This year, our resident Cape Lodge bees more than delivered.
Located adjacent to the tennis courts, the health and happiness of the hive has always been our priority.
Bees collect nectar, and make and store honey for their own nourishment. The honey is only harvested when the bees produce more honey than can be used for their own sustenance.
Our Sommelier Charles Pierre Serveau , or better known to colleagues and guests as Charlie, had the opportunity to be a part of the harvesting process this year alongside the experienced hands of Bee Keeper Dr. Palmer.
Although it was his first time, Charlie wasn’t terrified of the bees and actually felt quite comfortable because of Dr. Palmer’s expertise. In fact, he found the buzzing noise quite relaxing instead!
The process was a special experience, from getting into the suit to pacifying the bees with smoke. The frames built by the bees were removed from the hive and the bees then gently shaken off. The bee-free frames were then put in a box and transported to the kitchen where any excess wax was removed to expose honey cells from the comb.
Chef de Partie Emy had the privilege of being apart of the extraction process, inserting the frames three by three into a honey extractor. Spin, spin, spin, round and round and out came the honey, collected in a bucket. All that was left to do after that is clean up the mess.
Time to spin!
So after all that, how did it taste?
Inspecting the equipment
“Sweet and chewy!!” says Charlie.
This rich, golden, sticky liquid will be stored and used as a condiment at breakfast, for gourmet tea infusions and cocktails.
We asked Charlie what the best thing about this experience was for him.
“Getting involved is the best thing. You have this connection with the food you grow and harverst. It was extremely satisfying to get my hands dirty and get it done! You simply can’t compare this with the impersonality of modern days shopping at chain supermarkets. More importantly, I guess is that it brings people together and increases their love and respect of the land we live in.”
Our Queen bee has certainly been keeping her workers happy so there is a chance of another harvest in the new year. We’ll have to wait and see!