How to harvest Honey from Natural Comb

Once you’ve harvested your natural honeycomb from your Warré (or other kind of top bar) beehive, it’s time to make get some of that goodness into jars! Fortunately, like many other aspects of natural beekeeping, getting the honey out of natural comb is easy and simple, once you know how.

We’re just at the start of our beekeeping journey, but still, even though we don’t have whizz-bang equipment, we found this a wonderfully tactile and rewarding experience. It’s prettymuch just a case of crushing the comb, sieving it, and bottling the results. 100% organic yum, with all the goodness of the honey still utterly intact.

At first, this seemed just a bit to easy – don’t we need extractors, hot knives, spinning things and somewhere to store all the frames? Not when doing natural beekeeping, you don’t. You simply cut the comb off the top bar, crush it up, strain it through a sieve and, um, that’s it.

Tim cuts the honeycomb off the top-bars

Warré honeycomb, all ready to crush…

Nick tucks into a spare piece of semi-capped honeycomb

The comb is crushed and mashed…

Then into the sieve over the honey bucket…

Getting all the crushed comb in, including some older stuff from a previous harvest

And proceed to get squishy! It’s quite a sensation…

The result – pure, cold-pressed organic honey

Mmmm honey…

The advantages of harvesting honey in this way include:

  • You get everything that was in the comb, in your honey. Pollen, propolis, the lot. Which is ridiculously good for you, in all sorts of ways.
  • Because the natural comb is not re-used year after year, there’s less chance that environmental toxins that might be present in the comb can build up, affecting both the colony, and the honey.
  • You get a big glob of organic beeswax, which you can then use creatively (we’re using ours for sealing the ends of our shiitake mushroom logs).
  • You get honey that is not heated in any way during the process, which means none of the delicate antibiotics and enzymes within the honey are destroyed. It all makes it into the jar.

The advantages to the bees by harvesting honey from hives managed in this way include:

  • The bees get to build natural comb, with no plastic or pre-set foundation. This benefits the colony in heaps of ways including but not limited to: communication (vibrating the comb to send messages), general hive health, toxin accumulation, etc and so on.
  • By getting to build new comb, the bees get to re-set their cell size according to what is needed in that comb at that point (did you know they make all different gauges of cell size, given the chance?).

Tim Malfroy’s tips for a happy honey harvest from Warré comb:

  • Have all your gear washed and ready, and process the comb soon after you return from collecting it in the hive. The honey will be more liquid at this point.
  • If for some reason you have to wait to process the comb, put it in the sun before crushing it to gently warm it. It will make everything quicker and easier
  • If you’re not going to process the comb straight away, cut if off the frames and store it in slabs of comb. While it’s in the comb, it is sealed and pure, and will last much longer than broken up.

For this harvest, we placed a big sieve on top of a honey bucket with a ‘gate’ on the front, then simply crushed the comb in a bucket and then tipped it into the sieve. To speed the process up, we all squished the comb by grabbing great handfuls – this meant we expelled the honey from the wax much quicker.

At the end of this process we had about 5kg of strained honey (from 3 combs – we’ll be harvesting more later) and about 0.5kg of beeswax in lumps.

The beeswax we’ll melt down in water and skim off, from which brew we’ll be left with honey water, which is what mead is made from! But we’ll probably just drink that straight – it’s an awesome cocktail-like honey hit of propolis, pollen and honey.

So there you have it. Honey harvest the simple way. I dare say we’ll get more experimental and advanced in our techniques as we go, but as a starting point, this was great fun!

If you’d like to read more about Warré beekeeping, head to Tim Malfroy’s Natural Beekeeping website, which is full of great info about this very permaculture-minded approach to bees.

And the journey of Warré beekeeping at Milkwood Farm is here.

Sunlight in a jar. So many millions of flowers went into making this… many thanks, Milkwood bees!

33 Comments

  1. Posted January 19, 2012 at 7:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thank You! Excellent survivors information here. Off Grid folks will enjoy the simplicity, the hand powered nature of this. Jars for preserving, storing will be needed, Good thing to stock up on now while the “getting” is good!

  2. Posted January 19, 2012 at 8:58 am | Permalink | Reply

    What seriously pisses me off about these photos is how much life-saving honey you all appear to have *wasted* playing around. I am viscerally appalled!!! Honey should never be handled so carelessly. Shame on you!

    • Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:17 am | Permalink | Reply

      Wow. That’s interesting… Miki, have you got any constructive suggestions? (i gift your rage back to you, by the way – thanks but no thanks)… 5kg of honey harvested from 3 natural combs of this size is a pretty good yeild, from what we’ve been advised.

      Don’t think very much got wasted… every surface was scraped, every finger and bowl was licked…

      Also, at this point it’s about getting to know the task, so things are bound to be a little messy. All the best and very open to any useful comments you might have -

    • Posted January 21, 2012 at 10:46 pm | Permalink | Reply

      miki –

      I am wondering why you have chosen to post such a disrespectful and misleading comment? Being the beekeeper that teaches the 2 day Natural Beekeeping Course, and oversees all things ‘bee’ at Milkwood, I am deeply offended that you would think we ‘wasted’ honey, or handled it ‘carelessly’. I can assure you – not a teaspoon was wasted!! In terms of us ‘playing around’ – yes, we were incredibly joyful and thankful to the bees for the gift of wild honey, but we are also deeply committed and serious about Natural Beekeeping – please see my website and all previous blog posts by Milkwood on the subject.

      Please refrain from posting such strong, misinformed words in future,
      Kind regards,
      Tim
      http://www.naturalbeekeeping.com.au

  3. Keith
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:21 am | Permalink | Reply

    Admittedly, my experience of beekeeping and honey harvesting ended 46 years ago and I know nothing of changes to commercial honey extraction practice since then, but I can think of nothing we did in those days that would have altered the natural status of packaged honey. Artificial heating was only to a maximum of natural hive temperature, in order to facilitate a good natural flow. Comb foundation was pressed from pure, clean beeswax (no plastics). The only filtering we did was straining through a muslin bag to remove wax particles, which I concede some consumers might prefer remain in their honey.

    As for the comment about the size of cells: “By getting to build new comb, the bees get to re-set their cell size according to what is needed in that comb at that point (did you know they make all different gauges of cell size, given the chance?)”, the cell size itself makes no difference to the volume or the quality of honey produced, but the bees will only raise worker brood in the standard gauge cell. Any eggs laid in larger cells will result in drone brood and consequently, greater than necessary numbers of drones, all of which consume hive resources and lessen the harvestable honey yield.

    A bee colony in its truly natural state (in a tree, rock crevice, etc) will use the same combs repeatedly from season to season for the storage of honey, so the top-bar method, which means that honey is only ever stored in freshly made comb, is in that respect a much greater departure from the natural state than is the Langstroth method. Furthermore, I have read that in order to produce one kilogram of wax, something like eight kilogram of honey production is lost.

    Having said all that, I can see no harm in beekeeping by the top-bar method, provided the entire hive is accessible at all times for disease control inspection. My only problem is the implication that traditional beekeeping methods result in a product that is inferior or less natural.

    • Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:44 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hey Keith, cheers for your comments –

      Warré beekeeping is about finding a balance between the bees natural tendancies and getting a harvest of honey. No, you dont get as much honey as a conventional hive. But that’s fine – especially in Australia, where our honey production is ridiculously good.

      As you can see from the photos, the bees do store plenty of honey when left to determine their own cell size. And there’s some research now that shows that, even tho drone production isn’t ‘good’ for conventional ‘maximised production’ beekeeping, more drones means more varied genetics in the new queen’s next colony (after she’s gone to hang out with the drones and get impregnated by 12 or so in a day)… so it may well be that more drones means more resilient colonies thanks to wider genetic inputs, which is what we’re aiming for.

      So raising drones is important for colony health, and that of the wider bee population. Especially for small-scale beekeepers.

      Also, the idea of bees only raising workers given standard foundation with pre-sized cells is frankly not true. At all. As in evidenced from every top-bar hive on the planet, including our warré hives, which have gazillions of happy workers, raised in ratio to the drones as the hive determined necessary. The bees know what they’re doing, and they do it well.

      There’s a fair bit of research around now that indicates that CCD and a whole host of other bee problems are not helped, and might actually be exacerbated, by the langstroth model of hives, as it may pushes bee colonies to their limit in a range of ways in the interests of maximum honey harvest.

      This warré beekeeping is about letting bees be bees, create comb as they would prefer to do, and harvest the surplus when available, in as symbiotic a way as possible.

      A note re inspection – the great thing about warré beekeeping is that, if needed, the whole hive is inspectable at all times, thanks to the way it’s constructed. Tim Malfroy’s innovation of sidebars on the top bar frames further ensures that you can ‘pull a comb’ if necessary without upsetting the colony unduly, as the bees build the comb to the side bars, not to the sides of the hive.

      Yes, this is a work in progress. But we’re very committed to being part of a global movement who are actively figuring out how to create a workable strain of resilient beekeeping which is resistant to the multiple problems, some understood and some not yet understood, that poses such a large threat to our pollination, and still gets a yield.

  4. Meg
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    I can’t see where any honey was “wasted” in this process? It has all been bottled, eaten or used to make wax or a honey drink. I am sure any honey that was on your hands was promptly consumed!

    Great story and photos Kirsten, it is nice to see the process is so simple. Too many things are over complicated these days! The honey looks amazing! Yum!
    :)

    • Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:51 am | Permalink | Reply

      yes we did have rather a lot of fun licking it off our fingers. no colds of flu for us, with all that goodness! Om nom nom…

  5. Posted January 19, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink | Reply

    Great stuff. Must get cracking on finishing off my almost finished top bar hive! Bees and mycelium blow my mind.

  6. Keith
    Posted January 19, 2012 at 10:27 am | Permalink | Reply

    A couple of points from your response, Kirsten:

    1) “Also, the bit about bees only raising drones and not workers if allowed to determine their own cell size and not given standard foundation is frankly not true. At all.”
    I don’t know how you deduced that from what I said. What I did say was that “the bees will only raise worker brood in the standard gauge cell. Any eggs laid in larger cells will result in drone brood and consequently, greater than necessary numbers of drones”, certainly not that bees only raise drones and not workers if allowed to determine their own cell size.

    2)The addition of sidebars to the topbars makes sense and it goes halfway to making a Hoffman frame. (Langstroth introduced removable frames to beekeeping, a principle which is continued in Warre beekeeping).

    3)As the Hoffman frame was used in the western world pretty much exclusively for 100 years before CCD became apparent, it can hardly be apportioned any blame for CCD.

    CCD seems to be attributable more to the migratory trends in modern beekeeping. It is far from natural for beehives to be transported hundreds of kilometres several times a year in pursuit of nectar sources.

  7. Posted January 19, 2012 at 10:35 am | Permalink | Reply

    YUM!

  8. Posted January 19, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink | Reply

    Thoroughly enjoying the regular online articles updates on what’s happening at Milkwood, very inspiring, I hope to make it there some day!

  9. Posted January 19, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Dear Keith,

    Thanks for your comments. I’ve responded below:

    You wrote: “Admittedly, my experience of beekeeping and honey harvesting ended 46 years ago…”

    I would say that an awful lot has changed over the last 46 years. I won’t go into details, because it could fill an entire book. Unfortunately, the pure comb foundation you speak of is now laden with chemicals – a scoping study in the US last year found a staggering 121 types of pesticides and miticides in beeswax samples from around the country:

    http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi/10.1371/journal.pone.0009754

    We are creating an environment in which we are not only poisoning our bees and other pollinators, but ourselves.

    You wrote: “Any eggs laid in larger cells will result in drone brood and consequently, greater than necessary numbers of drones, all of which consume hive resources and lessen the harvestable honey yield”

    Drones are actually essential for the genetic diversity of the honeybee. Continually suppressing drone numbers will eventually result in poorly mated queens. We are lucky in Australia that we still have abundant wild colonies of bees. There are also scientific reports outlining other benefits that drones may have for colony health, including thermoregulation.

    You wrote: “A bee colony in its truly natural state (in a tree, rock crevice, etc) will use the same combs repeatedly from season to season for the storage of honey, so the top-bar method, which means that honey is only ever stored in freshly made comb, is in that respect a much greater departure from the natural state than is the Langstroth method”

    Natural Beekeeping attempts to mimic very closely the natural workings and nest architecture of a wild bee colony, so I would strongly disagree with the above statement. And surely letting bees draw their own comb is far more natural than introducing foundation or re-used stickies? There is much about the Langstroth hive that is ‘un-natural’ in terms of what the bees want and need. I also think you misunderstand what we’re doing – please refer to earlier posts and visit warre.biobees.com for more detailed info about the Warré method.

    You wrote: “Furthermore, I have read that in order to produce one kilogram of wax, something like eight kilogram of honey production is lost”

    Yes, but in the Warré hive the bees are converting nectar into comb building and renewal of the brood nest, rather than storing it as surplus for the beekeeper. Comb renewal is integral for colony health.

    It’s also an ethical consideration on my part. It’s the birthright of bees to build comb. The wax is made from their own bodies, and the comb is part of the bee itself. Please read ‘Biology of a Superorganism’ by Jurgen Tautz for more detailed information about the importance of natural comb. Also, in terms of the harvest being ‘lost’: pure beeswax often receives a far higher price per kg than honey.

    You wrote: “My only problem is the implication that traditional beekeeping methods result in a product that is inferior or less natural”

    I would define Langstroth framed hive beekeeping as ‘conventional’, not traditional. There are thousands of different types of genuinely ‘traditional’ beehives and beekeeping techniques from around the world. Of course there are degrees of ‘natural-ness’, but conventional framed hive beekeeping is indeed far less ‘natural’ than all the traditional hives.

    In terms of an inferior product – well, that’s subjective. But speaking from the perspective of someone who makes a living selling artisan honey and honeycomb, and who has experience with both systems, I’d have to disagree again! And you’ll find the same elsewhere – on a recent trip to Turkey I noticed that the honey produced in traditional cylindrical ‘Karakovan’ tree hives in the wild NE forests is the superior honey of the country. Also the most natural.

    You wrote: “Langstroth introduced removable frames to beekeeping, a principle which is continued in Warre beekeeping”

    Actually, Langstroth is credited with this, but removable frames were used by Dzierzon in Poland prior to Langstroth. Warré beekeeping is a reaction against framed hive beekeeping – and traditionally only uses top-bars. Please read Warré’s fabulous book ‘Beekeeping for All’, available as a free download on my website. I have included side-bars in my beehive design because it is a legal requirement in Australia to have removable comb. Warré himself was strongly opposed to frames.

    You wrote: “As the Hoffman frame was used in the western world pretty much exclusively for 100 years before CCD became apparent, it can hardly be apportioned any blame for CCD”

    Who was blaming CCD on the Hoffman frame?

    You wrote: “CCD seems to be attributable more to the migratory trends in modern beekeeping. It is far from natural for beehives to be transported hundreds of kilometres several times a year in pursuit of nectar sources”

    Often the beekeepers are in pursuit on pollination contracts, not nectar sources. This is the real catastrophe. CCD has nothing to do with migratory practises, per se, although I agree that intensive migratory beekeeping is bad for the bees. CCD is a direct cause of the neonicotinoid systemic pesticides that are used on the monoculture crops that bees are forced to pollinate. Dozens of scientific papers are released every year detailing the connection between CCD and systemic pesticides. I won’t go into any more details, except that there are books, journal papers, movies, websites etc about this very issue and you should be able to find lots of information about it.

    If you’re interested in Natural Beekeeping and Bee Biology I would suggest that you perhaps do some wider reading on the subject. There’s a resources list on my website here:

    http://www.naturalbeekeeping.com.au/naturalbeekeeping.html.

    It’s by no means exhaustive, but it’s a start!

    All the best,

    Tim

    http://www.naturalbeekeeping.com.au

  10. Mark Fuller
    Posted January 20, 2012 at 8:36 am | Permalink | Reply

    After sitting and watching your bees at the hive in December, and eating your comb honey, it is good to see how you extreacted it all. I was imagining spinny things too. Too easy (sort of).

  11. Posted January 25, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Great article! During Rosh Hashana, in our top-bar hives we place the honeycomb inverted on the table and let out guests spoon off honey onto their bread and apples.

  12. Charles
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi, This is an excellent and informative article. Thank you. Your Milkwood site is definitely one of the best sites for excellent and non-ideological information on permaculture and all things related.

    Could I ask if there is any use for an excluder in the Warre hive? If not, how is the brood separated from the honey production? Actually, the same goes for the top bar hive? Is the honey in top bar produced in the outer frames while the brood is restricted more to the inner frames?

    Final question, are the side bars on the top bar hives as well as the Warre hive? From the look of the photo they appeared to be straight as opposed to angled in which is what I thought would be required on a top bar hive.

    Again, thanks for an excellent article and web site.

    • Posted January 27, 2012 at 10:47 am | Permalink | Reply

      Hi Charles :)

      There is no excluder within a Warré hive – the queen is free to roam. The brood colony naturally moves down the hive, filling the comb above them with a thermal dome of honey as they vacate the cells –

      The Warré hive uses top-bars (ours have side bars also) but is not a “kenyan top bar hive’ which is quite a different approach and perhaps less suited to Australian conditions (in our opinion) as its harder for the colony to expand and store honey on a big honeyflow such as our eucalyptus brings. Also harder to prevent excessive swarming, which means you lose some of that resilient strain of bees you’re trying so hard to develop for future generations!

      You can see lots of photos of how the frames relate to the hive in this article here: http://milkwood.net/2012/01/06/on-the-topography-of-honeycomb/ – let me know if you’ve still got any questions?

      • Charles
        Posted January 27, 2012 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Thank you Kirsten. Much appreciated. So, your top bar hives are essentially rectangular boxes as opposed to the “kenyan” design. Is it please possible to obtain the actual dimensions/design of the hives you use? I was going to build some top bar hives but if they are not really suitable for here it would be good to do it the right way first.

  13. Charles
    Posted January 27, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink | Reply

    I think I might have misunderstood your response on the Kenyan and Warre hives and have sent you an email Kirsten to clarify. I understood that you had both hives but I think you mean you only use the Warre hive. My apologies for mixing it all up.

  14. Posted September 24, 2012 at 10:39 am | Permalink | Reply

    Wow, whats with all of the anger these posters seem to have? I’m NOT a beekeeper. All I know is 1. Bee stings hurt and 2. I love honey. Thanks for posting how it’s extracted. I’m glad to see your having a good time with it and I’m looking forward to reading/learning more.

  15. Charles Ford
    Posted October 6, 2012 at 12:24 am | Permalink | Reply

    I have tried to do what I think is the most natural way to raise a hive. I use Langstroth Hives but I use foundationless frames with just a started strip and harvest the honey out of the honey supers by crushing the comb and making them rebuild fresh come every year and the honey seems to be lighter and cleaner looking than extracted honey. In the hive bodies I only change out the frames and make them rebuild them when they get old and dark, maybe every 3 or 4 years and not all at once but on a rotation, some each year. When I start a new hive i use foundation on every other frame to get them to build straight comb as it is easer to inspect and fix any thing that might go haywire. The next year I replace the foundation filled frames with frames with starter strips and the hive is as natural as I think it can be. The Queens love to lay in new comb and this makes for a happier queen and a cleaner hive.

    • Tia
      Posted June 28, 2014 at 10:56 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Charles, I like the way you manage your girls! I have had experience with both top bar and warre but far and away prefer good ole Langstroths! I, like you, do the foundationless thing, but I don’t even use starter strips: the top bar is angled as in a top bar hive and the girls build right off it. I’ve been working bees, chemical free, in the middle of an organic 5-acre property, for 13 yrs and am a NC State Certified master beekeeper. As I tell my students, there is no wrong way to keep bees as long as it is done humanely using good sanitation methods. The only thing that really set my teeth on edge with this article was the misuse of the word “organic.” In light of the fact that bees fly a radius of at least 3 miles, honey can be correctly labeled organic only if the beekeeper owns the 3-mile area and maintains it in an organic fashion. I believe the only truly organic hives can be found in Hawaii.

  16. Isis
    Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink | Reply

    We removed our shower while renovating our restroom to find an enormous 5′ tall honeycomp filled with delicious orange tasting honey. I want to harvest and jar the honey and found your photos most informative, thank you. There are no bees since my husband plugged the hole and exterminated the bees about 6 months ago. We did not realize this was such a large colony, i feel bad now. Is there any reason the honey would not be safe to eat? twards the bottom, there is no honey in the comb and it is a blackish color. Twards the top, it is dripping with beautiful and delicious honey. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.

    • Posted December 20, 2012 at 8:28 am | Permalink | Reply

      Isis depending on what you exterminated them with (and whether that in turn contaminated the honey), the honey would likely be fine… if you’re wondering, you could harvest and jar it and then get it tested to be sure?

  17. oheloii
    Posted January 7, 2013 at 6:04 am | Permalink | Reply

    I know nothing about bees per se, and just started using honey for health reasons. My questions are: 1. is raw honey solid or liquid or can it be both? I bought two jars of honey, one is called Really Raw Honey from Baltimore, Maryland, that says it is raw honey containing the pollen, propolis and the honeycomb. This honey is solid and has a fine grainy, yet smooth texture (if that makes any sense?) it also says that they never transport their bees to pollinate commercial crops. The second one I bought is called Y.S. ECO BEE Farms and states that it is super enriched honey and contains bee pollen, bee propolis and royal jelly and this is from Sheridan Illionois. This too has a super fine grainy, yet smooth texture, a little more smooth than the Really Raw Honey, but somewhat of a powdery feel. I’ve read that ” real honey” will be solid, but as I look at all the pictures on different websites, all the honey is somewhat transparent and liquified, resembling honey as I have always known honey to look like. Several years ago, I went to Hawaii and bought some pure raw honey and it was milky white and smooth and the person I bought it for, said it was the most natural and purist honey any where. Please tell me, what is the truth?

    Thank you for your time, your website and your apparent knowledge on the subject of honey.

    • Posted January 7, 2013 at 9:12 am | Permalink | Reply

      Oheloil, all honey candies (goes solid) after a time if it’s not super heat treated – the length of time it stays liquid depends on the different nectar’s that make it (stringybark honey, for example, almost never candies b/c of something in the nectar’s constituents)… the word ‘pure’ is used by many different camps of honey producers to mean different things… to us it means honey from natural comb from a colony that is completely chemical free, when the comb is crushed whole so that the honey has all the goodness of pollen, propolis etc in there with the honey itself. For others, ‘pure’ honey means that there is nothing in the jar except the honey so… take your pick!

      One note, royal jelly is the substance bees feed to baby queens, so if there’s that in there, it’s being produced unethically (in our opinion) by tricking the bees into thinking they’re feeding queens so that the royal jelly can be collected (and stressing the colony as a result).

  18. Majikthise
    Posted May 13, 2013 at 7:37 am | Permalink | Reply

    Behind our house (in the woods) are two half barrels stacked on top of each other (been there before we moved in). Some honey bees have made their home in it for a couple of years. My husband went out and was able to shimmy off the panel on the top barrel where they go in and out without damaging anything, reach in, and grab the nearest bit of cone. We don’t want to harvest and sell or anything just enough for us.

    Is this harmful for the bees/hive? (very very large swarm btw and only 2 bees were harmed) Will this make them move their nest? We like having them around for our giant garden

    Thank you so much for the post. this honey is the best I have ever tasted

  19. Janee
    Posted June 14, 2013 at 7:38 am | Permalink | Reply

    Hi, what gauge was your sieve? I am about to try extracting honey from my first ever comb.

  20. Posted October 14, 2013 at 10:14 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Excellent story covering about honey processing and some great comments. Would you mind telling us what size sieve mesh you are using to filter the mush? Where can you find one of those for sale?

  21. I. R. Farmer
    Posted May 5, 2014 at 9:12 am | Permalink | Reply

    All that honey looks great! I love seeing hard work pay off in the long run! I am an organic farmer in Northeast Oklahoma. We are busy planting 300 tomato plants we grew from seed since February. We just finished planting 4,000 onion sets, and 100 pounds of red potatoes. This time of year, all is work and none is harvest, but harvest time will come. Thanks for the pictures, they are very encouraging, as we’ve spent all day tending bee hives with sugar water, since the flowers have not come on yet. (If you place your frames inside a cake pan, before you cut out the comb, you can pour that right into the honey pot without getting sticky ooze all over the table top). It makes cleanup a lot easier too.
    Blessings for the upbeat web page that shows the rest of us a different way to manage bees :)

  22. Posted July 3, 2014 at 10:45 am | Permalink | Reply

    There is never waste in harvesting honey like this. I don’t have all the fancy equipment so I am messy, however, I enjoy watching all the bees show up after I’m done, and clean the mess I left behind. I know the little bees are happy to gather all the honey and return with it to the hive. They gotta eat too.

  23. jackson pollock
    Posted July 6, 2014 at 12:02 am | Permalink | Reply

    My frames have the rite cell foundation, what happens to it? It’s not edible I’m sure, do I cut one side off the foundation, then the other?

    • Posted July 7, 2014 at 7:38 am | Permalink | Reply

      jackson that’s a totally different kind of beekeeping. see any conventional beekeeping site on the internet for info to harvest homey from your combs :)

8 Trackbacks

  1. [...] How to harvest Honey from Natural Comb [...]

  2. [...] to the honey, extracted in the ultimate low-tech way (see here for Malfroy’s Gold / Milkwood’s low-tech and mid-tech options; high-tech honey extraction apparently not an option with this foundationless [...]

  3. [...] via How to harvest Honey from Natural Comb « Milkwood: permaculture farming and living. [...]

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