Harvesting from sections boxes
Comb honey is a delicacy that many people thoroughly enjoy, and it sells for a premium price. Teakwood Organics is proud to be the only company in the U.S. that offers sections boxes for Warré hives! Although a sections box is a bit pricey, selling some of the comb honey produced in one the very first time you use it will pay likely for it, and still provide a few sections for you and yours! Sections boxes make great supers because they go on easy, come off easy, and can be filled completely and quickly by the bees, even during weaker honey flows. These boxes will last a lifetime; maybe even two lifetimes. Processing these boxes is quick and easy, too.
First, use your hive tool to remove each frame, one at a time, and scrape any propolis from the top bars. Allow the propolis to collect on a piece of paper and save it if you wish.
After the propolis is cleaned off, use your hive tool to remove the foundation pins from the bottom bar of the frame, if they are present.
Note: Comb honey can be uncapped before being cut out of the frame, or it can be left capped. The main difference is how it appears in the container. Some customers may prefer that the sections be left capped, and it is certainly less work for you. If you wish to leave your sections capped, simply skip the next step.
Place a clean piece of wood across the top bucket of your honey strainer in order to support each frame while you uncap your sections. Here, we've used a new bottom bar from an unassembled frame, but you can use anything that's clean. Use your uncapping knife to uncap each side of one of the frames and allow the cappings to fall into the strainer.
Once you have uncapped both sides of the frame, simply lay the frame flat on a sheet of waxed paper.
Using the comb cutter, center it over one of the section squares of the frame and press it down firmly to cut out the section.
It can be difficult to lift the cutter out of the frame without having the comb fall out of it. So, instead, lift the frame off of the cutter. Then move the cutter sideways slightly while lifting it at the same time. Hold the cutter over the comb honey box and allow the section to slowly drop from the cutter into the box.
Now, simply wipe off any honey that may have dripped onto the outside of the comb honey box and put the lid on it. Beautiful! After a few hours, the honey may settle in the box, leaving wax exposed that can begin to have a "dry" appearance. If this occurs, you may wish to add some honey, if available, in order to cover the comb.
After both sections have been cut from the frame, use your hive tool to scrape the remaining wax and honey into the strainer.
Once the sections box has been used the first season, using the ultra-thin (edible) foundation in the future is optional. The bees will most likely re-draw the combs properly without it. If you do wish to use foundation during the next season, place the foundation pins back into the bottom bar of the frame.
Continue working this way until you have all 14 beautiful sections in boxes. Then, either place the sections box with the frames back onto a hive for 24 hours, or simply use it to open feed your bees in order to clean it up before storing it away for the winter.