Author Topic: My first adventure in beekeeping  (Read 5142 times)

Offline MrsKK

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #45 on: October 01, 2012, 09:00:03 AM »
Yeah, I won't allow the ragweed to grow like that again, believe me.  I've made a gallon jar blend from each of the times I harvested honey, in the hopes that the pollen in it will help immunize me and give me some allergy relief.


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Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #46 on: October 25, 2012, 01:49:25 AM »
Hey MrsKK,
Great thread! God I wish I could have bees! There is an ordinance in my City which bans bee keeping (Lame...).
Have you ever made mead? If not, I highly recommend it. Mead making it a lot of fun, and done well- very very tasty.

(Sorry for resurrecting an oldish thread, I got kind of envious!)
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Offline Boofer

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #47 on: October 25, 2012, 12:45:03 PM »
in my City
Would you please update your profile to tell us where that is?

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Let's ferment something!
Bread, beer, wine, cheese...it's all good.

Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #48 on: October 25, 2012, 02:24:23 PM »
in my City
Would you please update your profile to tell us where that is?

-Boofer-

Sunny, beachy, California!
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Offline Boofer

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #49 on: October 26, 2012, 12:23:26 AM »
The wife and I lived in Port Hueneme five years ago. Sweet...except for the Santa Anas.  :P

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Offline mightyMouse.tar.gz

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #50 on: October 26, 2012, 12:35:59 AM »
The wife and I lived in Port Hueneme five years ago. Sweet...except for the Santa Anas.  :P

-Boofer-

Oh wow, I am actually not that far from there. I am a little north of Santa Barbara. Not sure if I have been to Santa Ana but I do not like LA.
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Offline MrsKK

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #51 on: October 26, 2012, 07:28:53 AM »
No mead here.  I tasted it once and that was enough for me.  But I'm not much of a drinker anyway.

Offline Boofer

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #52 on: October 26, 2012, 08:33:36 AM »
Not sure if I have been to Santa Ana but I do not like LA.
Uh, these....

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Offline Spellogue

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #53 on: October 26, 2012, 10:02:42 AM »
A friend who is a county extension agent makes delicious meads, pyments, and metheglin and has encouraging me to make some with the honey from our hives.  I might try it next year with any honey we have left over from this year's harvest.

I went into the hives last week to treat for varoa mites (I use hop guard, it's organic) and was pleasantly surprized to see that one of the hives filled another medium super in just one month.  I hadn't planned on it but I pulled 5 of the 10 frames. I put two in the weaker hive and kept 3 for myself.  I haven't extracted it yet, don't feel like cranking up the extractor for just 3 frames.  I suppose I'll just crush and strain, unless anyone has a better idea. 

They are on plastic foundation, so I can't make comb honey with these.  Too bad, since it will be a deep flavored goldenrod and aster honey which would present nice on a cheese plate in the comb.  Next year I'm going to set some shallows with comb frames for sure. 
I can resist anything but temptation.      ~ Oscar Wilde

Offline Spellogue

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #54 on: October 26, 2012, 10:13:04 AM »
Mighty,

Can you tell me how much honey I'll need to make a gallon of mead?

Too bad about your city's bee regs.  If your neighbors are all cool with you keeping bees you might consider setting up a clandestine hive anyhow.  Or you could try to put together a petition.  It took a while, but that worked in Cleveland on the maintenance of livestock including chickens and goats with some limitations.  Beehives, up to 4, we're already permitted.
I can resist anything but temptation.      ~ Oscar Wilde


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Offline beechercreature

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #55 on: October 26, 2012, 03:09:03 PM »
Mighty,

Can you tell me how much honey I'll need to make a gallon of mead?

Too bad about your city's bee regs.  If your neighbors are all cool with you keeping bees you might consider setting up a clandestine hive anyhow.  Or you could try to put together a petition.  It took a while, but that worked in Cleveland on the maintenance of livestock including chickens and goats with some limitations.  Beehives, up to 4, we're already permitted.


here's a quick recipe:

http://homebrewforums.net/discussion/421/easy-mead-recipe#Item_8

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Re: My first adventure in beekeeping
« Reply #56 on: October 27, 2012, 02:29:42 PM »
Mighty,

Can you tell me how much honey I'll need to make a gallon of mead?

Too bad about your city's bee regs.  If your neighbors are all cool with you keeping bees you might consider setting up a clandestine hive anyhow.  Or you could try to put together a petition.  It took a while, but that worked in Cleveland on the maintenance of livestock including chickens and goats with some limitations.  Beehives, up to 4, we're already permitted.


I use 3 pounds for a gallon of mead. Comes out to about a quart of honey, I just pick up 2 pints of honey. I see beechercreature already posted a link to a good recipe. If you want some more info, here is a site that has a lot of information:

http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/index.htm

I have never followed any of the recipes on the site but they seem pretty legit. I believe he even had a recipe using stuff you would find around the house like baker's yeast (I'm skeptical though..). The author also has some really cool youtube videos about different stages in the mead brewing process which are fun to watch.
As far as yeast goes, this batch I just opened which was awesome, I used Lavin EC-1118 champagne yeast (Here is a link so you can see, though I found it at my LBS):
http://www.northernbrewer.com/shop/winemaking/wine-ingredients/wine-yeast/lalvin-champagne-ec-1118.html
It produced a mead which was a nice balance between dry and sweet. The honey flavor was there but almost as an aftertaste. It actually tasted like a nice wine with a "funky flavor in the background that you can not put your finger on but like" (Of course, honey will affect your flavor as well). Very smooth, I really wish I had done a larger batch. I plan to start a 5 gallon batch here after I get my holiday brewing done and have a free carboy ;)

In mead making recipes, you see reference to both yeast energizer and yeast nutrients. As an FYI, you can get products which have both combined (fermaid-K is what I use, mainly because that is what my LBS carries).

If you are more of a bookworm like me, I have one book on mead that I have read: "The Compleat Meadmaker" by Ken Schramm. Its a good book, I started with it. There are others as well, I just have not gotten around to them yet.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Compleat-Meadmaker-Production-Award-winning/dp/0937381802/
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