I experienced my first trip into the magical world of honey this past weekend! It was incredible, and really the life of bees is fascinating. Susan King, the wife of our architect, has been a bee-keeper for a number of years. She accepted my self-invite to lend a hand in the harvest. Albeit, I missed the most important part: encountering the bees and taking the “supers” from the hive. But I was able to spend the day removing wax from the “frames” to unseal the honey for release.
The two photos above show the process of uncapping the wax. You use a hot iron to melt the wax away. This is a photo of an uncapped frame being loaded into an extractor, which speeds the frames at a high speed where the honey runs out of the cells into the bottom of the extractor.
A photo looking down into the extractor.
Liquid Gold!

Thank you Susan, Deborah and Matty!
Phillip and I intend to have bees at AmByth Estate this Spring, 2009. We believe bees are a vital part of a self-contained farm system: benefitting and improving our gardens, landscaping, fruit and nut trees. Not to mention the miracle of honey, and serving it at our table! Who knows, maybe next year we can combine our grape harvest with a honey harvest for those interested (which, if you are, shoot me an e-mail and I’ll keep you updated…).