Oryana Natural Foods Market
Oryana Natural Foods Market
260 East Tenth Street | Traverse City, MI 49684 | (231) 947-0191

To place Café orders call (231) 346-2852 
Monday - Saturday 7:30am-9:00pm | Sunday 9:00am-7:00pm

Bee Well Meadery

Bee Well Meadery

In honor of bee month at Oryana, we talked to BeeWell Meadery in Bellaire, Michigan. Siblings Chris, Jeremy, and Paige VanSice  work together to bring delicious mead to northern Michigan. Their family has lived in the area between Clam Lake, Lake Bellaire, and Torch Lake for six generations.
Their bees (10 hives) travel to local orchards and farms in Clam Lake, Lake Bellaire, and Torch Lake and create a honey that truly represents the flavors of Northern Michigan. Their friend Tom Sheneman is the beekeeper who tends the hives. During winter, the bees feed on some of their own honey, unless the supply runs low, in which case they get sugar water.

They source fruit as close to the meadery as possible, working with the same local farmers whose crops their bees helped to pollinate. They have a long family history of bottling delicious drinks. Their great great Grandpa Bailey bottled water from a natural spring on the banks of Clam Lake. This fantastic water was sold throughout the community. His building still stands across from their childhood home and serves as a daily reminder to do grandpa proud!

How to make mead:
Honey is gently heated to no more than 104 degrees.  If honey is heated too much it loses its delicate flavor and aroma. Then water is added to get it to the appropriate temperature and sugar level. Then they add yeast and carefully control the temperature throughout the fermenting cycle to keep the yeast happy. When the ferment starts to wind down they add what fruit additions are needed for the particular recipe. After about a week the whole thing is cooled to just above freezing to get the yeast to drop out and clear.
The BeeWell Meadery will soon open a tasting room at 3533 Derenzy Rd. in Bellaire, Michigan. There you can sample and purchase the delicious ciders, meads and honey. Some of the flavors include ginger peach, cherry vanilla, Antrim apple pie, and hopped honey.

You can also find them at them at the Bellaire farmers market on Fridays from 8am-noon, and Central Lake farmer’s market - Saturdays 8am-noon. Their honey can be found at the Bellaire Smokehouse and at Blue Buck on M 72 in Kalkaska, Michigan. Visit their website beewellmeadery.com



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