The beekeeper would cut chunks of honeycomb out of straw skeps. People dug their spoons into the combs and ate it--both the wax and the honey.
Back then, they didn't know of a way to remove honey from the combs without destroying them.
Would you hold the basket carefully? Or would you do what I'd do? I'd swing that basket around by the string.
That's what the Major's son did. He swung that basket around and something happened--something important--the honey was thrown out of the honeycombs by the centrifugal force of the swinging.
He saw that it was possible to throw honey out of combs without crushing them. No one had realized that before.
He then set to work to make a machine that would throw the honey from the combs by spinning them just like the basket on the string.
We still use the extractors to this day. Some have hand cranks and some are electric but they all spin the frames of honeycombs.
Once the combs are empty they are given back to the bees to refill. It's less work for the bees because they don't have to make the honeycomb all over again.
After his discovery and invention Major Hruschka decided he'd like to become a beekeeper.