Along with cooler temperatures and more colorful leaves, September is also the month to celebrate National Honey Month!
According to the National Honey Board around 60,000 bees make up a hive. These bees travel up to 55,000 miles, visiting more than two million flowers along the way just to gather enough nectar to make one pound of honey!
To harvest honey, bee keepers collect the honeycomb frames kept in bee boxes and scrape off the wax seals that the bees use to protect the honey. The frames are then placed in a machine that spins the nectar from the combs.
The honey is then strained to remove any remaining wax, or other debris, before being bottled and sold. But there are other uses for this golden nectar, namely making mead.
Mead is one of the oldest fermented drinks in the world. During the Middle Ages, herbs, grapes, grains, and fruit wines were blended with fermented honey and water to make variations of the original mead beverage.
In the U.S. there are more than 300 different kinds of honey. That's due to the different types of flowers that grow in an area, which affect the honey's color and flavor. A lighter honey will be mild in taste while a darker honey will have a more robust flavor.
Mead is not only crafted as a wine with grapes, but also as an ale or beer when mixed with barely and wheat, and also as a smooth honey liqueur.
Plan a jaunt out to a regional winery that makes mead this weekend and relish those honeyed heavenly flavors of the oldest fermented beverage known to man.