Autumn Harvest Orchard, LLC

Owner: Joanne Charon

879 Winchester Road
Norfolk, CT 06058
Litchfield County

daytime phone: (203) 592-0554
evening phone: (203) 592-0554
Web site: http://autumnharvestorchardllc.com/

Application Date: 2021-11-17

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
As to increase awareness of alternative beekeeping without toxic methods.
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? *
Certified Naturally Grown (application in process as of November 22, 2021)
Has the land on which your apiary sits ever been Certified in the past? *
How did you hear about Certified Naturally Grown? *
From another local farmer.
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).
Torrington Farmer's Market, on Farm purchase and CSA membership.
How many hives are in your apiary (or apiaries)? *
8 -10
For how long have you been keeping bees? What has prepared you to do this successfully according to CNG standards? *
10 years
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. *
One Apiary on Farm: 879 Winchester Road Norfolk, CT 06058
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
Apiary is located east of orchard near woodland and Chestnut Grove. Bees have access to apple, pear, nectarine, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry and vegetable blooms. Including nectar and pollen sources in the field of wildflowers, clover, dandelions, chestnut and oak trees.
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? *
No herbicides or pesticides are ever broadcast on the field or plants.
Use this space to describe any land management practices you use to support the honey bee population. *
Constantly planting annual and perennial flowering plants to provide a continuous nectar and pollen sources. Try to make splits and catch all low level swarms when found.
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. *
All frames that show any damage or wax moth damage are discarded each spring. This is done with a visual inspection. Brood comb will be dated or marked on wood frames and be removed within 5 years. Any suspect or degraded frame will be discarded from the hive.

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? *
Rely on survivor colonies and purchase bee packages from reputable bee dealers.
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. *
Provide them with Mann Lake Bee Pro FD 355 pollen patties and sugar syrup or sugar patties with Pro Health feeding simulant pour into the sugar mix.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
Utilize Mite A Way or Formic Pro organic formic acid pads. Remove pads and clean the lower bottom board and re-insert and reinspect for varroa mites in 2 weeks.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
Utilize the screen bottom boards and inspect for mites and conduct the mite count utilizing the Varroa Easy Check by Vetro Pharma. Inspect prior to adding the honey supers and inspect for varroa count after honey supers are removed.
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)? *
Never except other beekeepers hives or supers. If you smell something bad from the hives suspect foulbrood. Then call your local state beekeeper and comply with his or her direction to destroy/burn all bees and wooden hive equipment.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
As a bee keeper I have not had a Nosema disease problem for over 7-8 years since changing my traditional inner covers to the wider vented inner covers with a port hole at the top and have not had to use Fumagillin B. In addition, I no longer purchase Nucs locally because all of their worker bees were coming from the south and the bees were invested with mites. I now purchase Saskatraz Bee Packages were the bees are coming from authorized Saskatraz bee breeders in California where Mann Lake is getting them to distribute. • Maintain large colonies going into winter. Combine small colonies with larger ones as long as they are all healthy. • Provide good ventilation so hives stay dry inside. • Ensure that colonies have adequate supplies of both honey and pollen going into winter. Over the past 7-8 years I have been adding Pro Health feeding stimulant with essential oils to the bee’s sugar patties and syrup. • Keep hives in a sunny winter location to encourage cleansing flights. • Treat for Varroa mites. Bees weakened by mites are more susceptible to a variety of diseases. • Continually replace old combs with new ones to prevent disease build-up. All of these initiatives have helped the bees not to have signs of Nosema or to use Fumagillin in the syrup. For years no one advocated treating bees naturally at the Beekeeper's association nor did bee suppliers promote or advertise natural methods. So it is nice to see new hive equipment like screen bottom boards and inner hives in addition to organic varroa mite treatments like Mite a Way and Formic Pro and Pro Health feeding simulants with essential oils on the market.
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 never have had chalkbrood or any foul broad diseases in my apiary. However, wax moths are a problem so I remove all equipment asap when a hive swarms, dies or is weak. All brood and honey supers are inspected and placed in hefty boxes and stored in garage. Beetle oil and traps have been purchased but not used.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
Use a metal mouse guard over the entrance area and don't remove it. Hives are enclosed in an electric fence both AC and DC wiring. Place bacon on wires and wrap with aluminum foil to zap the bears nose or tongue and weigh the the top covers with bricks and straps. Bears are a problem early spring but an electric fence laced with bacon teaches them a good lesson not to come back to the apiary. Hives are also sitting on cinder blocks off the ground to stop other pest.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
I don't use pesticides or herbicides on my farm or orchard.

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".) *
CT Bee Keepers 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") *
Janet Brisson founder of Country Rubes. Designs and builds the Country Rube screen bottom boards. Mark Creighton State Bee Inspector


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. *
Joanne D. Charon
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. *
Joanne D. Charon
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. *
Joanne D. Charon
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. *
Joanne D. Charon
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm:
Our beehives are not moved off the apiary. Due to a pond on my land no pesticides or herbicides can be used on the farm or orchard. I have participated in numerous state and USDA NRCS conservation programs and take being a conservation steward, farmer and beekeeper seriously. I am a Lifetime member of the CT Northeast Organic Farmers Association (NOFA) practicing organic farming for over 20 years.