A good friend from college, John, recently invited us to a party at his parents’ house called the Honey Harvest. At this annual event, his family harvests the honey from their bee hives, guests enjoy their incredible garden, and everyone eats and drinks well into the evening. At the end of the night each person takes home a bottle of honey. Needless to say, it’s a lot of fun.
Sadly, the Honey Harvest didn’t happen last year. A late frost hurt the trees which the bees get most of their honey from: tulip poplars and black locusts. Two years ago, at the most recent Honey Harvest, the first baby made an appearance. This year there were babies everywhere, some even dressed as bees for the occasion.
The evening started off with hors d’oeuvres and drinks, followed by speeches. John’s parents are some of the sweetest people you will ever meet. Ever the gracious hosts, they mentioned all of the milestones in the guests’ lives since the last honey harvest. We all cheered the announcements of professional milestones, engagements, weddings, pregnancies, and the birth many babies. In this crowd, nearly all the babies are girls. When James’ birth was announced, John’s father made a joke that he’ll have ten girlfriends when he’s older because he’s so outnumbered by baby girls.
After the speeches concluded, we made our way across the lawn to the headlining event. This garden really is the stuff of dreams. We passed fruit trees, vegetables, herbs, and grape vines.
The smoke in the air calming the bees and luring the guests to the back of the garden where the hives are located.
Most of the frames had been pulled in advance, but John’s father left the last few for us all to see.
Amazingly, no one was stung. After the frames were pulled, we moved back to the tent for dinner.
When everyone had their fill, the focus of the evening shifted back to the honey. We all gathered around as John’s sister, Anne, and their grandfather demonstrated removing the wax end caps of the honeycomb.
Then the honeycomb frames were placed in the centrifuge. Guests took turns spinning as the honey was pulled out to the sides of the drum and dripped down to the bottom.
Everyone filled their bottles with fresh honey to take home.
Custom labels commemorated the occasion.
The honey harvest is such a fun and unique experience. I can’t wait for future years when James will be old enough to remember.