Cut tops from beets, leaving a 1-inch stem. Cook beets in boiling water to cover 30 minutes or until tender. Drain, reserving 3 cups liquid.
Pack beets and sliced onion into hot jars; set aside.
Place whole cloves on a 6-inch square of cheesecloth, and tie with cheesecloth string.
Bring 3 cups reserved beet liquid, spice bag, cinnamon sticks, and remaining ingredients to a boil in a Dutch oven. Remove and discard spice bag and cinnamon sticks. Pour hot mixture into jars, filling to within 1/2 inch from top. Remove air bubbles, and wipe jar rims. Cover at once with metal lids; screw on bands.