Skip to Content

Why Is Honeycomb So Expensive?

Why Is Honeycomb So Expensive?

Honeycomb is considered the purest form of honey, while liquid honey is filtered and often processed for packaging – but why is honeycomb so expensive and is it worth it to spend more?

The reason why honeycomb is at least twice the cost of regular jarred honey is due to the cost of production and packaging. Plus, the demand for this most-natural form of honey keeps the price high, especially when supply is limited.

Have you ever eaten a chunk of honeycomb? Keep reading to learn more!

Honeycomb Vs. Honey

There is a big differential between the price of pure honeycomb versus jars of honey which could explain why so many have not ever tried or eaten comb honey. Additionally, honeycomb sells for a much higher price per unit than other types of honey, like traditional liquid honey, do.

There are some underlying costs and expenditures that contribute to the higher price- plus, the bees need to make and remake their comb when you harvest honeycomb. This requires time and energy.

Therefore, if the beekeeper wants to turn a profit, they need to price their products based on these factors, which could drive the price up.

Remember that honeycomb is not processed, but it will still need to be harvested and cut, packaged, marketed, and transported- which all contribute to what you pay for honeycomb per unit. But more on that later!

Beeswax

The production of wax comb is hard on bees. It has been estimated that a bee needs to consume approximately seven pounds of honey to produce a single pound of beeswax.

The bees use their waxy comb for so many integral things, from raising brood to storing pollen. When you harvest the comb, the bees must rebuild and produce the waxy cells once more- which is energy-consuming for your bees.

When you only harvest honey, the bees can reuse their wax comb again and again; when you harvest honeycomb, the bees must essentially start from scratch.

Beeswax fetches a high price on the consumer market, and it is valuable. Many beekeepers choose to sell their honey and the wax separately, while some sell packages of honeycomb instead.

Either way, it is a valuable commodity as long as it is priced high enough to cover the costs, efforts, and energy that goes into making this delectable product.  

Price of Honey

So, let’s talk about cost.

With price fluctuations based on many things, including location, season, and availability, liquid raw honey costs anywhere from $4-$22 per pound, while honeycomb fetches about $16-$43 per pound, up to three times more than its liquid equivalent.

That may seem like a vast range for honey and honey products, and it is. The prices are contingent on many things, such as the size of the apiary or operation, the source, type, composition, and marketing approaches. Types of honey like Manuka cost much more, for example.

A hand scraping some honey from a comb

These all play a role in what you will pay at the market, farm, or grocery store for your favorite honey!

If the price of comb honey seems too good to be true, it probably is. The US has been infiltrated by cheap imported honey and honeycomb that is simply not up to par. This cheap variation impacts pricing and demand in this country, particularly of extracted honey products. Most imported honey you will find are also extracted products.

While pure, natural honeycomb is not hard to find either online, at local venues, or in honey catalogs, buyers’ best bargain could be found at their local farmer’s markets. In these retail settings, it is not uncommon to find comb honey for around $1 per ounce, significantly cheaper than others.

Also, you know where the honey is sourced, what it is comprised of, and when it was harvested when buying from these sellers. Know that each time you purchase locally grown and harvested honey, beeswax, or honeycomb, you are contributing to a small business and apiary to ensure it continues!

The Costs of Honeycomb

The comb is of value and, as such, is priced accordingly. The wax comb serves many purposes for the bee: stores pollen, raises brood, and produces honey. Bees must first make the beeswax comb in the hive, so it requires time and effort to create these wax cells of the honeycomb.

If you are planning to market and sell your honeycomb, consider the following when pricing to sell- or looking to buy- comb honey.

Labor

Honeycomb is harvested by hand, cut out of each frame of the hive. There are special tools that beekeepers can buy to use, like honey cutters, but it still requires a lot of effort and energy to harvest the honeycomb from the hives, even if the hives can be reused.

Packaging

If you are selling honeycomb, you will need to consider packaging. Buyers must be able to visually see and inspect the honeycomb if you want success selling your product.

Buyers are typically interested in the color of the comb, the color of the honey, and how the comb is capped. Plus, a decent package will help to protect the lovely honeycomb from being broken or damaged.

Demand

According to experts, there is an increase in demand for raw honey, based on societal and shopping trends. It is estimated that over 30% of all honey purchased is the raw, pure kind- like honeycomb.

Honeycomb is noted to be the purest form of honey available, which drives consumer demand. This subsequently impacts and elevates prices for these products.  

As you can see, there are many reasons for the price of honeycomb to be so high- but perhaps most commonly, is the limited supply amid a great demand.

Many, many buyers want this all-natural and pure form of their favorite honey, and they are willing to pay top dollar to get it. Keep this in mind when shopping for or marketing your own honey and honeycomb!