Over the past 6 or so years we have had honey bees off and on. I say 'off and on' because quite a few winters we loose them but come summer we get swarms moving into empty hives. We are starting to think that they don't like Maine during the winter, but like to return in summer (maybe they are going to Florida for the winter like a lot of Mainers do)
Late fall we had two hives that we had acquired during the summer. Both were strong hives and had plenty of honey. Now the bees are gone. Still plenty of honey for them, so they didn't leave because of lack of food. I hope they will be back this summer.
One of the swarms had moved into hive parts that we had stored in a stack, no foundation in it, only empty boxes.
When this happens the bees will create their own foundation, but it is hard to get the honey. We weren't concerned about this, because we just figured we'd let the bees do their thing. Now that the bees are gone, the hive is full of lovely honey. Too much to leave sitting there waiting for critters to get it. We decided we should be the ones to enjoy it.
The flavor is wonderful. We chew on small pieces of the comb then spit out the wax (it's kind of like the wax teeth candy I used to buy as a kid, only so very much tastier.)
We now have a huge stainless steel bowl full of honey comb sitting on the kitchen counter. And the kitchen has the wonderful smell of honey to it.