As some of my readers know, my Dad took up beekeeping a few years ago in order to look into Colony collapse disorder, and because, you know, it's in the top five for Things You Can Put On Toast. I too have become an apiarist. A few days ago there was a ball of bees clustered outside the entrance to the hive. There are are almost always bees outside the entrance, particular during the daytime in the summer, but we're talking thousands of bees. At first he thought they were about to swarm, but after explaining the symptoms to his beekeeping mentor it was decided that more likely the bees had completely filled the hive with honey to the point where they had driven themselves out. Which means: honey harvest!
We've already harvested about 30 lbs of honey of the 100 lbs available in the hive. My Dad doesn't take any more than a generous estimate of what the bees themselves will need, so he would be considered an ethical beekeeper. The 100 lbs of honey is top of what the hive needs to sustain itself during the winter.
One comb was full of pollen, about one in seven compartments packed full of it. The tangy pollen-laden honey has completely spoiled me for anything else. Bee pollen is around 40% protein and rich in B-vitamins (mustn't... make... pun). I really wanted to make a pun there, but ultimately I decided against. Anyway, it is particularly useful to eat pollen from local beekeepers if you suffer from allergies, because it exposes you to local flora in minute quantities.