How It's Made: Comb Honey
How it's made
Comb honey, also referred to as honeycomb, is the purest form of honey as it is unprocessed and straight from the hive.
In the spring when there is a strong honey flow we add fresh frames with delicate beesxwax foundation, specifically made for comb honey. Our regular frames have a thicker foundation which allows us to extract honey from the comb (using centrifugal force) and allow the bees to refill them, thus saving precious beeswax resources. It is thought to take about 12 pounds of honey to produce one pound of beeswax. Young worker bees produce new wax by consuming honey and excreting wax scales from special glands on their abdomen, which they then work into shape to create the beautiful, delicate yet strong comb.
Foraging bees collect nectar from flowers and bring it back to the hive where it is then deposited into the new comb. At first the nectar has 70% or higher moisture content, so the bees circulate air through the hive to evaporate the moisture. When the honey is ripe (17.5% or less moisture content) the bees cap each cell with a fresh beeswax cap to seal it in.
We harvest the frames of ripe honey from the hives, cut into sections and package into containers immediately. Now it is ready to enjoy!
How to eat it
One of my favorite childhood memories was going to our local beekeeper to buy honey, and convincing mom to buy some comb honey for a special treat. We would dig in with a spoon, scoop out a chunk and enjoy the burst of sweet flavour of the fresh honey and the slight crumble of the delicate beeswax. There is nothing quite like fresh honey still in the comb.
These days, while I still enjoy it by the spoonful, I like placing a large chunk of comb honey at the centre of a charcuterie board, or pairing it with a mix of cheeses for an elevated cheese platter. I also like to spread it on toast or have it with Greek yogurt for a snack.
How to store it
All natural honey will crystalize over time, but it crystalizes much faster in cool temperatures, so do not store honey or comb honey in the fridge. It is best kept in a warm dry place, like a kitchen cupboard. If you have a lot of comb honey and wish to put some away to enjoy later you can freeze it in an airtight container.