Owner: Nancy Wu Houk

The Pynes
50 River Drive
Tivoli, NY 12583
Dutchess County

daytime phone: (845) 757-2725
evening phone: (845) 757-2725

Application Date: 2015-06-30

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
We are a holistic biodynamic apiary. We make our own fertilizers from mother probiotic cultures and lactobacillus. We raise our honey bees on clean forage without pesticide to provide the most raw honey possible. We raise our own local stock adding selective VSH and USDA Russian strains. We wish to inform those who subscribe to these principles to know what/who we are and how we can provide healthful and organic foods to then.
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? *
Public 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).
Culinary Institute of America, Poughkeepsie, NY Vanderbilt Estate, Hyde Park, NY The Village Apothecary, Saugerties, NY Otto's Market, Germantown, NY Warren's Cutlery, Rhinebeck, NY The Phantom Gardener, Rhinebeck, NY J+J's Delicatessen, Red Hook, NY Olana Historic State Museum, Hudson, NY
How many hives are in your apiary (or apiaries)? *
20 - 40
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. *
50 River Drive Tivoli, NY 12583
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
13 acres of seasonal forage White Dutch and yellow seer clover planted in lieu of grass Surrounded by other residents; adjacent to Tivoli Bays, ,Conservaton easement.
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.) *
Do you agree not to use on this land any synthetic materials that are not allowed under the CNG produce or honey programs? *
Use this space to describe any land management practices you use to support the honey bee population. *
In house preparation of fertilizers: other culture, lactobacillus, fish hydrolyzate
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. *
Dark comb is rotated out immediately and before five (5) years of age. Any comb built up with "tacky" wax and thick cocoon shells is disposed of immediately and before (5) years of 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? *
Survivor colonies with introduction of VSH and specialized lines to keep genetics in the bee line as generations are saturated with other feral local lines. Our bees our all on 3-4 years of local stock. We do not use packaged bees. Apart from local feral stock, we like and cross-hybridize the following groups of bees: Buckfast, Carniolan, Russian (USDA program-sourced), Cordovan
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. *
Never two weeks' before honey supers go on to avoid supplements from being incorporated into the honey harvest. 1)During long rainy or dearth periods when no pollen or nectar is coming in, frozen (and then thawed) are fed back to the bees. In the ever that these are not available which is unusual, pollen supplement (Ultra patties/Mann Lake/20% crude protein) and our own apiary's diluted honey is fed. 2) Spring (end February) brood up and seasonal winter (October) protein build up for fat bodies with pollen supplements and our own apiary's dilute honey syrup.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
1) Strong healthy bees by providing forage and nectar sources in all seasons to provide a full complement of amino acids, proteins, minerals, and nectar. 2) Seasonal: Monthly May through August monitoring of varroa. How and What: Alcohol wash (250 mites). Yhreshold: 3 mites Drone trapping for brood mites. Powdered sugar for surface mites: sticky board. Whilte data shows these are more controls and not as efficient as chemical treatments, we do not use any synthetic chemistry. To date, we have culled weak hives to stronger ones, Thymol in September. We have heard hood things about Oxalic Acid vapor, however, are holding off due to caustic usage to queens and beekeeper alike.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
See above.
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 had a case of AFB or EFB in ten years.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
After a long winter and inability to fly, Nosema may be an issue in some of the hives. We have seen that this sporidium clears itself out as soon as the bees can fly and good weather starts to provide forage.
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? *
We have not seen chalk brood, deformed wing virus, wax moths, or SHB. We aovid wax moths by: -Extracting honey on the day it is harvested -Placing all wax comb and frames in the freezer 24 hours to kill moth eggs, larvae -All wax and comb frames are stored in freezer We avoid SHB by: -Siting our colonies on sunny, dry, well-ventilated, and elevated landscape -Each spring we spray our entire apiary with beneficial nematodes
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
Other pests: 1) Mice: Hardware screen 2) Raccoons, skunks: -All hives are raised 30" off the ground atop cinder blocks 3) Bear: Electric fence
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
Each hive has a water feeder with salts (NaCl, KCl) placed atop the inner cover. We do not open feed to avoid trophyllaxis.

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".) *
Catskill Mountain Beekeepers Club (CMBC), Acra, NY
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") *
Victor Schrager, Amy Bothwell


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 agree
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 understand
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 understand
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. *
I understand
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm:
We are holistic, biodynamic, farm, orchard, and apiary. We believe on synergistic (beneficial) effects of living organisms and non-beneficial toxicity of chemical interactions. Thus, we start with soil as a pro-biotic living organism (minerals, mychorizae, microbes, microorganisms, nematodes, etc.), to grow good seasonal forage with a high pollen and nectar count upon which the honeybee and other native pollinators may feed and develop immunity. WE DO NOT UTILIZE ANY SYNTHETIC CHEMISTRY. We strive to maintain a small pocket of healthy agriculture, and participate in local community educational programs to promote the importance and raise awareness of sustainable farming.