Chewy gooey honeycomb what a great taste experience. For people who like eating honey, consuming it in the comb is a special experience. And, honeycomb is the traditional way to enjoy honey. But, who can eat it all in one setting? Honey in the comb costs more so none should ever go to waste. Learning how to store honeycomb and save it to eat another day is a great idea.
Worker bees gather plant nectar from millions of flowers and transform it into honey. Once the honey is ripe, it is stored in thousands of little beeswax cells on the comb.
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Safe inside these wax cells, the honey harvest is protected from dirt and moisture. Honey that is harvested in the comb for consumption is often called “comb honey” or “sections of comb”. This is honey in its most pure form when harvested in the wax cells.
Harvesting Honeycomb From the Hive
Often when honey is harvested from a beehive, a honey extractor is used. The box (supers) of honey are removed from the hive. For each frame, the wax cappings on top of the cells are cut off with a knife.
The extractor or honey spinner – spins liquid honey out of the comb. The frames of empty comb can then be reused by the bees next year.
There are still some beekeepers who go to the trouble of producing honey in the comb. Instead of removing the liquid from the wax, the honeycomb is cut into sections.
Since, honeycomb is edible their customers can enjoy eating raw honeycomb – straight from the hive.
Honeycomb is More Expensive
Blocks of honeycomb are often available for purchase from local beekeepers or online. Expect the cost to be more per ounce than liquid honey.
Producing honey in the comb is more expensive for the beekeeper. The honey bee colony has to produce more beeswax before the next harvest – to replace what is removed. Expect to pay more for honey in the comb but the experience is worth it.
Once you have enjoyed a sweet honeycomb snack, it’s time to decide how to store the raw honeycomb that is left over. We sure do not want to waste all that effort by the bees – or your money either!
How Long Does Honeycomb Last?
Honeycomb does not spoil. It will not go bad as long as it is protected from moisture. This simple but wonderful product is simply honey inside beeswax cells.
But, it will absorb moisture from the air if not kept in a sealed container. Also, any number of sweet loving ants will try to taste your honey.
Store Honeycomb Short Term
If you are planning to eat your honeycomb within a reasonable amount of time. Storage is an easy task.
Honeycomb is nothing more than beeswax and honey. So, the same storage rules apply – it can be stored like any raw honey.
Place the honeycomb in an airtight container and keep it at room temperature. On the kitchen counter is a perfect storage place.
The main storage goal is protecting your honeycomb from water. Moisture is absorbed by honey and can result in spoilage.
Can I Store Honeycomb in the Fridge?
There is no need to put opened honeycomb in the refrigerator. In fact, it may increase the rate of crystallization resulting in a gritty product.
Crystallized honey is not spoiled and is safe to eat. However, some people do not prefer the texture.
If you wish to keep your honeycomb in the refrigerator, it will not ruin it. However, to enjoy the true experience of eating honeycomb keep it at room temperature.
How Long Does Honeycomb Last?
Honeycomb will last for a very long time. Just like regular liquid honey, as long as it is protected from moisture – it lasts indefinitely.
As a personal preference, I have noticed that the wax edges can dry out a bit. Therefore, I recommend keeping comb submerged in a container with liquid honey or freezing for long term storage.
Can You Freeze Honey in the Comb?
Do you have a larger amount of comb honey that you want to preserve for a while? If so, freezing is the best long term honeycomb storage option.
Wrap the piece of comb tightly in several layers of plastic wrap – or seal it in an airtight freezer container.
When you are ready to use it, remove the honey from the freezer. Then, allow it to come to room temperature before unwrapping.
Remember, moisture is the enemy of honey. When freezing pieces of honeycomb, be sure that all of the individual cells are sealed with wax. This prevents leakage that may cause air to leak between the plastic and the wax surface.
If honey is leaking from the piece of comb, I suggest placing it on a bakers cooling rack and letting the excess liquid drip off before wrapping.
In spite of the increased cost for honey in the comb, it is a unique experience that everyone should try-at least once. Chunk honey is sometimes available which has some pieces of comb in a jar of liquid.
Now that you know how easy it is to keep fresh, you can enjoy raw honeycomb anytime. And, there are many delicious ways to eat honeycomb.
Whether you are storing honeycomb short term or long term – it will maintain its delicious properties when done right.