Thursday, July 12, 2012 "troublesome" batch of melomel (mead).  why "troublesome"?  it took over a year and half!!!!  Not the normal 3 to 6 months.  For some reason - it just blew through it's sugars in race to the finish....and it was WATERY to the taster (me).  I kept adding honey.  Three months ago I added FOUR fruit juice concentrates (Raspberry/Apple).  Adding the juice gave it a nice color!

So - it's in the bottle and labeled.  But not ready yet - December/January I figure.  It had a little "edge" on it...that I believe will mellow in the bottle.

For those interested in the "terminology".  MEAD is honey wine.  MELOMEL is honey/fruit wine.  METHEGLIN is honey/herb wine.

I have to say I'm relieved to finally put that 5 gallon carboy away.....but I'm also brewing the next batch....IN MY HEAD for now....  I think I'm going back to a METHEGLIN.  (Lavender, Thyme, Rosemary, Savory, Cinnamon.....)

I only hope the girls make me enough HONEY this year :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

ECWBA Newsletter - July

1. The meeting dates and places for 2012 have been scheduled in.  Here’s the schedule for the remainder of 2012:
  • Saturday, July 21, 2012, 9:30 am.  Fond du Lac Public Library, 32 Sheboygan Street, Fond du Lac, WI.  Downstairs in the Eugene McLane Room.
  • Saturday, September 8, 2012, 9:30 am.  Ripon Public Library, 120 Jefferson Street, Ripon, WI.  Meet in the Silver Creek Room (downstairs).
2. Thank-you to Charles Crites for hosting this year’s field day.  Charles gave a very informative talk about his top bar bee hives which he constructs himself.  Charles works closely with Barb Beregszazi who also keeps top bar hives in the same vicinity.  Both Charles and Barb did an excellent job answering questions and providing information about top bar hives.  The field day finished up with Charles giving the attending members a tour of his bee yard and demonstrating the inner workings of his hives.  Thanks again to Charles for hosting the 2012 ECWBA field day.
3. The July 21 meeting will feature a briefing from Denise Palkovich about the association’s blog and website.  Please feel free to bring your own laptop computers and other internet connected devices for an interactive lesson about logging into the blog and posting questions, answers, comments, photos, etc.  We will also have an open discussion about the current state of beekeeping – nectar flows, pest management, preparing for honey harvest, and any other beekeeping issue anyone would like to talk about.
Beekeeping Notes:
  • For the new beekeepers, start planning the honey harvest.  If you plan for a liquid honey harvest, start shopping for extracting equipment.  Or find an existing beekeeper that will help you out with extracting.
  • You may want to buy honey jars in advance.  When there is a big honey crop, sometimes the suppliers run short of jars.
  • Start thinking about fall pest treatments and over-wintering strategies.
Best of Beekeeping,
Jeff Champeau

city bees

another really nice article on CITY BEES:

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

VARROA and DIABETIC BEES articles from the net
nothing really NEW here for us beekeepers...but a "reminder" how it's more important than ever to get your honey harvest off you can treat hives...and get them STRONG for winter.
...this is a different twist.  I can't help but wonder how we're messing with the bees when we put sugar or corn syrup buckets on them.....  more and more - we're seeing "articles" how it's messing US up!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Early split early split has just this last week...taken off.  Activity at the door rivals the mother hive!  I started hestia by robbing about 8 frames from Eoster, my 3 high, early this spring. They've made their own queen.  Crossing my fingers that my survivor genetics keep going!

Thyme is a month old swarm hive.

Eos is a month behind hestia...a split from the mother hives SISTER hive.