July 2013

July 8th 2013 date for the July 2013 meeting

The Northwest Arkansas Bee Keepers Club meets on the second Monday of each month at the Washington County Extension Office located on the campus of the University of Arkansas. All persons wishing to learn how to raise bees for fun or raising honey are encouraged to attend the meetings.

The Club President: Tom Nichols

Vice President: Mark Eaton

Treasurer: Nancy Kahanak

Secretary : Victor Mathis

BEE Facts: The average bee colony collects 66lbs of Pollen per year. Pollen is the male germ cells produced by all flowering plants for fertilization and plant embryo formation. The Honey Bee uses pollen as food.

Tonight's meeting presentation by Brad Keck regards the making of MEAD or honey wine.

Cave drawings as far back as 13,000 b.c. depict humans robbing bee hives. One theory of how mead was discovered is the "Leather Bag" theory where honey was projected to be stored in a leather bag...which fermented producing mead. Over time many things were added to the fermented honey to change the taste such as ginger, orange peel, tea, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and vanilla beans.

The two main ingredients of mead are (1) Honey and (2) Water.

Brads EASY honey wine recipe includes:

* Honey

* water {the cleaner the better}

* Yeast

* Malic Acid

* Camden Crush

* Tannin

Yeast is the most important ingredient. Brad stressed that total cleanliness is the key, with Chlorine Bleach (1tsp per gallon) being the best to use for the sterilization of honey wine equipment. The equipment necessary for making Mead include a large plastic Bucket, glass jugs, stoppers, racking tubes and hoses, a long spoon, a floating thermometer and PATIENCE. Brad's formula calls for a minimum of 4 months with clarifying..fermentation..and bottling.

The alcohol content of most Honey Wine ranges from 8% to 18% alcohol. The actual taste of Honey Wine is limited by the maker's imagination to include most all fruits, some vegetables, even watermelon.

The earliest archaeological evidence for the reproduction of mead dates to around 2000BC. Honey was part of the earliest known fermentation. Pottery vessels containing chemical signatures of a mixture of honey, rice, and fruits along with organic compounds of fermentation were first found in Northern China in roughly 9000BC. During the Golden Age of Greece, Mead was said to be the preferred drink.

Brad Keck's E-mail is bkeck6012@hotmail.com and he encourages all questions to be forwarded to him.

Next Months meeting will include Wax Melting and usage of Bees Wax.

BEE Nugget: Honey Bees are NOT native to North America. All Honey Bees were brought here from Europe or Asia. Bee Venom...the "ouch" part of the honey bee is used in people NOT HIGHLY ALLERGIC to it, for health problems such as Arthritis, Neuralgia, High Blood Pressure, and High Cholesterol----GO FIGURE!!!!!!