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Big Sur - Hiking Andrew Molera State Park

One of the great delights of living in the Bay Area is the proximity to the natural beauty of California and it's hard to beat the stunning drive down Highway One to Big Sur. This is certainly one of the iconic American road trips, but for me the joy of being in the area is getting out of your car and hitting a trail, so you can be "in" the landscape rather than just looking at it from the asphalt. 

Bee Experience @ Carmel Valley Ranch

While we were down in Carmel we had a wonderful morning at the hotel's "Bee Experience". This is a free class open to guests that they offer twice a week. Part education and part a hands on introduction to beekeeping  it made for a fascinating morning.
How much dorkier could we get? Surely one of us should be holding at pitchfork!

After meeting the beekeeper, who gave an introduction to the structure of the hive, we all suited up. I felt as though I was wearing a space suit and a fat suit rolled into one. Clearly this wasn't my best look for the season! I looked like a stunted and rather startled boiler repair person!
After observing the guard bees, and the continual comings and goings at the bottom entrance to the hive, it was time to remove the lid.

At this point the bee keeper used quick puffs of smoke to calm the swarming bees.


The frame that you can see above was surprisingly heavy and incredibly interesting. Up close you could see the honeycomb and juvenile bees emerging from their eggs.
Putting everything back in its place!
The honey pictured above is from the same hives, but collected at different times of the year. As you can see from the color they are quite distinctive and not surprisingly they tasted quite different from each other. The small box is used when the beekeeper needs to introduce a new queen into an existing hive. Apparently the bees will reject the incoming queen, however, if she is placed in the hive (protected by the box)  her scent will pervade the hive and within two days she will be accepted. Only then does  the beekeeper removes her from the small protective enclosure. We learnt so much and I enjoyed the whole experience greatly.

Highly recommended if you find yourself at Carmel Valley Ranch.


Anna said…
But what about your feet!