Sometimes when there is a strong nectar flow, bees will build burr comb in the roof cavity. At Flow HQ this is one of our favourite ways to sample a colony’s honeycomb.
Simply take the flat edge of your hive tool (you can also use a butter knife) and use it to scrape the very bottom of the free-form honeycomb structure – make sure you have a container handy to transfer it into for minimal mess.
If you wish to harvest honeycomb from conventional frames in a Hybrid Super, or a traditional box, the ease of this will depend on whether you’ve used foundationless frames, or wire with wax foundation.
First, make sure the frame from which you are harvesting is full capped – any uncapped nectar will not be ripe honey, and can lead to fermentation.
If your timber frames are foundationless, use a knife to cut around the edges of the frame. It can be helpful to leave about half an inch from the top so the bees have something to start building from.
If you have wires, you will just need to be careful to avoid them when slicing through the capped comb.
It’s important to remove harvested comb from around your hive or store in a sealed container to avoid robbing.