Notes from the Test Kitchen /

Not all good things bees make come in bear-shaped bot­tles

SAVEUR - - Contents - —Kat Crad­dock

Fresh shelling beans, baked Alaska, and more

When a friend’s bee­keep­ing dad sent us two frames of hon­ey­comb from his fam­ily’s ru­ral Penn­syl­va­nia prop­erty, the whole saveur team came run­ning to snap pho­tos and nib­ble on pieces. Bees pro­duce honey dur­ing the warmer months to eat dur­ing win­ter, build­ing tiny wax cells (hon­ey­comb) in which to store it. Since healthy hives pro­duce far more honey than the bees could ever pos­si­bly con­sume, bee­keep­ers build hives with re­mov­able frames they can ac­cess quickly to har­vest the honey and comb with­out dis­turb­ing the bees’ dwelling or dam­ag­ing their sup­ply.

The comb it­self is not only edi­ble but has a de­light­fully chewy, tacky tex­ture. As with honey, the fla­vor and color of combs from dif­fer­ent pro­duc­ers will de­pend on which flower nec­tar the bees were feed­ing on—like orange blos­som, buck­wheat, or eu­ca­lyp­tus. Pieces of comb are of­ten avail­able at gourmet food stores, and you can buy whole frames at some farm­ers' markets, both with plenty of gooey honey still be­tween the cells.

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