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Author Topic: Comb honey. A journey of learning  (Read 24847 times)

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #220 on: January 17, 2024, 04:22:31 am »
The spacers were cut .5mm less than the length required to allow extra pressure to be applied as the frame nuts are tightened. The frame went together better than expected. All components fitted well. The frame ends are only a mock up at this stage. I plan to change their shape slightly to allow bee space for entry into the comb honey sections. This will be done after the new comb frames are designed. So there you have it. A hand saw, a hacksaw and I?m sorry but a hammer was used to tap the tee nuts into place. The original frames that I made took over an hour to construct once I had the design sorted. Using the laser cutter, I took about 1 1/2 hours to design the frame, about half an hour to cut the components and about 5 minutes to cut material and threaded rod to size and glue up spacers. The next one will take about 5 to 10 minutes to make as I will be working on other projects while the laser does its thing. If multiple frames were to be made, this time would be reduced. Early next week, I will redesign the comb honey sections to fit this frame.

Offline AustinB

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #221 on: January 17, 2024, 09:01:10 am »
Great looking work Les. Thanks for all the details and photos.
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Online Terri Yaki

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #222 on: January 17, 2024, 09:44:30 am »
Agreed, Les' work is awesome. I am envious of his talents.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #223 on: January 17, 2024, 09:10:56 pm »
Had a bit of time early this morning so I designed a new mini comb box to fit he adjustable frame. It only took about 20 minutes. Once one was designed, it was just a simple cut and paste exercise to block out a small piece of plywood. I was able to fit 5 frames on a 300mm x 300mm sheet and the machine took a bit over 20 minutes to cut out all 5.  I decided to glue one up and came up with a simple way of applying the glue. A squeeze of glue was deposited on a scrap piece of cardboard. The fingers on half of the joint were wiped over the glue and this process was repeated 3 more times. The joints were then pushed together and the box was tested for square before being left for about 10 minutes. This process took less than a minute to complete so I was happy from that perspective. You may be able to notice the slots for the thin foundation and the curved sides to allow for bee space on all 4 sides. The depth of each curve is 5mm. When two frames are pushed together, 10mm bee space will be the result at the deepest point of the curves. I will glue up the remaining frames and cut some more tomorrow.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #224 on: January 17, 2024, 09:18:26 pm »
Great looking work Les. Thanks for all the details and photos.

I agree.  Thumbs Up!
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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #225 on: January 18, 2024, 05:30:08 pm »
8 frames were glued up and then two strips of foundation were cut to fit the slots in the boxes. The foundation was fed through and surplus on the end was trimmed. The two blocks of four were then positioned into the adjustable frame. Everything fitted perfectly with only minimal tightening of the nuts on the threaded rod required. The plan is to cut the foundation between the mini frames with a thin knife after the bees have finished their job. The final task is to redesign the end bars to allow bee access from the sides. I should be able to do this later today.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #226 on: January 19, 2024, 05:24:04 pm »
The end bars were redesigned to allow bee entry from the sides. I cut some extra end bars to show what it would look like in position. Using off the shelf material and components such as threaded rod, tee nuts, wing nuts etc, the unit cost for each adjustable frame will be around $10. This cost could be reduced to about $5 if bulk purchases were made online. The mini frames will end up costing about 25 cents each (not including foundation) The best way to get good quality comb honey would be to add a full super of these frames to a strong hive in a good flow. I?m sure they will work as well or even better than the old design. The beauty of constructing the project this way is the time that will now be saved every time I need new components. I now have the files saved and the method sorted. Early next week I will be making some more candles for future markets. As I work on this task, the laser will be cutting out mini frames at the same time. Productivity will essentially double during those times.

Online Terri Yaki

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #227 on: January 25, 2024, 09:01:28 pm »
This came across my feed today and it looks interesting. What do yous folks think?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2HSvM2qZixk

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #228 on: January 25, 2024, 09:09:46 pm »
My problem with that, Terri, is that you can't get comb honey like that out of the package without destroying it.  Like, part of the fun about comb honey is biting into that intact piece of comb, and if the bees build it into the plastic, you can't do that.  And are lots of comb honey systems, like Ross Rounds and the Hogg Halfcombs, that preserve that experience for the consumer.  Plus, I'd imagine a lot of consumers wouldn't be happy with all that plastic.         
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Offline cao

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #229 on: January 25, 2024, 09:53:35 pm »
What 15 said and it is only one side of comb in the package.  And they are expensive.  Also, they only show the perfect ones.  How many are going to be half filled.

Online Terri Yaki

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #230 on: January 25, 2024, 10:04:21 pm »
It looks like they go into the frame back to back but I can see where they would be stuck in there.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #231 on: January 26, 2024, 06:29:18 am »
Carl Killion wrote the book on how to do sections in "Honey in the Comb".  He would paint the outside of the boxes with paraffin then after harvest he would scrape off the paraffin to remove any propolis from the box.
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Online Terri Yaki

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #232 on: January 26, 2024, 09:42:33 am »
What would be the result of using a deep box for the super and putting in one or some medium frames?

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #233 on: January 26, 2024, 03:48:40 pm »
What would be the result of using a deep box for the super and putting in one or some medium frames?
That very well may work.  As I mentioned before, I often put shallow frames in medium boxes, and it's never caused a problem, but my bees don't always draw the shallows out to medium depth.  The difference between a deep and a medium is greater than the difference between a medium and shallow, so that may not be a factor in this case.  Also of course realize that a deep full of honey will be basically impossible to lift, unless you are VERY strong.  That's not insurmountable, but recognize that it will make some tasks difficult. 
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Online Terri Yaki

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #234 on: January 26, 2024, 03:58:18 pm »
What would be the result of using a deep box for the super and putting in one or some medium frames?
That very well may work.  As I mentioned before, I often put shallow frames in medium boxes, and it's never caused a problem, but my bees don't always draw the shallows out to medium depth.  The difference between a deep and a medium is greater than the difference between a medium and shallow, so that may not be a factor in this case.  Also of course realize that a deep full of honey will be basically impossible to lift, unless you are VERY strong.  That's not insurmountable, but recognize that it will make some tasks difficult.
My neighbor was telling me that it would weigh about 90 lbs. But I'm a lazy old geezer and I've been figuring ways to make hard jobs easy for a long time. I would pull the frames out one at a time and set them into another box or container of some sort rather than try to lift the whole thing all at once.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #235 on: January 26, 2024, 04:30:58 pm »
You are right Reagan. I run all full depth gear and a deep full of honey has got a bit of weight to it. It?s not much fun when you have to dig down to the brood box. The weight issue will become an issue as I get older. The simplKomb system shown is a good bit of engineering. It?s been well thought out and very user friendly. For this system to be effective, a really strong hive in good honey flow would be required. Timing would be critical otherwise the bees would tend to ignore the plastic. It?s probably not the system I would recommend unless you are experienced in comb honey production. The other issue I have with this style of comb production is that you need to dig out the comb and honey with a spoon. You can?t cut out a full piece of comb with a knife so it tends to be messy when presented on a platter. For this reason alone, I have not ventured down the half comb method. To fill one medium with simplekomb, costs about $12 per frame. It is expensive for what it is but as it is the mini frame and package all in one, it turns out to be a cost effective at $1.50 per unit. The other advantage of this system is the time saving component. Setting up a super would take very little work and would give you a solid return on your investment if you could get the system to work. Putting a single frame in the middle of a super would be a good way to experiment with simplKomb.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #236 on: January 26, 2024, 06:22:12 pm »
My neighbor was telling me that it would weigh about 90 lbs. But I'm a lazy old geezer and I've been figuring ways to make hard jobs easy for a long time. I would pull the frames out one at a time and set them into another box or container of some sort rather than try to lift the whole thing all at once.
You are right Reagan. I run all full depth gear and a deep full of honey has got a bit of weight to it. It?s not much fun when you have to dig down to the brood box. The weight issue will become an issue as I get older.
As a woman, and a physically weak one at that, I can barely even lift a medium full of honey, so I actually harvest exactly like you described, Terry.  The hassle comes from what Les described.  If you need to inspect the brood nest below that heavy super and can't lift the box, you'll have remove each frame, one at the time, and then replace them one at the time, which is a lot of time wasted when inspecting.  Plus if you have a colony that isn't too friendly, that's a far more invasive and lengthy set of manipulations for what would normally be a pretty quick job.  Again, not insurmountable, and there are people like Les who do it and it works well for them.  But I just wanted to clarify that I wasn't concerned about the weight in regards to harvesting, I was concerned about it in regards to inspecting.
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Online Terri Yaki

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #237 on: January 26, 2024, 06:56:21 pm »
Reagan, The tediousness and invasiveness of that process is duly noted. Thanks for the insight. Shorts in a medium sounds like a good way to start. And I'm not looking to sell comb honey, I'm just looking to enjoy some once in a while so I'm not looking for large amounts of it.

Offline The15thMember

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #238 on: January 26, 2024, 07:37:10 pm »
Also remember that if you don't want to mess around with other frame sizes, you can always forgo foundation/wires in a frame or two and just cut the comb out.  We don't eat a lot of comb honey, but if I wanted some, that's what I'd do.  That way I could make the pieces whatever size I wanted, instead of being limited to the little strip of comb below the off-size frame.  I only use shallows in my mediums because I happen to have some shallow frames, not because I'm making comb honey with them. 
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Comb honey. A journey of learning
« Reply #239 on: January 26, 2024, 07:47:22 pm »
What would be the result of using a deep box for the super and putting in one or some medium frames?
That very well may work.  As I mentioned before, I often put shallow frames in medium boxes, and it's never caused a problem, but my bees don't always draw the shallows out to medium depth.  The difference between a deep and a medium is greater than the difference between a medium and shallow, so that may not be a factor in this case.  Also of course realize that a deep full of honey will be basically impossible to lift, unless you are VERY strong.  That's not insurmountable, but recognize that it will make some tasks difficult.

Though I have not tried this myself, I have watched several videos where this was done and the bees seemed to pretty much draw the mediums to a reasonable depth. Drawing from the bottom bottom bar, using it as a top bar..

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