We've added a few more varieties of mead to our selection. Since we already make and sell herbal teas which are popular we decided it would be interesting to use these teas to flavour our mead. There is a tradition in mead making of adding herbs to the fermentation and the resulting mead is called metheglin. Interestingly, the word comes from the same root as the word amethyst. The word meth means drunken and people used to believe that wearing amethyst could prevent you from getting drunk while drinking. Pictured here on either side of our Wildflower Mead are, on the left Picnic Mead, made from our Tea Party Tea containing wild sumac berries, elderflowers and red clover blossoms and, on the right, Lovers' Mead made from our Lovers' Tea containing ginger, basil, ginseng, saw palmetto berries, damiana and horny goat weed. It's a sweeter mead and very complex in flavour while the Picnic Mead is dryer and has a delicate flavour.
Taste - Community Grown in September as well as the Great Canadian Cheese Festival in June last year. We were so excited to be able to sample our mead at these big food and wine events in the County! This is Gavin pouring mead at Taste. It's great to be able to offer something new for people to sample. Many people have never tasted mead before so we love to explain how it's made and the history of mead.
warre hive. As I mentioned before, it's an experiment to see how well the bees do in a top bar hive. So far they've stayed alive for two winters which is great. Since we only have one warre hive it's not a very scientific study. We have 100 langstroth hives which are the industry standard. Over the last three winters we've lost an average of 50% of our hives each year. We've rebuilt our numbers each spring through splitting existing hives and buying new bees. This loss is consistent with provincial average losses and is the reason the Ontario government has decided to phase out a class of pesticides called neonicotinoids for agricultural use. Studies have established a link between these chemicals and the weakening of honey bee health leading to high winter losses.
workshops. He isn't wearing gloves here because he's just observing the bees and checking on the queen to see if she's laying eggs. It's possible to work slowly and carefully and avoid squishing bees. It's much easier to be careful when not wearing gloves.
Eastern Apicultural Society Conference at the University of Guelph. He went on a bus tour to Niagara Falls with a group from the conference. He was invited to give a talk about mead making at the conference which went over very well.
This is a beehive carved from the trunk of a tree. Gavin saw this on a farm tour during the EAS conference. I'd love to have something like this at our place. I have been thinking for awhile now that I want to have more outdoor art along the theme of bees and honey and flowers. If anyone has any ideas they'd like to propose don't hesitate to contact me!