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Author Topic: Comb honey. A journey of learning  (Read 23165 times)

Online The15thMember

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #140 on: January 27, 2022, 02:03:38 pm »
I agree about the cooler temps in the morning, but also there is not any nectar coming into the hive so they really don't have anything to work with either. I would think sometime in the very early morning hours all of the pollen and nectar would have been put away.......just my thinking anyway.
Good point G3. But can I throw it back to you. Have you ever put a super on a strong hive late in the afternoon and come back to check for some reason early the next morning? They seem to get a lot done over night.
I think G3 has a point too, but I don't think it's so much about the nectar coming into the hive, but about the fact that the jars are isolated from the rest of the honey stores, since the bees who are building the comb are not foragers, but younger bees who haven't left the nest yet.  The wax bees need to eat to produce wax, and then climb up into the jars, where it may be too cool for the wax to be worked easily in the early morning.  Whereas with a freshly added super, the new area to be drawn out is warm and honey is easily accessible.         
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #141 on: January 27, 2022, 02:16:29 pm »
Quote
G3farms
For years I could not get in the right rhythm. I would make chink honey and nobody wanted any, then next year would not make any and everybody wanted a case or two.

I may be throwing a monkey wrench in the spokes with this post. There is another topic in progress titled "reconstituting honey". What if after we do all this work, making great chunk honey, and then it crystalizes? What could be done in such a senerio? If the jars will be warmed to re-liquifed, can it be done at a delicate temperature that the wax comb 'will not' liquify yet the crystalized honey 'will' be liquified?

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #142 on: January 27, 2022, 02:36:46 pm »
I may be throwing a monkey wrench in the spokes with this post. There is another topic in progress titled "reconstituting honey". What if after we do all this work, making great chunk honey, and then it crystalizes? What could be done in such a senerio? If the jars will be warmed to re-liquifed, can it be done at a delicate temperature that the wax comb 'will not' liquify yet the crystalized honey 'will' be liquified?

Phillip
Beeswax melts at 64 degrees C and 147 degrees F, so it shouldn't be a problem to reliquefy chunk honey if it crystallizes, as you don't want to heat the honey over 45C/115F anyway.   
I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led.  And through the air, I am she that walks unseen.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #143 on: January 27, 2022, 02:40:13 pm »
I may be throwing a monkey wrench in the spokes with this post. There is another topic in progress titled "reconstituting honey". What if after we do all this work, making great chunk honey, and then it crystalizes? What could be done in such a senerio? If the jars will be warmed to re-liquifed, can it be done at a delicate temperature that the wax comb 'will not' liquify yet the crystalized honey 'will' be liquified?

Phillip
Beeswax melts at 64 degrees C and 147 degrees F, so it shouldn't be a problem to reliquefy chunk honey if it crystallizes, as you don't want to heat the honey over 45C/115F anyway.   

Thats a relief Reagan! Thanks for doing the research!

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #144 on: January 27, 2022, 03:01:40 pm »
I agree about the cooler temps in the morning, but also there is not any nectar coming into the hive so they really don't have anything to work with either. I would think sometime in the very early morning hours all of the pollen and nectar would have been put away.......just my thinking anyway.
Good point G3. But can I throw it back to you. Have you ever put a super on a strong hive late in the afternoon and come back to check for some reason early the next morning? They seem to get a lot done over night.
I think G3 has a point too, but I don't think it's so much about the nectar coming into the hive, but about the fact that the jars are isolated from the rest of the honey stores, since the bees who are building the comb are not foragers, but younger bees who haven't left the nest yet.  The wax bees need to eat to produce wax, and then climb up into the jars, where it may be too cool for the wax to be worked easily in the early morning.  Whereas with a freshly added super, the new area to be drawn out is warm and honey is easily accessible.         

You present more good points Member. Les has done a good job in preventing these jars from being exposed to raw cold in the upper chamber from outside temperature influence by adding insulation on all sides of the jars and on top as well, totally enclosing the jar area. This should be a real asset on those cool mornings?  That and taking in consideration that heat rises, the jars hypothetically should be as warm as the hive or close enough being they are at the highest point of the hive? At least on the inside of the jar? Maybe another good reason to use full length starter strips as shown in reply #114. That way the bees will not be expected to climb the outer edge of the jar which may be sightly cooler than the warm rising air inside the jar? 

Personally, I think the good news is when the flow is in full swing, the bees should kick in full swing as well if all is set up correctly as Les appears to be doing his best even now. Really I do not think the cool mornings will have much of an effect when the weather warms up enough for a full 'out and out' spring flow... I may be wrong though. lol

Together we are seeking and will learn to overcome the obstacles which may occur. I am sure there are other unseen factors that may be involved which we have not brought up yet... Each post is valuable in my opinion..  In these experiments we will learn as we go..
Y'all are a great crew to be associated with !! 👍🏻

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #145 on: January 27, 2022, 04:32:29 pm »
Good point Member about the bees making wax. Sometimes the answers to our questions are not as simple as we would think. As Phillip has stated, there are some interesting and thought provoking comments coming in. They all help to provide us with a bit more understanding which is what this forum is all about. A comment was made about the bees having difficulty in climbing up the side of the jars. I said yesterday that this wasn?t an issue. Yesterday when I put the insulation in place, I decided to watch the jars for a while and see what was actually happening. Bees were climbing up the sides of all jars but their behaviour was different in each style of jar. Where there was a large surface of wax, the whole area was covered in bees and they were actively drawing wax. On the smaller starter strips, only a small number of bees were working the wax. In fact, only the surface of the starter strip was covered in bees. The interesting jar was the one where a small quantity of melted wax melted to the bottom. The bees would climb up the side of the jar, walk on the wax as if they were looking for something and they would then fall and then return to the side of the jar. There was only festooning on the large strip of wax. I still believe that a heavy flow would change this situation considerably and there would be more urgency shown by the bees.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #146 on: January 27, 2022, 05:39:43 pm »
Just went down to check if the insulation had any impact. Definitely warmer and there were a few more bees in the jars than yesterday but it really did not encourage big numbers to stay. I?m going to leave it in place as I believe it will help to stabilise the jar temperature but from the perspective of keeping large numbers of bees in place over night it was a failure. At least we now know that there is more activity when the bees are working during the day which was Members earlier comment. 👍👍👍

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #147 on: January 29, 2022, 10:42:54 pm »
Just a bit of an update on the jars. The foundation continues to be drawn out and down on the jars with the large wax strip. Jars with starter strips are making some progress but it is slow. The jars with wax at the bottom are not being touched by the bees at all. This may be reflective of the reduced amount of nectar coming in as there is no urgency shown by the bees. Will keep reporting as there is the odd tree flowering and conditions may change. I would confidently say that a good flow would have the bees filling all jar types quickly.

Cheers

Les

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #148 on: January 29, 2022, 10:53:37 pm »
Quote
Lesgold
I would confidently say that a good flow would have the bees filling all jar types quickly.

And that is a good thing considering this is our objective goal, but: This brings up another question. How we do prevent a swarm situation during a heavy flow using this method? We will need to leave the jar box on until capped. And it does no good to add another box on top because it can't be reached. If we place a full box of empty frames below the bees before the jar honey is capped, the bees may not cap the jar honey? They may instead retreat from this chore and concentrate of the lower box of empty frames? How do we work this the correct way without causing a swarm mode?

Thanks,

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #149 on: January 30, 2022, 08:53:57 am »
Ben,
One way is to move your queen to a Nuc box and let them make a new queen while they are making your comb. If you set it up this week one week before you start the comb the bees will not have any brood to feed and will have lots of nectar to make honey. Also they will not need pollen so all their efforts will bee on making comb and honey.
Plus you will now have a spare Nuc if you need it.
Jim Altmiller
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #150 on: January 30, 2022, 01:41:24 pm »
Ben,
One way is to move your queen to a Nuc box and let them make a new queen while they are making your comb. If you set it up this week one week before you start the comb the bees will not have any brood to feed and will have lots of nectar to make honey. Also they will not need pollen so all their efforts will bee on making comb and honey.
Plus you will now have a spare Nuc if you need it.
Jim Altmiller

Thanks Jim Yes, that is one way that should stop a swarm situation that deserves consideration.

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #151 on: January 30, 2022, 01:42:15 pm »
Does anyone have thoughts or know of other ways that might also prevent a swarm situation during a heavy flow using the jar method? 

Thanks,

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #152 on: January 30, 2022, 03:58:02 pm »
That?s a good idea Jim. It solves 2 problems at the same time. Phillip, I assume from your question that your honey flow occurs during the spring. If that is the case, normal swarm control methods would need to be employed. I added the jars on top of a super that was almost ready for capping and the hive was due for another super anyway.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #153 on: January 30, 2022, 04:02:28 pm »
That?s a good idea Jim. It solves 2 problems at the same time. Phillip, I assume from your question that your honey flow occurs during the spring. If that is the case, normal swarm control methods would need to be employed. I added the jars on top of a super that was almost ready for capping and the hive was due for another super anyway.

Swarm questions concerns with the jar method started at reply 148 considering a full flow and the problems that 'might occur' while using the jar comb method during that time.. Spinning off 'unique swarm concerns' not associated with normal swarm control.. :-)

Quote
Lesgold
I would confidently say that a good flow would have the bees filling all jar types quickly.

And that is a good thing considering this is our objective goal, but: This brings up another question. How we do prevent a swarm situation during a heavy flow using this method? We will need to leave the jar box on until capped. And it does no good to add another box on top because it can't be reached. If we place a full box of empty frames below the bees before the jar honey is capped, the bees may not cap the jar honey? They may instead retreat from this chore and concentrate of the lower box of empty frames? How do we work this the correct way without causing a swarm mode?

Thanks,

Phillip






« Last Edit: January 30, 2022, 05:05:07 pm by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #154 on: January 30, 2022, 05:05:22 pm »
Phillip, I think I understand what you are asking but I don?t believe it should really be a major issue. When I started the mini frames, I ran through the spring build up and swarming period by just adding the mini frames on top of a super. You could do the same thing with the jars. Just give the bees plenty of work to do. On that particular hive, I still took off two nucs as a swarm control method and added frames with foundation as replacements. That was enough to stop that hive from swarming but still keep bee numbers quite high. That worked for me in my situation but I you may have to use a slightly different approach in your area. In my neck of the woods, I get a reliable spring flow every year that will produce a surplus. It
Is often not the main honey flow but it does contribute to swarming issues. After that time, a major flow can occur in the summer, autumn and occasionally winter so my conditions are different to yours. I took a pic of the hive the day before adding the jars. It was a hot day and the girls were out getting a tan. This hive swarmed in the spring but the new girl did a good job of rebuilding stocks. This hive yielded about 25kg of honey after swarming. (It was a pity that I didn?t get to it and stop half of the crowd leaving as I would have ended up with a lot more)



 If I added the jars to this hive about a month ago when the flow was still in progress, I reckon I would have all of them removed by now. My timing for adding the jars was poor but I knew that at the time. This was just a bit of fun to see what the bees would do. Basically, this was an activity to gain a bit of knowledge so that when the next flow arrives, some of the guess work will be removed. I look forward to hearing about your approach and the issues that you may encounter along the way. If we continue to share, question and ask, our chances for achieving success must improve. I will continue to give feedback on how the comb building progresses but I wouldn?t take too much notice of the time taken due to the small amount of nectar coming in.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #155 on: January 30, 2022, 05:18:26 pm »
Thanks Les, as long as the bees will finish the jar honey set up after we add the empty framed honey super below, necessary for working space and normal swarm prevention, I see no problem. It is my experience that if adequate working space is not introduced fast enough the bees will go into swarm mode.. In a hard full flow this can happen fast.

SHB are an issue here and I would not want the jars to be (set aside) by the bees once the necessary empty box is installed below, concentrating there efforts there instead.. Once the bees begin working the jars I would feel better knowing they continue until the jars are finished, allowing me to remove and freeze ASAP... I am looking far ahead, attempting to head off potential problems at the pass. lol

Phillip



« Last Edit: January 30, 2022, 05:37:46 pm by Ben Framed »
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #156 on: January 30, 2022, 07:21:56 pm »
I agree with you Phillip. Having questions answered ahead of time helps to prevent problems later. You raised another interesting point about beetles. They are another potential issue that we may have to consider. I will watch to see if SHB enter the jars. Will keep people posted.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #157 on: February 05, 2022, 04:25:06 pm »
I made an inspection of the jars yesterday. No more progress has been made due to the lack of nectar coming in. I will pull them off the hive and seal the jars after letting them air for a day. Will pop them back on when the next honey flow begins in a couple of months. The system works well but I can?t really give any reliable feedback as to what style of wax works best. My personal opinion is that they will all do the job but I need a good flow to prove that. At this point in time, the foundation strips that fill the jar did the best job. I hope what I have presented gives you some ideas to work on. Will keep updating the other comb section methods as ideas come along.

Cheers

Les

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #158 on: February 05, 2022, 09:17:32 pm »
Les your have done a great job in your experiment as well as your explanations of your experiment. . I have learned a lot from you. Thanks for sharing your experience as you learn yourself .👍🏻

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #159 on: February 06, 2022, 06:48:52 pm »
Hi Folks,

Just wanted to give a bit of an update on the round honey comb sections that I was speaking to you about earlier in the thread. You may remember that I was using recycled 1.25 soft drink containers to make the rounds. They were quite popular with friends and relatives over the Christmas period but the big issue with them is that I could not sell legally sell them. What I really needed was a new container which would rectify this problem and get rid of supply issues. I have decided to try a PET jar. The jar that I?m considering using holds 750ml of liquid. (2.2 lbs or 1kg of honey) This is a very common jar and is the most popular size that people demand when purchasing honey from me. When not using glass, this is my go to. My wife often posts honey and this is the favoured container for that purpose. It is also the cheapest container that I can buy in that size.



As you can see from the photo, there is a flat section in the centre of the jar. I can get 3 rings out of each container. Cost for the jar is about 56 cents. The diameter of that section is 83mm which is slightly smaller than what the Pepsi bottle rings. I am not concerned with that as it will still produce quite a large chunk of comb. I?m just finalising the construction of the frame and jigs required. Will post progress reports as they are developed.

 

anything