”! haha
I’ll tell you what, it was one of THE BEST blonde moments I’ve had in a long time – I totally questioned all better judgement & googled “is honeycomb essentially beeswax?” hahahahahahaha yep!!
I think I may have actually woken my neighbor, laughing so hard, at myself!! hahahaha
Plus side – other than the workout I got from laughing haha – is finding your blog! It’s great! Thank you for sharing your knowledge of honey 🙂
That is really funny. Made me smile.
I just read your post and loved it. My husband brought me home some honey in a comb his work sells at a feed mill. We’re in My. I’ve honey and sorghum but had never had it I the comb so I had to look up his to eat it. It is in plastic but always so much better eating fresh honey of any kind. Thanks for the informative post!
I was so excited when I went to a Bosnian store today in Syracuse NY and was able to get a 12 oz honeycomb box. I can’t wait to try it on an English muffin in the morning.
We recently became the proud parents of a bee hive in my husbands man shed. We had a beekeeper come out and transfer the colony to a safer place, and he was kind enough to leave the honey comb with us. I am wondering if there are steps we need to take to be able to enjoy the nectar they left behind ? I am a preschool bee person, and would appreciate any advice you may have. I will try to post some pics of of the souvenir this person left for us. THANKYOU SO MUCH for any information you can give us.
In a case like yours, I would crush the honey comb with something like a potato masher and then strain it through a paint strainer, like the type you can buy at a hardware store or Home Depot. Let it stand overnight, and it will slowly drain through. The reason for this is that old honey comb is very tough and chewy, nothing like fresh honey comb which is soft and tender. Because of this, I think you will enjoy the honey most by straining it first.
If you want to send pics, you will have to attach them to an email and send them that way. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I like to put it on slices of apple…two of my favorite things together! ❤
I never thought of that! Can’t wait to try.
Graham cracker, extra crunchy peanut butter, honey comb and a dash of sea salt.
Let me think about that…I love graham crackers, extra crunchy peanut butter, honey comb, and sea salt. Definitely sounds like a plan!
I just stumbled upon your website and have joyed reading al the posts about comb honey. I saw the post from the person in New Zealand where she mentioned Manuka Honey. I recently learned that manuka honey is incredible for healing wounds. My nephew was bit by a dog and for 6 weeks it would not heal. He was sent to a wound specialist that gave him MediHoney. MediHoney is made from manuka bee honey. Overnight the area was drastically better and completely healed within a week or so. I bought some from Amazon and we use it on all cuts, scrapes, burns etc. We don’t even buy Neosporin anymore!
I just bought one of those Honey Jar Beehives that allow the bees to build a comb inside quart canning jars, when a jar fills up you just unscrew it and replace it with a new jar. One of the biggest attractions to me was the idea of harvesting honey intact in the comb and this was BEFORE I read this article. Now I am curious to see if the lack of the basswood box really makes that much difference? The idea of treatment-free bees also appeals to me and this system seems ideal for that. I am actually more concerned about bee colony collapse disorder and am trying to do my small part in giving bees a home. If it works well I will construct more now that I see how simple it really is. I am a far better carpenter than biologist.
I wouldn’t worry about so-called Colony Collapse Disorder because it pretty much disappeared over the last ten years. It lives on in the press, but no where else. Treatment-free is very appealing until all your bees die. I think that if treatment-free is your goal, you should start by learning standard management techniques. Then, as you learn more and increase the size of your apiary, you will have a better chance of making it work. Successful treatment-free beekeepers are very skilled and knowledgeable and usually have fairy large operations where they can flood their areas with drones to reduce outcrossing.
Howdy from Texas!
For breakfast I cooked sliced sweet potato over butter on the cast iron and spread a chunk of honeycomb on top. It is my first time eating the comb and I’ve read all the comments, I’m looking forward to try cheese and comb!
I recently purchased honey with the comb inside a glass jar at my local organic store. The honey came from Bonham, Texas.
Over reading the comments I learned about wax moths. How do I make sure they are not present?
Thank you for all the information on your site, I will pursue a beekeeping hobby and have learned so much from here so far!
You would see them if they were there.
I came here to find out if the honeycomb I just added to my oatmeal was edible, I was pretty sure it was. What I found here was so much more than expected. All of these entertaining comments, replies and information. Now I feel like I need to have a conversation with the “honey guy” at my local farmers market about basswood boxes. ?
Very cool!. I’m glad to hear it.
Thanks for the interesting read. I sometimes ‘lend’ people a frame from the super. By this I mean I give them the frame and ask them to bring it back in a few days. They scrape off the cells, I just tell them not to go through the central foundation. This reduces the work the bees have to do to clean things up.
I also give similar advice to novice beeks who just want to spin off honey as soon as there is a frame ready – they will lose most of it stuck to the extractor. This way they get to try their honey sooner and better than if they wait to extract a ‘full load’.
I just spent a huge amount of unmeasured time re-reading this post and commentaries which I’ve read before, on a morning when I really had no excess time.
This is ALL YOUR FAULT for being so interesting! grumble grumble : )
And all the while, I was eating comb honey for breakfast…