The first half of the session was devoted to learning about bees, how they make honey, their lifecycle, the hive, basically all of the basics. Then we got hands on: trying on the suits as well as harvesting some honey that was removed from the hive that morning. It doesn't get any fresher.
Once the wax seals are released, you put the honeycomb trays into this modified bucket with a spinner (like a massive salad spinner) and you turn the handle to force the honey out of the wax comb. The bucket has a spigot on the bottom so you can access the honey in a controlled fashion.
Next steps were to filter the honey (get bits of wax and etc out) and then it's ready to eat! We all took little 50ml jars of honey home to enjoy – The Irishman used mine to make goats cheese and honey ice cream which was absolutely amazing.
After Wednesday's lesson, I am a big fan of bees in general and honey bees specifically. We all know they are in danger so I'm going to try even harder to promote happy and healthy bees however I can. The Irishman has agreed that when we finally buy a house, we can have bee-friendly plants in our garden which is a win-win: bee friendly plants = better pollination = better produce = happy Danielle and happy bees.