Canebrake Apiary

Owner: Rosalind Severt

Camden, SC

Web site: http://www.canebrakeapiary.com

Application Date: 2017-08-21

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
I want our customers to know that everything we do on our homestead is the best we can do for ourselves and our environment.
Is the land on which your apiary sits currently certified (by CNG or another organization)? *
Which agency is the certifier (for example CCOF, PCO, NOFA, Demeter)? What type of certification (Organic, Biodynamic, etc) does the land have? *
Has the land on which your apiary sits ever been Certified in the past? *
Who was the certifying agency (CCOF, PCO, NOFA, Demeter, etc) and what type of certification did they provide (Organic, Biodynamic)? *
When was the land certified, and why is it no longer certified? *
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).
We will be using the Farmer's Market, and our web-site.
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? *
Our apiary has been running continuously for 9 years and both managing beekeepers have achieved Master Beekeeper status, to understand the many of the intricacies of beekeeping.
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. *
1239 John G. Richards Road Camden, SC 29020
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
We are in the Sandhills of South Carolina. The local flora include maple, tulip poplar, sweetgum, mountain laurel, and other pollen producers. We have pollen available nearly year 'round. We do have blackberry, clover, goldenrod, jessamine. We've planted white, yellow, and red clover.
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 are organic gardeners, who practice aquaponics as well as the "Back to Eden" gardening method for our dirt veggies.
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 "recycle" the brood comb, in rotation, so that all frames are fully rotated and moved out, every 3 years.

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 planned "backwards" from 2019. Our goal in 2019 is to have 50 or so hives. We need to take care of what we have, purchase new "packages" from local beeks of like-mind, and do splits of our strongest hives. In addition, we have swarm traps out to try to collect other folks' absconding hives. Because we've taken responsibility for them, we do our best to keep them healthy. We're using OA on a regular basis, using application rates that the latest research has suggested. We supplement their nectar (for the winter) with GMO-free sugar syrup. We've adjusted their locations based on SHB populations. We've used nematodes and are now adding the borax corrugated cardboard traps to keep them under control.
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. *
The dearth here, requires supplemental feeding for good hive health. We purchase bulk cane sugar from a bakery supply house through one of our Beekeeping Associations. It is GMO-free and pure cane. I add 2 Tablespoons of Honey B Healthy to a 5 gallon mix of it.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
We purchased the OxaVap and apply 1 gram per brood chamber. We are in the midst of studying the rate of application, as a new study is showing that applying every 4 days for 24 days is proving more successful. That seems excessive, but when you look at the life cycle of the mite, it might prove to be a good option. On hives that do not have a screened bottom board, we use HopsGuard2. We apply 2 strip per brood box.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
We do a light sugar roll, every 2 months or so. Because we have chosen a low threshold, it may seem un-necessary, but at some point we're hoping that our review of mites may show that we're building up mite resistant hives! We're looking for good hygiene in our girls!
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 not had any experience with either of these. We will use the protocol established by the Clemson and/or Georgia Extension offices.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
We have not had to treat for Nosema either, and will have to rely on the direction of Clemson and/or Georgia.
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 only had to deal with SHB and wax moths. The wax moth is the scourge of the earth! We find that by keeping our hives strong and inspecting regularly, we have been able to keep them at bay. When we purchased the apiary of a "treatment free" friend, we found most of his "extra" equipment was infested with wax worms, and SHB. We took apart all frames, fed the chickens the worms, and rinsed the parts in Bt Xentari. They were then set out to air dry. They are stored where air can circulate.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
We have installed electric poultry fences around our apiary (and our aviary). The fences were in place before the livestock were installed.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
I have designed a note-taking system that allows us to make notes in the field, and review them when we get out of the field. I use a QR reader on the cell phone that's linked to Google Docs. Taking good notes has helped us evaluate our methods and make better decisions. Both of us are Certified Beekeepers and are studying to become Journeymen. We belong to 2 Beekeeping Associations and are constantly taking classes, learning, networking and studying to ensure that we do whatever is in the best interest of their future.

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".) *
Wateree Beekeeper's Association meets monthly, and informally most of us have agreed to be as natural as possible in our care and practices. We accept those who choose to be treatment free, as well as some of the old timers who use meds., but as a rule we run our education and programs geared toward natural and organic.
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") *
Brian Motley, Richard Guess, Hick Etters, Danny Childers


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. *
Rosalind M Severt
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. *
Rosalind M Severt
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. *
Rosalind M Severt
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. *
Rosalind M Severt
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm:
We also do Aquaponics but cannot be CNG as I use water from a spring, that I boil (to kill pathogens), to add iron to the system naturally, and I also feed my Bluegill duckweed (started from 4 little plants 5 years ago). Our dirt garden is using the "Back to Eden" gardening method and we do not add nutrients. We DO use neem oil and a few other organic treatments, but mostly it's self-tending! :)