Beekeeping 101 - Comb Honey
Before the extractor came into common use comb honey was the norm rather than the exception as the commercial form of honey. Over the years many types of equipment designs have been used to facilitate the production, harvesting and sale of comb honey. An efficient means was eventually discovered using squares made of thin sheets of basswood. Because of the long grain in this wood, it could be scored and folded to form the square. These squares were called "sections" and came in several sizes, but today are available in the standard size, 12 ounces. Manufactured in the U.S. by the Walter T. Kelley company on a machine developed by the A.I. Root Company.
The round section in use today had its first trial as a ring cut from a glass jar. The plastic Cobana section was invented by a Dr. in Michigan but languished for several years with only a few staunch supporters. The advantage of the rounds is their case and reusable parts. The addition of covers is all that is required for packaging, as well as a label. They are produced exclusively by Ross Rounds, of Massilon, Ohio.
The newest piece of comb honey equipment is the Hogg Half Comb Cassette, invented by John Hogg. This self-contained unit has a wax-coated, hexagonal imprinted base that comb is built on. When completed by the bees, a cover is added and it is market ready. Comb honey continues to have a small, but lucrative market.