For over a year now, I have been compiling a myriad of reasons why his crazy idea would never work.
Mostly likely they were gathering it from this bright yellow mountain flower along with sweet sugary nectar. Using a straw-like proboscis, the worker bee drinks the liquid nectar, storing it in a special honey sack (almost like a honey tummy) within her body. The bee continues to forage, visiting hundreds of flowers until the honey sack is full when she brings it back to the hive.
Approaching the hive, we immediately noticed the absence of guard bees protecting the entrance. They usually zig and zag into your face. This hive was completely and inexplicably docile.