Breezy Ridge Acres

Owner: Tim Heeter

514 Jackson Center-Polk Rd
Jackson Center, PA 16133
Mercer County

daytime phone: (412) 977-3076

Application Date: 2016-02-01

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
The way i manage my hives already conforms to the CNG requirements. More and more of my customers are concerned with getting honey that has had no exposure to insecticides.
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? *
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).
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. *
179 N. Hope Mill Rd, Mercer, PA 16137 1626 Perry Highway, Volant, PA 16156
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
Our property is 56 acres of mostly woods. We are bounded by several hundred acres of grass and woods and to the north is a state game land
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. *
We plant buckwheat and Dutch Clover. We have 50 or so apple and fruit trees. We use no pesticides or chemical fertilizers.
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. *
I started printing the year each frame was installed in the hive. Then I can rotate out the oldest.

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? *
I try to keep my bees alive through the winter. I also purchase packages each spring to get new genetics in my apiary.
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. *
2 to 1 Sugar syrup in the spring with some Vitamin C added to get the PH down to 3.5 to 4. Similar PH as honey. In the fall I feed syrup again. I do not use in-hive syrup feeders. I use bucket feeders located some distance from the apiary to avoid feeding frenzies and robbing. In the winter I make candy boards with the same ingredients, but usually add a pollen patty so I do not have to open the hives in the winter.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
Powdered sugar dusting periodically, and starting with oxalic acid vapor this year when hive is broodless
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
sugar roll. sample hives in July-August I pull drone frames with sealed brood and look for mites in the cells.
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)? *
Make sure the hives stay healthy. I have never had a problem with either disease. Tea Tree oil in the sugar syrup feeders is supposed to act as a disinfectant. I sometimes add this oil to the syrup I feed.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
Again, healthy hives
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? *
I have not had any chalkbrood. I have some wax moths, but when they show up on the frames, I freeze them. No problem with hive beetles here. Wrong environment for them, I have clay soil.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
tack strips and electric fences. I install mouse guards in the fall.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
I don't mow my yard until after dandelions are done blooming.

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".) *
Central Western PA Beekeepers Association North West PA Beekeepers Association
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") *
Steven Repasky


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 bought this farm in 2011. It was last farmed in the 1980's. We are in rural area, but very little active farming near our property. There is a large swamp to the south of our property and a state game lands to the north that provide a varied assortment on wild flowering plants.