Summary of Updates to CNG Apiary Standards ~ April 2017
These updates were prompted by feedback from experienced beekeepers, and are supported by the latest research. They have been reviewed and recommended by our Apiary Advisory Council. Find the complete CNG apiary standards at naturallygrown.org/apiary-standards.
These standards are presented in a handy booklet, the Handbook for Natural Beekeeping, 3rd edition.
I. Management of Varroa Mites
Permitted: Treating the entire apiary without determining that each individual colony has surpassed the treatment threshold. (Prior version of CNG apiary standards requires that treatments are only administered to individual colonies that have been monitored and determined to have surpassed the local treatment threshold. This requirement runs counter to current best practices which recognize that treating individual colonies within an apiary isn’t the most effective approach to Varroa management. Given the porousness of the colonies, the “organism” to be treated is the entire colony.)
Required: Keep the treatments to the minimum number required to be effective. (Prior version of CNG apiary standards prohibits treating more than once per year.)
Recommended: The use of vaporized oxalic acid when little to no brood is present, and only with adequate protective equipment, such as a mask. Rinse any package bees with Oxalic acid upon installation. (Prior version of CNG apiary standards allows OA, but don’t recommend its use when brood aren’t present.)
II. Hive Height
Recommended: Hives that are at least 12″ off the ground. (Prior version of CNG apiary standards required hives on stands at least 6″ off the ground, and prohibited hives on low palettes, except when engaged in pollination services, for up to 6 weeks. Hives on low palettes are no longer prohibited.)
III. Apiary Location
To encourage large landholders to adopt land management practices that transition the land to greater ecological balance and support pollinator habitat, we added a provision that would enable them to apply for a waiver to the requirement that the entire property be managed without inputs prohibited for CNG produce certification.
IV. Queen and Bee Sources
Prohibited: Buying, moving, or otherwise obtaining bees from Africanized areas into non-Africanized areas.
Recommended: Find a trusted local source of bees and queens. Evaluate any potential bee supplier by asking questions detailed on our Queen and Bee Sources page.