The Peoples Bees

Owner: Christine Webster

Denver, CO

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

Application Date: 2020-04-21

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
I’m applying to join the CNG program because I believe in maintaining a healthy relationship with nature. I also respect and wish to support this grassroots organization—to uphold a standard of quality and distinguish ourselves. My mentor operates as CNG and being part of his legacy, I’d like to maintain his commitment to CNG practices.
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? *
My mentor, Don Studinski.
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).
Special orders are accepted via email at hello@thepeoplesbees.com, or in person at any scheduled events.
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. *
Apiary is located in a flat 2,000 square foot backyard, south-facing.
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
The area is suburban residential, 13 miles southwest of Denver. Within a 3 mile radius are various parks, woods, prairie, a large water source (South Platte River), and an abundance of biodiversity. Nectar sources include Russian sage, fireweed, Linden and pear trees, buttonbush, rabbit brush, and asters.
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. *
I’ve dedicated a partly-shaded 20 square foot corner of my backyard to a compost tumbler and tree debris to offer an ideal habitat to native bees. I maintain a watering hole in my front garden for pollinator insects. I keep my lawn treatment-free and shamelessly all natural. I grow pollen- and nectar-rich flowers and grasses that bloom throughout the year.
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 clean and replace brood comb ever 4 years at the latest. Because I run foundationless for 50% of my frames, comb is changed out more frequently.

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 mostly rely on survivor bees, as well as feral bees/swarms and purchase new bees as needed.
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. *
If I need to feed my bees, it’s only pure cane sugar and water syrup with a squeeze of fresh organic lemon to reach a pH of 3.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
I treat my bees for varroa mites only when their counts are concerning. In the interim, I inspect them every 7-14 days with regard to virus symtoms, and I grow herbs that discourage varroa population.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
I monitor mite population levels using the alcohol wash method (sampling 300 bees), every 30 days.
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)? *
Monitoring for symptoms during inspections every 7-14 days. Treatment would entail manipulations such as brood breaks, requeening, or euthanasia and disposal of equipment.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
I treat Nosema by feeding the bees natural supplements and digestive cleaners, such as apple cider vinegar and lemongrass.
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? *
Chalkbrood occurs, but not frequently or overwhelmingly because of our dry climate. I take note of any presence of chalkbrood, then continue to monitor; the bees typically recover on their own. In a troublesome situation, I would consider relocating the hive to a more suitable location, sealing the equipment to discourage moisture, create water runoff, and use wood shavings to absorb moisture internally. Hive beetles are not common in our region, due to the dry climate and intense sun, but ensuring the hives are far off the ground helps. Frames infested with wax moths are removed and cleaned. Hives displaying symptoms of viral diseases are monitored more closely and frequently—eventually requeened and then treated with a CNG-allowed substance.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
To protect against intrusive pests, I use mouse-proof entrance reducers and top entrances. For large and strong predators such as bears, I would use ratchet straps to secured the hive body together and to a stand, as well as an electric shock fence.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
I keep thorough notes and follow a comprehensive checklist every time I inspect (ventilation, resources, equipment inventory, temperament, etc.). I help my bees when they need help, and standby when they do not.

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") *
Don Studinski, Alex Hagman, Eric France, Michael Bush


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. *
Christine Webster
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. *
Christine Webster
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. *
Christine Webster
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. *
Christine Webster
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm:
I’m honored for the opportunity! I realize I submitted payment for my certification dues prior to submitting my application—I misunderstood the process. Hopefully that won’t be a concern after your review of my application!