Honey Comb in Liquid for Showing
A few members have recently asked about preparing cut comb in liquid for showing or sale. After a little research here are a few tips:
An obvious one first up – you can’t use plastic foundation if you intend to make comb honey.
Some beekeepers put nine frames in a ten-frame box (or seven in an eight-frame box) to get thicker comb.
The best comb is made early in the year, so get the comb honey supers on as soon as the major spring nectar flow begins.
Many beekeepers also freeze comb honey after harvest, a practice that will kill all life stages of wax moths and hive beetles, as long as it is done within a day or two of harvest.
If you freeze the entire frame, be sure to wrap it in plastic before freezing and then leave the plastic in place until the comb is completely thawed. About two days in the freezer should be long enough.
Consider using frames without wires for your cut comb.
If you used a wired frame it is advisable to heat the wires the same way as you do for setting it in foundation to remove them. To remove the wires cut them at the end on the outside of the frame at one end and pull them out from the other end.
Now to cut the comb.
Beekeepers seem to develop their own methods for this, but some of the options I found included –
A normal, very sharp knife with a fine blade so that the comb is cut rather than squashed. Keep the blade clean and perhaps warm it in hot water.
Alternatively, a capping knife was used being careful not to have it too hot or the wax cells melt. This method seemed a little less successful.
The final method I found which appears to be used more for honeycomb being sold, was a square biscuit cutter. Keep it clean and warm it in water but dry it before cutting the comb. I even found one lady who used dental floss to cut comb.
Cut out the section of comb and allow it to drain over a grid i.e. wire queen excluder. Pieces of wax should drain away so your exhibit has no particles of wax present.
The comb section of honey should fit into the jar through the lid opening, touch the bottom of the jar and have the top finishing so it doesn’t just touch the lid.
Finally, with the comb in place, add liquid honey – the comb honey and liquid honey should be the same colour and floral type.
WINNER – AGRIBUSINESS AWARD
At the 54th Australian Export Awards category winners, Lindsay and Yeonsoon Bourke from Australian Honey Products in Launceston, won the Agribusiness Award. Congratulations to Lindsay and Yeonsoon. The citation said: Lindsay Bourke started his apiary business with 200 hives while working as a firefighter Today, Australian Honey Products (AHP) exports 65 per cent of its award-winning products to Asia, Europe and North America. AHP’s honey is cultivated from leatherwood trees in Tasmania’s pristine Tarkine rainforest. In addition to its active and organic honey, AHP offers ales, meads, honey nectar concentrates and a honey mead whisky. The company also provides a pollination service for the Tasmanian agricultural sector and exports live bees to Canada. In 2015, AHP’s leatherwood honey was judged the World’s Best Honey at the World Beekeeping Awards in Seoul. Its honey meads and ales also received medals. AHP’s biggest export markets include China, Hong Kong, Canada, Oman, Korea, Japan and Taiwan. In 2015–16, it increased exports by 18 per cent, achieved through direct sales and selling to Australian honey exporters. To keep up with demand for its products, AHP opened a new state-of-the-art production facility in Launceston in 2016. The facility will allow the company to expand its production capacity, as well as develop health food products in the future. November, 2016 Page 3 of 8 A strong advocate for the honey industry, AHP launched a Certificate III beekeeping training program in 2014. The first three beekeepers graduated from the program in 2016. Bourke was also named the Biosecurity Farmer of the Year at the 2015 Farmer of the Year awards for his efforts to safeguard beehives against the varroa mite. Judges praised Australian Honey Products for its inspiring development of international markets for a unique product that is utilising its environmental credential and personal approach very effectively. Plant Health Australia Media Release.
Courtesyof AHBIC newsletter – Trevor Weatherhead, AHBIC Executive Director