Crafted 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.
- 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.
- Construction of Hives: the type of the materials used, the application of paint, the amount of ventilation. Plastic hives are discouraged.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.