Friday, July 1, 2011

Wild Honey

I spent part of last week at Cub Scout Day Camp with my oldest son John, who is a Wolf Scout this year. It was a great time of learning to shoot BB guns, make things out of leather and emboss them, build a bird feeder, shoot BB guns, play human foosball, practice with bows and arrows, learn how to properly fold and care for a flag, shoot each other with water guns, and yes, shoot BB guns.

It rained off and on all three days, including an epic downpour on the first day. On the night of the second day, there was a massive storm that knocked down trees all over the park where we were having camp. So our Cub Scout Service project was helping pick up limbs and sticks for an hour. But we all also spotted the huge hollow treetop that came down which contained a honey beehive. As the intrepid sort who had to try to collect some, and since the odds of me coming across another wild hive like this in the future are somewhere between slim and Barack Obama's re-election prospects, I waited until all the boys were otherwise occupied and then hustled back to the truck for some gallon sacks to stick some honeycomb in. For the curious, no, I did not get get stung. What I got was a lot of honey filled comb with no very good idea how to extract the honey.

I called a friend, who told me that commercial honey producers cut open the combs and separate the honey from the comb with centrifuges. Huh. Learn something new everyday. But my garage being a little light in the centrifuge department, I had to rely on something else: hillbilly ingenuity, which quickly devised a plan involving a bowl, a glass jar, a funnel and some brand new knee high pantyhose (which were a bargain at $ .33 a pair). Clean, sweet, fruity tasting honey was the result. I was excited to be able to show the kids where honey comes from and more excited (being kinda cheap), not to have to buy honey for a couple weeks.

Next project: Find some wild locusts to eat with it and a camel hair coat to preach in next Sunday...

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