As you know, the iconic Waldorf-Astoria hotel has hired fourth-generation beekeeping professional Andrew Coté to set up and manage six beehives on its 20th floor terrace. Coté wrote the law that legalized beekeeping in NYC in 2010 and he's the founder and president of the NYC Beekeepers Association, which makes him the man for the job. Yesterday we attended the hotel's first honey harvest and learned all about the process, while wearing protective masks and suits to keep us safe from stingers. Executive Chef David Garcelon, however, likes to live on the wild side.

Coté says the terrace is the perfect place for beehives, since it’s an open space that's "free of predators." Well, except for the predatory chefs who want their honey, of course. During yesterday's demonstration, the bees struck back, and with the press looking on, Chef Garcelon got stung in the face by one vindictive bee. He's going to be okay, but it made us grateful the hotel had enough protective masks for the media at least.

Each hive houses 60,000 to 75,000 honeybees, and 150-200 pounds of honey are to be expected from each harvest. The harvested ‘rooftop honey’ will be used in all three of the hotel’s restaurants, as well as the cocktail bars. The hives are loaded up with flower nectar, which is sourced from anywhere within three miles of the hives (bees like to eat local too, huh), the bees do their magic, and the honey is collected about twice a year. This unprocessed honey is a lot more floral and minty in taste than its mass-produced counterpart.

The hives are at the hotel indefinitely and the next harvest is expected in September. According to the hotel staff, a chef’s garden on the terrace is also in the works, and should come to fruition sometime next year. You can purchase a jar of Coté's honey at the Union Square Greenmarket, where they set up shop on Mondays and Wednesdays.