Harvesting Honey

12 09 2010

Dave Mincer runs a farm and orchard that has been in his family since the 1890s and this honey was harvested a couple of days ago from a hive on the Iowa bluff above several of his apples trees. The trees are laden with ripe apples of all colors, but he took me up the hill to harvest the year’s honey. It was a simultaneously fascinating and terrifying experience as he removed combs heavy with honey from the hive. Although the bees were initially subdued by smoke, they became more and more aggressive as he worked, swarming thicker and buzzing louder. Even with beekeeping gear on, I was tempted to beat a retreat as they swarmed around my head and bounced off my face net. We finally backed away with our loot and bounced back down the hill to pick apples, haul hay to the cows and wash off in the cold spring water gushing from a pump by one of the out buildings.

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