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Honey Extraction Workshop at Treasure Island Job Corps

July 16, 2013
Honey Extraction Workshop at Treasure Island Job Corps Culinary Arts School

I was invited to teach a hands on class in harvesting honey from frames of drawn comb. Together with Corey Block who is the manager & beekeeper of the “Farm” (the Michelle Obama Treasure Island Job Corps Green Acres), we introduced 25 new culinary students to the art of honey harvesting. At times a ruckus group high on the fresh tasty treats of raw honey, they were willing to get sticky to help extract the golden fluid honey.

Starting with illustrating the importance of pollination that every 3rd bite of food you want to thank a bee for providing it, followed with the quote from Albert Einstein “if bees perish the human race perishes in four years time”. We quickly dove into the sticky art of opening capped frames of honey, allowing each student the opportunity to experience the use of different tools to open the closed cells that hold natures golden syrup. As each student jumped in they were given a tasted of fresh uncapped honey comb, chewing it like candy, they each marveled at the splendor of raw honey mixed with bees wax. What they learned was from the experience of trying something completely new while
receiving an unexpected reward.
I continued the class by showing them how to use a “spinner” to “spin out” the honey extracting it from the bees wax comb cells into the stainless steel barrel of the spinner. This is hard work as the school uses a hand crank model. I was surprised at the students willingness and tenacity to complete the task. Next the honey was strained into a food grade bucket to eliminate pieces of wax, bug parts and any other foreign objects that may have inadvertently fallen into the spinner barrel.
With lots of questions being asked and answered the class willingly cleaned all the parts and pieces before mopping up the floor. Several students were interested in learning how to separate the wax comb capping’s from the residual honey. And they would like to try making salves & soaps. Sounds like another opportunity to teach a class there!

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