Apiary Application

Privet Hedge Farms

Owner: Josh Taylor

134 Philmont Drive
Cabot, AR 72023
Lonoke County

daytime phone: (501) 454-7253
evening phone: (501) 454-9282

Application Date: 2018-07-06

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
We are partnering with a CSA, and partners are required to be either certified organic or be certified naturally grown. When looking at the application process, it appears we already meet the qualifications in what we are currently doing. Having this certification will help us better market our product.
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? *
Through New South Produce Cooperative
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).
Contact Privet Hedge Farms at this number: 501-454-9282
How many hives are in your apiary (or apiaries)? *
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. *
134 Philmont Dr. Cabot, AR 72023
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
Our apiary sits in the middle of 40 acres surrounded by wild blackberries, clover, and wildflowers in the spring, and goldenrod in the fall. Two of the acres have been developed into a small farm. On the farm we have peach, plum, pear, and apple trees along with 2 gardens of organic veggies. We also maintain on the farm an herb garden, where we have a variety of herbs and berries such as blue berries, black berries, lavender, basil, time, and rosemary just to name a few. Also located throughout the land is a large variety of trees such as red oak, white oak, hickory, cherry, pecan, cottonwood, sassafras, and gum. Wild privet and muscadine border the farm.
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. *
We continue to expand the orchard each year by planting more fruit trees as well as enlarging our garden. We use no chemicals at all to promote nor discourage any type of growth on our farm. We only use organic measures to promote plant growth. Also, each year we plant flowers known to attract bees and butterflies in order to provide them with a happy and healthy habitat.
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. *
Every other year we introduce new frames into the hive by 1/2. This allows the bees to draw out new wax each year and while still providing plenty of frames of comb for brood and the queen to have for laying. By doing this it allows us to keep clean and disease free hives.

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? *
Early spring is when I make splits from the strong hives that have endured the winter. I also incorporate feral colonies into my apiary that I rescue by performing trap outs. I also catch local swarms during swarm season.
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. *
I am not a fan of feeding if at all possible. I mainly do a thorough inspection right before putting hives into winterization configuration. During this inspection I determine if the bees have enough food to make it through the winter. If the colony is lacking food I borrow from a stronger hive that has an excess of food. My last resort would be to feed honey that I have harvested from my bees earlier in the year back to them.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
I have never had a problem with Varroa mites in my hives. During yearly inspections by the state plant board, I have been told that my hives appear healthy and mite count was very low. I do use screen bottom boards which allow mites that have been groomed off by the bees to fall through screen and die. Also, each spring I place 1 drone frame into each of my hives to allow bees to draw out drone comb. Once drawn, laid, and capped, I remove frame and freeze. This kill the mites feeding on the larva of the pupa. I believe this has resulted in most of the success of having no problem with mites in my hives.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
During yearly inspection, there have been a few number of mites in my hives. I have my hives inspected in the late spring and early fall. We have preformed the alcohol, sugar shake, and sticky board method. The Inspections preformed in early spring, mid summer, and fall (before winter configuration) have shown to have less than 2% mites in my hives. I have relied on the bees to naturally groom and fight off the mites themselves allowing mites to fall through the screen bottom board. I also us a drone frame to allow bees to draw out drone comb. After comb is drawn, laid, and capped, I pull the frame and freeze. I believe if strong feral hives can live in the wild with no treatment, then the domesticated bees, as long as they are being cared for using natural practices, should be able to thrive with little to no outside treatment.
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 my hives placed in the open where it stays dry, and the sun shines on them all but the last two hrs of the day. I incorporate screen bottom boards on all my hives as well as notched inner covers which allow for maximized air ventilation. If there is a lack of food remaining in hive after winter, I will feed pulled honey back to the bees. This keeps them a steady supply of food needed to build up strong during the spring.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
During Inspections, looking for signs such as K wings and defecation inside the hive. If sign of Nosema exist from hive, I will supplement by feeding Honey B healthy to the sick hive. I also will use lemongrass and spearmint oil when supplement feeding. I practice clean sanitary practices such as, using a torch after each inspection to burn off any bacteria on hive tools and frames that will later be reintroduced into the hives.
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? *
By monitoring hives on a regular basis, it allows me to catch most diseases and pest on the front end and gives me the opportunity to naturally stop the problem before it destroys or weakens the hive. I have not had any issue with chalk brood nor any viral diseases that have effected my hives. As for wax moths, I deal with them by freezing the comb that the wax moths have infested and destroyed, and cutting out all bad foundation, then replacing frame back into the hive. This allows the bees to draw out new comb and the hive to grow strong without having any other problems. SHB.....this is the most irritating of all pest. I kill as many as I possibly can during every inspection. By keeping hives in open sun, well ventilated areas, they seem to have less SHB's then the hives that are in shaded areas. I also minimize places the hive beetles can hide. By keeping and managing strong hives most of the work will be taken care of by the bees. They will naturally heard or corral the SHB up into tight spaces, in which I have used SHB traps filled with vegetable oil and a touch of Braggs organic apple cider vinegar.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
We detour pests from bothering our hives by placing our hives on hive stands 15" off the ground. With a small brick on the telescopic cover, this keeps most of the skunks, possums, and raccoons at bay. I also apply entrance reducers to hives during winter configuration to detour mice. For ants, I sprinkle organic cinnamon on the ground around the base of the hive stands. By following these practices, and regular hive inspections, it has proven to detour most pest. Also when storing honey supers after the fall, I make sure the supers are off ground, staggered with plenty of air flow and light. This detours any wax moths or mice looking for a place to hang out through the winter.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
I set up swarm traps in order to catch swarms in the spring, plant wildflowers to encourage bee pollination, and routinely inspect hives in order to maintain strong, healthy colonies. I routinely give information talks at the local elementary schools as well as mentor novice bee keepers. I am also a member of Central Arkansas Beekeepers' Association.

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".) *
Central Arkansas Beekeepers Associations
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") *
Mark Warren Bob Boggess


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. *
Josh Taylor
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. *
Josh Taylor
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 at least two annual inspections of my/our apiary, to be carried out by qualified inspectors as outlined in CNG informational materials. *
Josh Taylor
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. *
Josh Taylor
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm: