Twelve Hands Farm

Owner: Joseph Bates

43A Hardy Road
Falmouth, ME 04105

daytime phone: (207) 317-3323

Application Date: 2021-02-23

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
It appeals to me because I am a firm believer in doing everything I can for the bees, but only with things like hop guard, honey bee healthy and oxalic acid. Everything I plant is for pollinators, trees, flowers, etc. I'd like to be able to say that I'm certified when I give the honey away. We don't sell it.
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? *
2 Million Blossoms
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 give our product away,
How many hives are in your apiary (or apiaries)? *
4 at the moment, I will try for 9 in May
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. *
43A Hardy Road, Falmouth, ME 04105
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
The apiary backs up to hundreds of acres of forest. Our farm is small, 2.2 acres. We have three large garden areas and one greenhouse used for vegetables. Two of the garden areas are in pollinator flowers. We have planted 40 fruit trees plus linden, evodia, catalpa, and many, many black locust trees just for the nectar. We don't use any chemicals on our vegetables or fruit because of the bees. Our street is full of homes on similar acreage. There is no commercial farming anywhere close. There is a small pond just in front of the hives and while our neighbors are not nearly as into pollinator plants as we are there are some. The closest beehives are about 1/2 mile away.
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 described this above, but basically everything we plant is for pollinators, mostly for bees but also for a few other pollinators.
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. *
In the spring I take out a third of the brood frames and replace them with new frames to eliminate old comb.

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)? *
Will you ensure that, through brood comb replacement or operation expansion, no more than 40% of the exposed comb will be present in the apiaries to be certified, AND that the exposed comb that remains will be marked and removed from your apiary within two years? Your apiary will have transitional status until all exposed comb is replaced. *
Please indicate the month and year when you expect you will have replaced all marked brood comb (the comb that was purchased from another beekeeper, treated with Tylan, and/or exposed to three or more more treatments of fluvalinate or amitraz)? *
I have ordered two nucs which I will get in late April this year
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 feed sugar syrup in the spring to get the hives up and running more quickly. Then I remove the feeders and place honey supers on them. I just check on the hives until August. I will also usually try at least two splits. At the beginning of August, I harvest honey and begin treatment for mites, hop guard. I repeat this in October. I feed sugar syrup from the time I harvest until sometime in late October when they quit taking it. On or about Dec 1, I treat with oxalic acid and put granulated sugar in a box on the top of the brood boxes. At this point I wrap the hives with insulation sleeves and cover the lot of them with an insulating blanket. I don't do anything until spring unless the temperatures get above 55. Then I will tip the lids and see who's there.
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. *
Sugar and water with honey b healthy additive. In winter just sugar,

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
hop guard in August and October and oxalic acid in December. If the mite load is high in the spring (using a powdered sugar dusting and a count) I treat in April with hop guard.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
powdered sugar dusting in early spring and sugar shake in summer.
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)? *
I have no idea how to prevent it. I've had American foul brood once from a package of bees from the south. I burned the equipment. I've only bought overwintered nucs since then.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
I have never treated for it.
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 keep a vinegar bath in my bee shed to attract and kill wax moths. I have an oil tray under my bottom boards and I dust with powdered sugar at times. The beetles fall into the oil and die. I also squish them when I see them.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
I have entrance guards that I put on in the fall that exclude mice. They have a flip up feature that allows me to open them up in the spring and I remove them in the summer. My hives have screened bottom boards and while skunks might scratch at the screen, they've never gotten in. My hives are ratchet strap tied down to eye bolts in the platform which is anchored into the ground. I have a solar electric fence for bears.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
I think that covers it. I do everything I can think of to help the girls. I visit the hives at least once a day in the summer and just watch the coming and going. I inspect about every two weeks in summer.

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".) *
Cumberland County (Maine) Beekeepers.
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. *
Joseph Bates
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. *
Joseph Bates
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. *
Joseph Bates
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. *
Joseph Bates
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm: