Peace Bees, LLC

Owner: Steve Lesniak

South Bend, IN

daytime phone: (574) 383-9260
evening phone: (574) 383-9260
Web site: http://www.peacebees.org

Application Date: 2016-05-09

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
We strive to keep our hives and honey as pure as possible. We do not treat our colonies with anything and we do not provide any supplemental feed. Some say our bees are "God fed". We want our naturally raised bees and hive products to be recognized for what they really are.
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? *
Bee Culture magazine and other beekeepers.
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).
We sell at events and festivals in our area. We hope to expand to other venues in the future such as health food stores once we have a health department approved processing facility. Two stores are interested in our products.
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. *
41°36'48.6"N 86°11'21.6"W 25600 Peach Trail South Bend, IN 46614 19951 Cleveland Rd South Bend, IN 46637 41.724217, -86.261027 62000-62998 Mulberry Rd South Bend, IN 46614 41.581892, -86.309851 13501-13657 W 1a Rd Plymouth, IN 46563 41.457906, -86.321313 25250-25688 Kern Rd South Bend, IN 46614 41.606388, -86.360428
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
Our apiaries range from our backyard, to wooded areas, to hay and blueberry farms. All are surrounded by a variety of nectar sources from trees, wildflowers and specific crops such as blueberries and hay.
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. *
We try to replace 1/3 of our comb every year. This varies from hive to hive since newer additions will have all new comb. We also evaluate the comb usage by the bees and will leave comb they are actively using and remove that witch they tend to avoid regardless of its age.

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 try to split off our survivor stock as much as possible. As a growing business we do look to grow faster than splitting may allow so we have added packages and nucs from trusted sources. Swarm captures are always welcome but not as frequent as we hope
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. *
In the sense of sugar syrup, we never feed our hives. we run three deep hives that have more than enough honey to survive winter. We also hold back some supers of honey to put on week hives if necessary. Any honey left in the spring is used for making splits so we do not have to feed syrup. We have, upon occasion, fed our honey back using the baggie method.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
Genetics is number one. We split colonies that show resistance. We have used drone comb as well.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
Alcohol shake maybe a couple times during summer months.
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)? *
The one occasion where we had AFB we destroyed the colony and burned all equipment. We have not seen any sign of AFB or EFB in the 9 years since.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
We have never had a problem with 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 have only been an issue with stored equipment and we freeze the comb before storage. SHB is a growing problem in the area and we use various traps along with large, strong colonies to deal with them. Otherwise we do not see any other problems with our colonies.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
We do not have bears so that is a non issue. we use hardware cloth, entrance reducers to protect the entrance. In areas more susceptible to mice and such we keep the hardware cloth on year round. Our hives are either heavily weighted or strapped to a base to protect from accidental opening of the top.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
We minimize open inspections and try to observe for pollen, and nectar flow into the hive. Orientation flights are another sign, general activity and occasionally an attempt to live the back of the hive for weight is done. We try to let the bees do what they do best.

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".) *
I am a member of Michaiana Beekeepers Association but I cannot say that the club fully supports CNG therefore I depend on my informal network listed below.
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") *
Jim Kendal Zack Dylewski Chris Cundiff Mike Ross Dan Biggs


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. *
Steven Lesniak
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. *
Steven Lesniak
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. *
Steven Lesniak
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. *
Steven Lesniak
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm:
We have been teaching natural beekeeping for the past 6 years to hundreds of students.