'All You Mead Is Love!' Enroll in UC Davis Online Course by Monday, June 1

Picture this: A honey bee foraging on yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis), an invasive weed that farmers absolutely hate but one that beekeepers, honey enthusiasts and mead makers absolutely love.

The UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) targets the yellow starthistle on its "How to Manage Pests; Pests in Gardens and Landscapes" site.

But in the opinion of many a honey connoisseur (including Eric Mussen, emeritus Extension apiculturist, UC Davis), starthistle makes one of the best honeys.

What about the mead (honey wine) made from starthistle? What's that like?

You can find out at the UC Davis Honey and Pollination Center's "Mead Making 201" course, where you'll taste "Star Thistle Ambrosia," from St. Ambrose Cellars, Beulah, Mich. 

Their motto: "All you mead is love!"

Amina Harris, director of the Honey and Pollination Center, says you can take take Mead Making 201 "in the comforts of your own home." The online course covers core information including guided tastings with selected meads and honey. "Each participant will go on virtual meadery tours and get to directly ask our mead makers questions."

The online course is scheduled June 22-23 and June 25-26, from 8 a.m. to noon each day, Pacific Daylight Time. The deadline to register is June 1. 

The course, sensory-driven to help mead makers learn more about their craft, is designed for mead makers who have made six more fermentations and "have a lot of questions about how to improve," the officials related. "This mead maker knows that it isn't always beginner's luck and needs to do much more work to learn how to be successful each and every time."

The full-bottled meads to be featured:

Other items on the agenda:

  • Spiked mead samples for defect tasting
  • Mead Tasting Wheel
  • Honeys for Honey to Mead Tasting
  • UC Davis Aroma and Flavor Honey Wheel

The course fee is $650 per person. See more information here or contact Harris at aharris@ucdavis.edu.)  

All you mead is love--plus a little money (well-spent) and the time (well spent) to learn more about how to craft the world's oldest alcoholic beverage.