Links and Resources

Beekeeping

U of M Bee Lab
http://beelab.umn.edu

Free Bee Information
http://beelab.umn.edu/Resources/Free-bees/index.htm

Penn State Entomology
http://ento.psu.edu

The Xerces Society
http://www.xerces.org

Carl Hayden Bee Research Center
http://www.ars.usda.gov/recovery/tucson.htm

Cornell University Master Beekeeping Program
http://www.masterbeekeeper.org/

American Beekeeping Federation
http://www.abfnet.org

Model Beekeeping Ordinance
Download PDF Here

Minnesota Honey Producers
http://www.minnesotahoneyproducers.org/

Gary Reuter's Website
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~reute001/index.html

Beekeeping Groups

Crow River Beekeepers Club
Hutchnson, MN
Wayne, 320-583-0041
Facebook page

Lake Superior Beekeepers
EmailWebsite

Honey Bee Club of Stillwater
1875 Northwestern Ave. S.
Stillwater, MN 55082
Elizabeth Welty, 612-961-6518
EmailBlog

MN Honey Producers Association
10425 385th Street
St. Joseph, MN 56374
EmailWebsite

North Central Beekeepers Association
Baxter, MN
EmailWebsite

NE Minnesota Beekeepers Association
EmailWebsite

Northern Plains Hobby Beekeepers
11502 240th Street N
Hawley, MN 56549
218-962-3300
Email

South East MN Beekeepers Association
Rochester, MN
EmailWebsite

Todd County Area Beekeepers Association
18332 CR 24
Bertha, MN 56437
218-924-4411
EmailWebsite

Tri County Beekeepers Association
St. Cloud, MN
EmailWebsite

Honey

Minnesota Honey Labeling Requirements
http://www.mda.state.mn.us/food/safety/honeylabel.aspx

Discover the natural wonders of honey
http://nhb.org/

Minnesota Grown
http://www3.mda.state.mn.us/mngrown/

Beekeeping Blogs

Honey Bee Club of Stillwater
http://honeybeeclubofstillwater.blogspot.com/

What should I be doing with my bees this month?
http://naturesnectar.blogspot.com/index.html

Krosch Gardens
http://kroschgardens.wordpress.com

Bees Not Beads
http://beesnotbeads.tumblr.com

Mead Making

Basic recipe – approximately 5 gallon yield

Equipment

  • Fermentation vessel(s) – 6 gallon bucket and/or carboy with lid/stopper and airlock
  • At least 2 gallon pot for preparing your honey
  • Sanitizer – concentrate or ready to use
  • Large spoon or hand mixer for aerating your mixture
  • Measuring spoon
  • Siphon hose
  • Bottle filler – recommended to control the filling process
  • Bottles – 28-30 750ml bottles
  • Corks for bottles – get the right size based on the type of corking tool used
  • Corking tool

Basic Mead Recipe

  • 5-6 quarts of honey – 5 quarts produces med-dry and 6 quarts produces sweet, so use per your desire
  • 4+ gallons of water – best if 3 gallons are chilled to help cool your mixture
  • Fermaid K – yeast energizer and nutrient in one (1 TBS per 5 gallon batch)
  • Wine yeast – 1 package liquid requires 3+ hours prep; or 2 packages of Dry yeast that requires 15+ minutes prep

Steps

  1. Sanitize all equipment that will be in contact with the mead.
  2. In a large pot, bring 1 gallon of water to a low boil, cover and boil for 10 minutes.
  3. Add honey, 1 Tbs. Fermaid K, cover and let stand for 15-25 minutes to kill natural yeasts in honey.
  4. Pour honey/water mixture into fermentation vessel and add more water to make 5 gallons.  I prefer a bucket with a fermentation lock for this primary fermentation.
  5. When the mixture cools to 80 degree F, add your yeast.  If using liquid yeast, activate per instructions, and dry yeast activate in 1 cup of water 95-105 degrees F for at least 15 minutes.
  6. It is best to aerate the mead (actually called Must at this stage) to help the yeast reproduce.  You can use vigorous stirring, but I prefer to sanitize a hand mixer and use that on high for 5 minutes.
  7. Seal the fermentation vessel, fill the airlock half full of vodka or water, and place on the vessel.
  8. Put your vessel in a warm (65-75 degree F) location and you should see bubbles in the airlock within 24 hours.
  9. You can keep the mead in this fermentation vessel for the full fermentation time, but the preferred method is to siphon from your primary vessel to a secondary vessel, usually a carboy with stopper and airlock.
  10. If you are adding flavoring, such as fruits or spices, it is preferred to add them to the secondary fermentation.
  11. Let mead rest for 3 months.  There will be very seldom bubbles so it looks like nothing happening.
  12. Sanitize your bottles and corks
  13. Siphon the mead to the bottles using the hose and filler.  When the mead comes to the top of the bottle, lift the filler and you will have the proper airspace in the bottle.
  14. Cork the bottles and label what it is and date bottled. You can enjoy mead right away or let it age, or both.

Variations

  • Add fruit, such as grapes, cherries, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries
  • Add spices, such as cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg

Highly Recommended

Get a book on mead making for lots more tips, tricks, information.  Compleat Mead Maker is a good book for all levels.

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