Certified Naturally Grown

Certified Naturally Grown | cngfarming.orgCrafted Honey has chosen to follow the standards for apiary management set forth by an organization called Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) and we are in the process of achieving our CNG certification. Their apiculture standards have been developed with a primary focus on the health of honeybees and the sustainability of beekeeping operations. With these priorities in mind, CNG defines best practices that focus on using natural methods to promote bee health.

CNG's apiary standards are extensive and thorough, and detail a full "end-to-end" approach for sustainable beekeeping. A complete list of the standards can be found on CNG's Apiary Standards page. We have listed some of the standards below and how Crafted Honey is meeting those standards.

Highlights of CNG Standards

  • Location of Hives: the land in which hives are located must meet CNG guidelines for produce; both crops and land must be free of synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides, as well as genetically engineered crops.
Crafted Honey is very fortunate to have access to large acreages of land which is not located next to monoculture farmlands. Our bee farm in Cherryville, NC sits on 2,800 acres of land that applies absolutely no pesticides. Our Statesville, NC bee farm sits on 520 pesticide-free acres that's adjacent to generational family farmlands that practice seasonal and annual crop rotation.
    • Position of Hives: hives must be at least 6" off the ground and have direct exposure to sunlight for at least 4 hours a day.
    Crafted Hives are raised and placed in as much direct sunlight as possible. Our goal is to have our hives in direct sunlight for as long as we possibly can; this promotes stronger honey production and generally makes our bees less grumpy and easier to handle!
      • Construction of Hives: the type of the materials used, the application of paint, the amount of ventilation. Plastic hives are discouraged.
      Crafted Honey only uses 100% wooden hives made from Cypress, with the exception of metal fasteners (i.e., nails and screws) and wire used to hold wax foundation in early spring.
        • Sources of Queens and Bees: CNG recommends the use of honeybee breeds, such as Russian, that demonstrate Varroa sensitives hygienic (VSH) behaviors and/or suppressed mite reproduction (SMR).
        Crafted Honey only uses Russian honeybees and breeds from within our own stock. We place hives in locations that minimize risk of crossing genetics from other bees (e.g., Italian honeybees).
          • Supplemental Feeding: if required for bees to over-winter or for supplemental feeding during transition from winter to spring, the use of only refined white, granulated sugar syrup and pollen patties is acceptable. Feeding other types of sugar syrups (i.e., brown sugar, high fructose corn syrup, confectioner's sugar) is prohibited. 
          Bees produce honey as food stores so the hive can survive winters that are devoid of nectar sources. While there are times we need to provide our bees with supplemental nutrition, Crafted Honey leaves more honey than we think will be required for the bees to over-winter. This doesn't allow us to produce as much honey as other commercial operations, but we believe this results in healthier bees and as a result, a better quality honey.
            • Treatment of Specific Pests and Disease: non-toxic chemical treatments are typically prohibited, but biological and cultural treatments are typically permitted. When non-toxic chemical treatments are used, their application is regulated per CNG guidelines.
            Crafted Honey uses absolutely no chemical treatments of any kind. Our sustainable beekeeping practices, the location of our hives and the use of only naturally hygienic Russian honeybees allows us to exceed this particular guideline by never using chemical treatments.