It’s no secret that honey is one of the sweetest, most nutritious, and most delicious foods in the world, but many people are unsure about consuming other bee products. Interestingly, almost everything that comes from a honeybee hive is suitable—even healthy—for human consumption. Whether you’ve only had honey once or use it to sweeten your coffee daily, it can’t hurt to learn more about bees and their intriguing products. Becoming a beekeeper entails many interesting responsibilities and opportunities, and learning how to cut blocks of comb honey properly is one of them.
Can You Eat Honeycomb?
Most people know that they can eat honey, but many aren’t so sure about the comb itself. Fascinatingly, you can eat the honeycomb, and it’s very nutritious. Despite popular belief, honeycomb is safe for most humans and animals to consume; however, if you have a bee allergy, you should avoid all bee products. Additionally, children and dogs under a year old shouldn’t consume honey or honeycomb, as their immune systems aren’t fully developed yet.
While honeycomb is a delicious treat, you probably shouldn’t down a whole block of it in one sitting. That said, there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a small sliver on toast, in tea, or with oatmeal from time to time.
Different Ways To Eat Honeycomb
Honeycomb is incredibly delicious and versatile, making it a suitable addition to various meals and snacks. The following ideas are just a few of the ways you can add honeycomb to your daily diet.
- In your tea: Drop a chunk of honeycomb in your hot tea; the wax and honey will melt and create a unique, sweet flavor. This combination may also soothe colds or seasonal allergies.
- Garnish: Use dehydrated honeycomb as a fun and tasty garnish for baked goods, such as muffins, cupcakes, cookies, and more.
- Spread over baked goods: Whether you enjoy a warm muffin, slice of toast, or another fresh pastry, adding honeycomb makes for an unbeatable and delicious combination.
- On a charcuterie board: Traditional charcuterie boards include various meats, cheeses, and crackers, but some people might notice that they’re missing something sweet. That said, adding honey or honeycomb to the board is an excellent way to get a nice, flavorful contrast to the variety of salty foods available.
Now that you know you can eat honeycomb and a few different ways to eat it, you should also learn more about honeycomb in general. Follow along for more information regarding where honeycomb comes from and how to cut it into blocks properly.
How Do Bees Make It?
You already know that bees make honey, but you may not realize that they also make the comb. Bees make honey to survive the winter months, and they need somewhere to store it until it’s time to use the substance—enter the honeycomb. Interestingly, bees’ bodies secrete wax, which they mix with pollen and honey to produce beeswax.
Because bees have limited space in each hive, they mold the wax into hexagonal figures; this shape is the most efficient when it comes to using every available inch of the hive. Once they build the comb, worker bees fill the wax cells with honey and the queen lays her eggs inside of them, then they cover the cells with more wax.
Once these cells are full of honey, it becomes a honeycomb. Bees often make too much honey, allowing beekeepers to remove some from the hive to eat or sell.
How Long Does Honeycomb Last?
Bees make enough honey to store for several months, so it’s important that it doesn’t go bad. In fact, honey and honeycomb never spoil or expire. Therefore, these items are perfect if you need something with an infinite shelf life. If you have a lot of honeycomb that you don’t need or want to use right away, you can store the pieces in airtight containers and freeze them until you’re ready to use them.
How Do You Cut Honeycomb Blocks?
Honeycomb is incredible, and you should know how to cut it properly. Because it’s a waxy substance with liquid honey inside, it can be relatively messy. Follow these steps to cut honeycomb blocks properly:
- Remove the honeycomb frame from the hive without disturbing your bees. Do this only after confirming they have enough food to survive the upcoming winter.
- Next, place the entire thing on a large tray. Use a comb-cutting knife to cut along the end of the frame. Try to get as close as possible to the edge to remove as much honeycomb as you can.
- Gently remove the frame from the large comb block and allow the comb block to drain onto the tray for a few minutes.
- The next step is to cut the large block into small blocks, and there are a few different ways to do this. You can either use the same comb-cutting knife or high-quality dental floss to slice the honeycomb.
- Comb-cutting knife: Carefully use the knife to cut even lines and create similar-sized comb blocks. It can be messy, and using a knife may be difficult, as the wax isn’t always easy to cut through.
- Dental floss: Make sure your floss is sturdy and unflavored for the best results. Slide the piece of floss under the block, with even lengths of floss on each side. Take both ends of the floss and guide them toward the top of the block. Cross the ends once you reach the top and pull gently until the floss cuts through the entire honeycomb.
- Allow the freshly-cut pieces of honeycomb to drain for another hour before placing them in individual containers.
Learning how to cut blocks of comb honey properly is essential knowledge for beekeepers. Although there’s nothing better than enjoying honeycomb from your own hives, you shouldn’t expect to harvest in your first season. Fortunately, you can visit Crystal’s Honey online to find natural honeycomb for sale in the meantime. Honey and honeycomb are incredible foods to keep in your kitchen since they never spoil and add unique flavors and sweetness to any meal or snack.