Astor Apiaries - NYC Area Honey

Owner: Nick Hoefly

Astoria, NY

Web site: http://astorapiaries.com

Application Date: 2021-02-06

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
We would like to support natural beekeeping practices and organizations like CNG. We'd also like to show that we are following these practices through the use of your certification.
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? *
The ESHPA Virtual Conference
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? *
I have been keeping bees for 7 years. I already keep my bees within the standards of CNG with regard to treatments and materials/substances used in my hives. The main change that I will be making is better record keeping to reflect how I care for the hives. (updated 7/18/22)
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. *
2405 24th Ave, Astoria, NY 11102 1418 28th Ave, Astoria, NY 11102 37-28 28th St, Long Island City, NY 11101 Yellowstone Blvd & Kessel St, Queens, NY 11374 500 25th St, Brooklyn, NY 11232 (updated 7/18/22)
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
The main nectar source for all of our locations is linden. Our hives are in an urban environment including rooftops, back yards, and a cemetery. (updated 7/18/22)
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? *
I agree.
Use this space to describe any land management practices you use to support the honey bee population. *
We do not have any land management practices at our sites.
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 label our brood frames with the year introduced and typically remove frames that are 4 years old, but will not allow them to remain more than 5 years in keeping with CNG standards. I hold brood comb up to the light. If I don't see much light coming through then I will remove it even if it hasn't gotten to 4 years. (updated 7/18/22)

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 rely on survivor stock and split out hives when we can, but we do purchase packages to replace some losses.
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. *
Yes, we feed them simple sugar syrup. Water and sugar only during the active bee season. Over winter we give the bees an emergency store of white granulated sugar and/or sugar bricks(sugar that was mixed with a small amount of water and then dried to form the bricks). (updated 7/18/22)

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
We do regular mite counts and treat only when thresholds are exceeded. We use formic acid and oxalic acid as our main treatments. We also use brood breaks/splits to knock down mite populations.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
We do alcohol washes on at least 10% of hives at every location each month from May-October.
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 do not use questionable used equipment and we carry testing kits. If we have any doubts about these diseases, we contact the state apiarist.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
We make sure to keep our bees fed well in the spring and allow them to deal with any Nosema issues.
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? *
When we occasionally run into other diseases, many times we requeen our colonies with healthy new queens.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
We use special entrances to exclude mice. In our urban hives we are lucky to not have to deal with many large pests.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
Along with hives to produce honey, we also use some of our hives to produce more bees to help maintain our hive numbers year-to-year.

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".) *
The Long Island Beekeepers Club
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") *
see above


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/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/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/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. *
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm: