Chicago Honey Co-op

Owner: Michael Thompson

4555 S. Racine
Chicago, IL 60609
Cook County

Mailing Address:
2000 W. Carroll
Suite 301
Chicago, IL 60612

daytime phone: (773) 848-2246
evening phone: (773) 848-2246
Web site: http://www.chicagohoneycoop.com

Application Date: 2010-08-14

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
We believe in using sustainable chemical free practices in our beekeeping and will soon be required to certify as a requirement for farmers markets.
Is the land on which your apiary sits currently certified (by CNG or another organization)? *
Has the land on which your apiary sits ever been Certified in the past? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
Chicago Farmer Forum
Please check all markets where you sell your honey. *

You may use this space to specify where customers can purchase your honey (this will be displayed on your profile to help customers find you).
Online web store
How many hives are in your apiary (or apiaries)? *
For how long have you been keeping bees? What has prepared you to do this successfully according to CNG standards? *
Before continuing, please take a moment to review the 5 steps to Apiary Certification. (You may do this by clicking the link below.) Are they clear? *

Apiary Location and Position

Some beekeepers seek certification for more than one apiary. Please provide the location (or locations) of the apiary (or apiaries) for which you seek certification. *
3740 W. Fillmore St Chicago, IL 60624
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
The apiary is located on a block long former industrial property. Nectar sources are primarily white sweet clover form vacant lots and rail lines, linden flowers, wild white aster and goldenrod plus multiple sources in 2 large nearby public parks.
Do you own or manage the land on which your apiary is located? (If at least one of your apiaries is on land you own or manage, answer yes.) *
Within each apiary for which you seek certification, do you manage any hives "conventionally", using practices or substances that are not allowed under the CNG apiary standards? *

Hive Construction, Components, and Brood Comb Removal

Do your hives have any paint or chemical treatment on the interior surface of the hive? *
Do you have, or will you develop, a labeling system and schedule to ensure removal of at least 20% of brood frame per year, such that there is never brood comb present that is more than 5 years old? *
Please briefly describe your brood comb removal practices to date, and your plans for the coming seasons. *
Frames not needed by over-wintering bees are inspected and brood comb that is dark is removed from the supply of available frames. We intend to apply the recommendations of CNG beginning in late Fall/Winter of 2010/11 and continue from there.

Apiary Transition

Does your apiary contain brood comb that A) is from another beekeeper (including from purchased nuc), or B) has been exposed to Tylan, or C) has been exposed to three or more treatments of fluvalinate (Apistan, Mavrik) or amitraz (Miticur, Taktic, or Mitak)? *
Has any wax or comb in your apiary ever been exposed to coumaphos (CheckMite+) or fenpyroximate (Hivastan), or more than six indirect exposures of coumaphos (CheckMite+), hydramethylnon or fipronil (Max Force Gel roach baite) as closed trapping for SHBs?

General Bee Maintenance and Care

Describe how you maintain your bee population from one season to the next. Do you rely on survivor colonies, incorporate feral colonies, purchase new bees every year, or some combination of these and/or other practices? *
We have some survivor colonies and purchase new packages from a reputable bee breeder of mite resistant bees. We have also begun our own queen raising program and will attempt to over-winter our own nucs
Do you sometimes feed the bees when honey supers are on the hive, or within two weeks before honey super addition? *
If and when your bees require supplemental feeding, what do you feed them? Please be specific and include all ingredients. *
First, we feed new packages with our own honey supers. If necessary, we make up sugar syrup from cane sugar and water

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
We get our stock of bees from B Weaver Apiaries. They have bred bees which are highly resistant to both varroa and tracheal mites. No mite suppression measures are needed. Should we ever discover a hive with an above (our) average varroa infestation we would treat with powdered sugar.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
We visually monitor for mites and signs of mite born viral illness such as deformed wing virus.
Before treating any hive for Varroa mites, will you monitor the Varroa mite infestation level to determine whether it exceeds the treatment threshold set by your local network? (If you run a survivor colony, and you never treat, please answer Yes.) *
If you choose to treat colonies infested with Varroa mites, will you keep records of treatment methods, along with pre- and post-treatment monitoring results? *
American and European Foulbrood
How do you prevent and treat American Foulbrood (AFB) and European Foulbrood (EFB)? *
We have never encountered AFB or EFB in our hives. AFB and EFB Prevention - comb rotation and use of only our own equipment, rubbing alcohol used to clean hive tools between inspections. Treatment - Apiary Law in IL requires burning of AFB infected hives. Have not needed EFB treatment.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
Have not prevented or treated Nosema.
Other Diseases
What has been your experience with other diseases (such as chalkbrood, viral diseases, wax moths, small hive beetle)? How have you dealt with them? How will you deal with them if they recur? *
Wax moths - only a problem for us on stored wax taken away from the apiary. Extra frames with comb are stored over the Winter in an unheated shipping container and exposed to sub zero temperatures. The concrete pad our hives are on interrupts the hive beetle life cycle. No, or very few, larvae are able to pupate and reach maturity. Minor chalkbrood in a hive or two that resolved itself over the season. Should we have a serious problem with any of the mentioned diseases, we would seek non - toxic/chemical solutions.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
Mice - smallest hive entrance possible and secure screened bottom boards. Skunks, Raccoons, Possums and Bears - Apiary is surrounded by a 10 foot high fence on three sides and a 20 foot high abandoned rail tack on one. We have a bigger problem with young boys than bears.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
During Spring and Summer - monitoring queen health and brood pattern and replacing queens when necessary, equalizing hive populations when necessary. Leaving as much honey and pollen as possible in a hive over the winter. Checking food stores in the hives in early winter when the weather permits and adding more. Wrapping hives over the Winter (to begin in 2010).

Colonies Engaged in Pollination Services

Are your colonies engaged in pollination by contract? *

Local Networks

Are you a part of a local network of beekeepers using natural methods? This could be a formal network like a county beekeepers association, or it could be an informal network of beekeepers in your area with a commitment to using natural methods. *
If this is a formal network please indicate the name of the network below. (If it is not a formal network, please simply write "informal".) *
If this is an informal network, please indicate below the names of at least two other beekeepers who participate. They do not need to be CNG beekeepers, but they do need to have some commitment to and knowledge of natural practices. (If you're part of a formal network, please simply write "see above") *
Shawnecee Schneider, Ben Walker, Tim Brown, Stephanie Arnett


Please indicate your agreement with the following statements by entering your name/s in the spaces following the statements.
I/we will only use the Certified Naturally Grown name and label on apiary products (honey, pollen, propolis) that are in fact from the CNG apiaries described in this application. *
I/we understand that CNG beeswax certification is a separate process (not yet available in 2010), and that the basic Apiary Certification doesn't confer CNG status on beeswax. *
I/we understand the CNG work requirements: A) To complete at least one certification inspection of another CNG apiary in my area each year. B) To arrange an annual inspection of my/our apiary, to be carried out by a qualified inspector as outlined in CNG informational materials. *
I/we have reviewed the Certified Naturally Grown standards, understand them, and will abide by them. I/we understand that if I/we have any questions I/we may contact CNG for clarification. *
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm: