We are beekeepers in the pristine and beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and we operate our licensed honey house out of a historical church building. Beekeeping strikes the perfect balance between John’s culinary experience and my art background, and it allows us to combine our environmental passion with our interest in artisanal food products and gardening. It is a natural extension of our passions for us to branch out into mead making, and to use the skills we have developed in home brewing to open a meadery in our historical church. This would make us the first Meadery in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan!We plan to start out as a “micro-meadery”, producing small batches of artisanal meads, and other mead related beverages such as pyments (mead that is fermented with grape juice) and cysers (mead fermented with apples). Beekeeping and its process allows for creativity. It is both a passion and a lifestyle that we plan to continue by means of sustainable methods. We keep between 50 and 100 hives.
Since U.P. honey is harvested just once per year in August, the beehives yield on average 60-80 pounds of honey each. The raw honey has not been over heated or filtered so that the honey retains its unique and complex flavors and beneficial nutrients. The honey itself is spun on a 20 frame extractor. It is then filtered and bottled by hand in the church kitchen. Our beeswax candles and natural soaps are also made in the church kitchen. Mead is the most sustainable alcoholic beverage and perhaps the first one enjoyed by humans. Wine has been part of human culture for 6,000 years, but the history of mead dates back much farther, to 20,000 to 40,000 years ago, and has its origins on the African continent. Vineyards have had to mechanize to survive, but apiaries require lots of hand labor. And apiaries do not need irrigation, fertilizers or toxic pesticides.