So now I found out yesterday that my friends have 3 deeps of open nectar frames that have some fermenting. They don't know what to do with it. I could go through the frames and taste each one culling out the fermenting ones for a possible other use. These were all from dead outs.
Or extract all of them and try to make mead? What do you folks do with the stuff?
Maybe just ferment it and distill it for hand sanitizer. (just kidding)
We don't have SHB. I think there might have been a few possibly but I have never seen them in our hives. So I am pretty certain it is natural yeast. I think the cold winters in Michigan kills off SHB.
I did notice a BK who lives less than a mile from where those bees were located. Judging from the state of his hives I suspect management might not be a high priority. I will try a diplomatic visit. Doesn't help if a neighbor doesn't manage for Varroa and other issues. Too each his own, but sometimes offering help opens doors.
If you are confident that it is a natural yeast, you can do all sorts of fun stuff with it. There are boards and forums dedicated to "natural fermentation" and the honey and garlic thing even comes to mind. You can grow it, and wash it and use it in a controlled pitch as well. It is possible that mead can be made with it, but **** if mead is not a serious time suck of a product to make. You can use it to bring the SG and sweetness up on apple or other fruit juices to do a cider. But yeasts can be fun to play with.
So let's say you have enough to pitch into a couple gallons of apple juice. Let it ferment 2 weeks, then bottle condition it with a teaspoon of sugar or so and cap. Let them sit a few days then refrigerate them. Here comes the fun part. When you are done bottling take all that is left, called trub and cold crash it. Basically put a cap on it and put it in the fridge and let it sit there until you see relatively nice clear liquid on top and crap at the bottom. Carefully siphon or pour off the liquid leaving all the junk behind. Then refill the jar with more clear clean water. Shake it up good and cold crash it again. (Repeat a few times) If you are lucky you will remove all the ugly brown/dark stuff and be left with nice white yeast in the bottom and crystal clear water on top. You can then store it off in tiny little containers to freeze or otherwise store and use to pitch beer, cider, and other things. There are people that are really into recapturing yeast from the wild. Some different ones can impart different flavors and features and such to beers and other fermented beverages. Here is an article on washing yeast captured from a beer making adventure. https://www.homebrewersassociation.o...ts-difference/
Sounds like mead would be easier to make. I have most of the equipment. Just been stored away for many years. I was actually thinking about killing the natural yeast because I have read that wild yeasts and mead making is a crap shoot. (stated as either real good or real bad) On the other hand a berry or fruit flavored mead might be nice...... So I am thinking about heating it up enough to filter well, letting it cool and adding Campdon tablets to kill the natural yeast. Hopefully it won't have an off taste at that time. Then the fun begins..... I could possibly freeze it until cherry harvest time, I like cherry wines. So perhaps it would end up as something more toward a brandy...