Our harvesting party turned into a neighborhood affair as several people joined us for John's teach-in at the site of the hives (our neighbors' backyard). Madeleine and John's five-year-old daughter alternately watched with interest—she in her own bee suit (now Maddy wants one)—and played quietly by themselves, completely unfazed by the sight of thousands of bees buzzing around. After we "worked the hives," we traipsed the honey-filled frames to our shed where we had set up the extractor equipment.
Because we don't have all the fancy beekeeper's equipment, we haven't perfected a method for recapturing all the beeswax that gets lost in the extracting process. Nor have we perfected a straining system to keep small bits of wax out of the honey, so you'll notice in the photos that our honey comes in "creamy" and "chunky" varieties (although the wax does rise to the top by itself in a matter of hours). It all tastes the same, and Madeleine will attest that it's yummy. We hope to have more honey to harvest by this fall, and we expect by then our harvesting techniques will have improved. In the meantime, there will be a lot of bread baking and granola making happening in the neighborhood this week.