Thursday, September 06, 2012

This is my crack!

This year I tried making cut comb honey for the first time. Okay, I didn't make it. The bees did. I had the easy part!

Here is a lovely frame of capped honey. I put in special smaller frames with a very thin wax foundation made just for comb honey. The girls did the rest. 

Welcome to my own personal crack...


I am addicted to this honey!


So much work!


After putting the frame on a strainer and board, I warmed up a serrated knife in hot water and carefully cut around the edges of the comb, then lifted the frame off:



Next I cut the comb into five pieces and trimmed off the wonky ends, which I promptly ate. You can chew the honey out of the wax, then spit the wax out. Or you can just eat the wax for added roughage in your diet! Usually I spit it out but today I just kept chewing it like gum until it was no more.



After cutting the honey up, I let it drain overnight, then boxed it up!


You can also just mash it up and spread it on crackers or whatever. A hunk of cut comb honey looks really nice on a plate of cheese and fruit.

However, I love this stuff so much I'm starting to think I should just eat it all myself. It is ambrosia. I will have to ask one of my more savvy beekeeper friends what they think is in this batch of honey. The flavour is incredibly delicate and complex, with a tiny hint of mint. I could sit there and eat half a pound all at once!


All the honey supers are off my hives, and the girls were very busy on this hot day (over 30C!) My friend Pierre helped me inspect my hives on Monday and they are all doing well with laying queens.

If you haven't tried cut comb honey before, you should! Try to find a local beekeeper with some. Yum-o-licious! It is more costly than honey in a jar, because when we harvest it, we lose all the wax. Plus there's a little extra thought you have to give when asking your bees to make comb honey for you. But I think that something that tastes this good is absolutely worth it.



26 comments:

  1. You've got me persuaded. I think I may have had this when I was a little kid. we always got our years supply of honey from a neighbor.

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    1. Getting it from someone you know, or at least a local beekeeper, is the way to go! :)

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  2. I have never heard of this and am intrigued! When you let it drain, does the honey drain off the wax? You make is sound amazing.

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    1. The honey just drains from the cut edges. The rest of the the honey is sealed in the cells (capped). But when I cut the squares, the edges "leak" a little. YOu let them drain overnight so that the square of honey looks neat and pretty in the box (no drips leaking to the bottom!)

      It certainly is the way to eat the purest, most unadulterated honey. Oh so good!

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  3. I was scared to death on opening this post because of the title!!!
    Anyhoo, this is how I used to have honey as a child. The stuff in a jar? Phfft.
    Jane x

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    1. THere there Jane, the blog's not x-rated! :) I rarely ate honey as a kid because I didn't like it. But since I started beekeeping and tasting unpasteurized, local honey, things have changed! :)

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  4. :: drools ::

    It sounds delicious!

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  5. ok seriously, how can I get my hands on some of that?
    Have you tried mixing honey with butter together in a jar and eat it with a toast?... yum!!!!

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    1. I'd mail it but it would cost twice as much as the honey is worth to mail! :) I haven't tried the butter/honey comb but it sounds amazing!

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  6. The last time I was GIVEN honey, it came in a large plastic bag with all the comb intact. I don't know what the guy had done but it was a terrible mess. Eventually I cut off one corner of the bag and let it drip out. It was Chestnut honey; black and bitter. Not everyone's cup of tea.

    Yours looks gorgeous!

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    1. Did you like the chestnut honey? I know buckwheat is popular with a lot of people but it's not my cuppa tea either! I'd like to sample chestnut honey. I just got a jar of blueberry flower honey. It's fairly dark but more delicate than you'd expect.

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  7. bring lots of this when you come in 2014 please? :)

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  8. When I was a kid, my dad would sometimes buy honey in the comb. I may have to try it again!

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    1. I suppose the comb honey is only as good as the honey in it BUT this lot is so delicious!!

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  9. I reported you to Dudley Do Right. It's now against the law to own that type of crack. Do Right is on his way to seize it and to bring it to me. It's for your own good, dear friend.

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    1. I'll watch out for him! :)

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  10. This is my favourite way to buy honey at our market. I don't see it very often and I didn't know it required something special done by the beekeeper. Yours looks so yummy!

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    1. You have to pick the right hive and conditions for it, too. They aren't always in the mood to build comb.

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  11. Hey Natalie, love your post about the honeycomb, it looks absolutely delicious in it's golden glory..
    You do love your bees and it shows. Nice to have such an interesting hobby.....

    Claire :}

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    1. I learn more and more every year. I really admire these little creatures.

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  12. Well fancy being able to eat the wax, I didn't know that!

    I think I'll have to go back and swot up on some of your other posts because I thought the bees built combs for all the honey. I've obviously not been paying enough attention - I hope there won't be a test later on!

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    1. You're not wrong, they do build comb. In a natural hive, they'll build comb that hangs with a curved bottom, a bit like a big oval-ish shape. In the hive, we force them to do everything on frames, so we usually give them a frame with a thin sheet of wax foundation that gives them a sort of grid to work off of!

      Some people do top-bar beekeeping, which involves giving the bees bars to build their foundation from, but no foundation. It is more natural, but it can be problematic in cold climates like ours

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  13. NATALIE! I AM DROOLING!

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    1. Oh dear, sorry about that!! ;)

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Thank you for all your comments, which I love to read!