Author Topic: Storing honeycomb for sale  (Read 450 times)

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Offline omnimirage

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Storing honeycomb for sale
« on: December 17, 2017, 07:57:35 pm »
I put some honeycomb in about 30 take away dishes and they've been sitting in my shed for the last two months. Some moths and other insects got in about 10 of them, they've spun webs and pooped in their, ruining the product. I didn't realise they could crawl up into the container.

Since then I've collected another 20 honeycombs. I have way more than I know how to sell. How can I store them so they'd be safe from bugs?

I have thought about opening the lid, and putting some plastic food wrap (called gladwrap here) on top to sort of seal it off, then place the lid on top of that, then store them in two garbage bags inside the house. I'm just not sure how effective that'd be. I really don't know how I'm going to sell them I possibly will be holding onto these for over a year, I don't have much outlets to sell honey currently and when I do go and sell some, not many people tend to buy honeycomb. I've wondered about freezing them but I have limited freezer space and I'm not sure how they'd unfreeze.

Any suggestions?

Offline apisbees

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2017, 04:29:23 am »
1 St the moths might not be entering into the pacts but the eggs were laid before and have hatched and grown in the pacts. Placing and storage in the freezer will kill the eggs before they hatch if they were prelaid before packaging.
Putting honey comb or honey in a freezer does not freeze the honey. With the high percentage of sugar in honey It's freezing point is a lot colder than freezers are set at. It is cold enough to kill any eggs and larva, it is also cold enough to slow crystallization so the honey in the comb is still liquid when sold to the customer.
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Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2017, 03:42:05 pm »
Most of the beeks I know, that do comb honey, leave them in the freezer until they need them. 

Offline Barbarian

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2017, 04:16:45 am »
I made cut comb honey for a while.
I stored the packs in a freezer. No problem with the comb or wax moths but the labels suffered.
I used to lift out the packs and then label them when thawed just before putting them on sale.

Demand for cut comb was low. The extra work and costs deterred me. I eventually stopped and just did liquid honey.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2017, 05:08:47 am »
Why do you guys keep them in your freezer? Can you not pull them out once you've killed off the bugs?

I can only fit 6 in my freezer. Maybe if I pushed for it, finished the icecream and don't buy some frozen foods I could fit more. I have about 40 left sitting out.

I might be selling honey at a market this weekend. I'm quite concerned about selling honeycomb to someone, them taking awhile to consume it and then eggs start to hatch in their food. It's rather gross really. I'm only going to take comb that I've freezed, or comb that I harvested only last week. The market will be on in 5 days if I go. Would 3 days be enough to freeze off buys? I could do two batches of 6 that way.

Offline Bakersdozen

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #5 on: December 19, 2017, 05:46:10 am »
At the very least, freeze any comb honey you plan to sell for 24-48 hours.  That will kill any existing moth eggs and your customers won't end up with a bad product.  You don't want to give comb honey or yourself a bad reputation.

Offline apisbees

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #6 on: December 19, 2017, 01:25:41 pm »
Long term storage in a freezer also really slows down the granulation process. Selling comb honey that the honey has crystallized in the comb is not desirable. You want to provide the honey fresh from the comb experience. Not one of old honeycomb not stored properly, evedent by the honey having time to crystallize and having bugs crawling through it.
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Offline riverbee

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2018, 08:49:04 pm »
omni,
place your cut comb honey in the packaging you want to sell it in.
label? attach the label but spray the label with a clear gloss or semi gloss acyrlic art spray. it preserves the ink.
place the package in a ziploc.

freeze. freeze this immediately after cutting/packaging to kill any wax moth and/or slow down crystallization/granulation. or place your slices in the freezer covered top and bottom with something that will absorb moisture once thawed and then package for immediate sale, but not before the comb thaws. it must be thawed completely before packaging for immediate or short term sale.

long term storage, freeze in packaging and in ziploc. when it is sold, give the customer the ziploc with the cut comb in the packaging. tell your customer/s to set the packaging out on the counter to allow to thaw. when thawed any moisture will collect on the zip loc, not the face of the comb or packaging for the cut comb honey in the package.

when the comb has thawed at room temp, it should not be crystallized unless not frozen early enough.

 
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2018, 04:47:48 pm »
Interesting about the zip lock bag!

I have a lot of honeycomb, about 35. I can only comfortably fit 10 in my freezer. Any more, and the housemates start to complain. I'm selling them at a very cheap price and doing my best to distribute them but I seem to be harvesting them at a faster rate than I'm selling. I won't get any during the Winter at least. I look after someone else's abandoned beehives, and he has a poor set up in that, many of his frames don't have bottom bars and many don't have foundation. Meaning that, the best thing to do with a number of these hives is to make cut honeycomb from.

I'm thinking of cutting some of the comb and placing them in honeyjars. It looks really attractive and is popular amongst certain people. Would these jars need to be stored in a certain way? Would a piece of honeycomb inside a jar be preserved by being immersed by honey?

Offline riverbee

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2018, 06:45:35 pm »
omni the ziplock bag keeps the moisture off the face of the comb in your packaging, and also keeps the moisture off once thawed, any moisture will collect on the inside of the ziplock and not your packaging.

also my comb honey is old fashioned, i just use empty frames.........no foundation, no nothing, no special equipment. so if you have frames with no foundation, perfect! no bottom bar? just cut some nice square slices and use the leftovers for stuffing in honey jars.

cut comb honey; once removed from the hive and cut must be frozen immediately for at least 24 hours to kill any wax moth problem. with your wax moth problem, cut it and freeze it otherwise you stand to lose it!  once i remove cut comb honey frames, it is immediately cut and frozen.

as far as the jars with cut comb in them, this is popular, but the same goes. i will sometimes have cuts that aren't full slices, rare, but i will stuff these in a jar, they sell quickly.  you still need to freeze these bits once comb honey is removed from the hive. once frozen, then place them in your jars of honey.


hope i made sense?
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #10 on: February 24, 2018, 06:13:03 am »
Is selling customers a frozen product something that they have to thaw out, unappealing at all? I'm just unsure how people would find that. How long do they tend to take to thaw out?

That's what I'm doing basically. I'm just getting more coming in that I can easily manage. Liquid honey is much easier to store. I just can't fit them all in the freezers that I currently have. I might need to set up another freezer.

Do you charge extra for when you put comb in the jar? I cut up slices for the first time and put them in jars, they ended up looking rather good though, I think I cut the comb cubes too small maybe.

You made a lot of sense, thanks! :)


Offline riverbee

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2018, 01:41:23 pm »
customers who love comb honey don't care that it's frozen, and first time customers who want to try it, in my experience, don't care. it's not unappealing!
what's nice about storing in the freezer, is that freezing preserves the face of the comb, meaning it is as white as it was when first frozen. it stays nice and white and does not discolor.

as far as thawing, i guess it would depend on ambient temps and thickness of the comb. some of mine have taken overnight to thaw.

yes i charge extra for placing comb in honey because this is wax you are losing. for me wax is worth just as much as honey is.
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #12 on: February 25, 2018, 04:40:32 pm »
Can you elaborate on the preserving the face of the comb part? I've just been observing that it seems like comb after some time does looks it's colour. Seems like the white sort of bleeds away and it looks more like honey is sorta pressing up and threatening to ooze out maybe. I was thinking it was due to it sitting in the sun when I'm selling it at markets.


Offline riverbee

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #13 on: February 25, 2018, 07:17:03 pm »
omni, overtime, the face of comb honey (the white cappings) fades and discolors. placed in the freezer, the freezing process preserves the face of the comb and it is white.  once removed, and thawed, in time it will start to discolor and honey runs out of the cells.  this does take some time.
so i store what i can't sell immediately in the freezer (after initial freezing from wax moth).  customers love that the face of the comb is so white and perfect.

by freezing comb honey, the face of the comb stays nice and white as the day you cut it.  once thawed and exposed to air temps and storage, the color will start to degrade and honey will leak from the cells.  if you are selling it, maybe just take out what you think you need? any leftover that is not sold, throw back in the freezer.  the freezer will delay the process.

hope this made sense?
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Offline omnimirage

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #14 on: February 26, 2018, 03:25:37 pm »
Makes a lot of sense riverbee thanks! I have been observing such and good to know that'll happen not just when it's in the sun. I'll have to try and fit as many comb as I can in the freezer.

Offline apisbees

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Re: Storing honeycomb for sale
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2018, 09:25:19 pm »
As River said keep it cool to keep the cappings white. Whether the cappings are white or dark somewhat depends on the bees. white cappings are the results of the bees leaving a air space between the honey and the cappings. If the bees place the cappings on the honey they are called wet cappings and are darker in color. if the honey warms up and shifts in the cells it will come in contact with the cappings and change their looks.
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