Yesterday was International Mead Day. I’ve never actually made mead myself but I expect to do so this time next year because I’ll have my very own honey crop to use.
This spring I constructed a hive, bought a “nuc” and set it up in the back yard of my friend Jay who lives up the street and has been keeping bees for about ten years. Since May, when they became an established colony, they’ve produced plenty of honey but I’ve read and heard that its good to let them keep it all the first year and not harvest any until the second year of production. So my plan is that I’ll be harvesting honey next summer. I’ll probably get many gallons worth. There is only so much toast with honey a man can eat so the logical thing to do is turn it into something I can drink. And of course give it away to famiy and friends.
The picture to the left is of the hive doing what’s called “bearding,” which means clustering outside the hive in an effort to escape the midsummer heat. I freaked out when I saw it and thought something was drastically wrong until Jay explained that it is perfectly normal – a bee colony’s version of air conditioning.