Today, through the magic of bees, we joined our friends and watched in amazement as golden nectar was extracted and poured into jars. On a sunny Sunday afternoon, after my gardening was complete for the day (is it ever complete?), my best friend called to tell me she was almost home with frames full of honey to process. Did we want to come over? I think the only way to answer is by quoting Mariah Carey: "It's like honey when it washes over me, you know sugar never ever was so sweet. I'm dying for ya, crying for ya, I adore ya."
We got right in there We happily scraped the caps off the frames (I hope I'm explaining this right, Kaylee) and then greedily licked our fingers, covered in sticky strings of honey. We put the frames into a contraption that spins the honey out of the honeycombs, taking turns to spin the crank. Then we strained the honey twice, poured it into jars and went right back to sticking our fingers in the leftovers to lick them up some more.
My friend Kaylee took up a beekeeping hobby this summer, and it has been so uplifting to hear the joy in her voice each time she drove out to the farm to check on her bees (and queen, aptly named Bee-yonce). She tended them so well, and did a lot of research to do her best to set up their hive. It's a big job, I've learned, and a fascinating process to observe. Watching her hard work, investment and commitment capitalize on such a beautiful afternoon was such a treat for me (and my honey-devouring girls).
It was a small harvest, as the queen arrived late in the season and they have to leave enough honey for the bees to eat through winter. (Yes, some of them hibernate!) More than that, it was the start of something wonderful. Kaylee and her mom are now official, successful beekeepers. And my girls got to experience, hands-on, how the bees we see each day visiting our garden turn pollen or nectar into honey. Honey that never goes bad, comes out smooth, and tastes good in just about everything. Can you tell I'm still amazed by the process?