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Home Brew Forums > Wine, Mead, Cider, Sake & Soda > Mead Forum > Starting a mead with local honey
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Old 07-04-2006, 12:58 AM   #1
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Default Starting a mead with local honey

I was thinking of trying to stop at one of the local farm stands and getting some honey that has barely been processed, basically just removed from the.... hive (forget what it's called exactly).

How would one go about seperating everything out and creating the must?

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Old 07-04-2006, 07:10 AM   #2
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I'm starting my first mead soon, and I'm also looking for fresh raw honey as well. From what I've read, heating the honey in some water to 140º to 150º (but no higher) for 15 minutes will sanitize it, and bring the remaining wax, bee legs, pollen and bee butts to the surface and with some swirling you can scoop the undesirables off the top. Or you can not worry about it since it'll all stay behind in the primary anyways when you rack it to secondary.

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Old 07-04-2006, 07:48 PM   #3
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Good point.

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Old 07-05-2006, 03:04 PM   #4
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And I've heard that heating honey can strip away some of its natural flavors. I don't know about this for certain, but food for thought.

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Old 07-05-2006, 04:10 PM   #5
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I use raw honey from my own hives. I just left any wax and bee parts in. I figure that they will either settle to the bottom, or float to the top. Either way, I can avoid them when I rack to secondary.

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Old 07-06-2006, 12:19 AM   #6
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Maybe I'll have to try that with the bees in my mom's house, there is honey dripping out of the ceiling.

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Old 07-06-2006, 01:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D*Bo
Maybe I'll have to try that with the bees in my mom's house, there is honey dripping out of the ceiling.
Put a pot under it to catch it.
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Old 07-06-2006, 01:42 AM   #8
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Wish I could. I think I need to head over there tomorrow with some Zep wasp and hornet killer and take them out. My step brother is severly allergic to everything, bees included.

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Old 07-06-2006, 02:49 PM   #9
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Quote:
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Wish I could. I think I need to head over there tomorrow with some Zep wasp and hornet killer and take them out. My step brother is severly allergic to everything, bees included.
If you contact a local bee keeper, he/she should be able to remove the bees safely and completely. With a spray, you run the risk of not killing everything and having the hive come back. If you kill the bees, and leave the comb, then new ones will probably move in. A beekeeper might even do the job for free depending on whether they can keep the swarm or not.

You might even think about rehiving them yourself so that you can produce your own honey for meads.
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Old 07-08-2006, 02:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by opqdan
If you contact a local bee keeper, he/she should be able to remove the bees safely and completely. With a spray, you run the risk of not killing everything and having the hive come back. If you kill the bees, and leave the comb, then new ones will probably move in. A beekeeper might even do the job for free depending on whether they can keep the swarm or not.

You might even think about rehiving them yourself so that you can produce your own honey for meads.
I agree with opqdan, don't spray the bees! Yellowjackets: yes; honey bees: no! They are not aggressive and shouldn't bother you at all. Plus, they are experiencing a serious decline due to a certain mite.

We have a tree in the back yard that the honey bees move into evey year.They just swarmed last weekend. What a cool sight to see 10,000 bees in the air! And just in time, too, the squash and pumpkins are just starting to flower and the garden is 50 away from the hive. Pumpkin ale this fall!
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