Baxters Apiary

Owner: Jonathan & Priscilla Baxter

Greenbrier, AR

daytime phone: (501) 291-1673
Web site: http://www.baxtershoney.com

Application Date: 2018-10-18

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
We believe that bees should be kept treatment free. We allow natural selection to produce the healthiest colonies that exhibit high resistance to survive stress from unwanted pests, diseases, and other elements. We split survivor colonies and collect feral hives/swarms to expand our apiary and increase genetic variation. Occasionally, we will requeen a weakening colony with VHS, or Minnesota hygienic queens to introduce additional hygenic behavior into our bees. In addition to trying to maintain the healthiest colonies and bees, we strive to let our ladies produce high quality pure raw honey. This starts with pure beeswax. Most of the chemicals used in conventional beekeeping are lipid soluble, which bioaccumulates in the comb rather than the honey. This was a big contributing factor to our decision to be treatment-free. We feel that if we wont store honey in a contaminated container, why would we let our bees? Furthermore, we go an additional step to coat all of our plastic foundations with rendered wax from our treatment-free bees to give them a head start in comb construction.
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? *
Internet searches for certifications on treatment free/natural beekeeping.
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).
Rabbit Ridge Farms - Bee Branch, AR Farmers Association - Greenbrier, AR
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? *
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. *
Greenbrier, Wooster, and Menifee Arkansas
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
Roughly 450 acres of restored tall grass prairie and open pine/oak woodlands. Retired pastures, timber and conventional farming are within foraging range.
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. *
Prescribed fire to promote forb growth. Also, timber stand improvement practices to allow an herbaceous understory for bees to forage.
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 Spring at the beginning of the nectar flow we remove 2-3 frames of brood comb per 10 frame deep box.

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 split survivor colonies in the spring as well as incorporate feral colonies into our apiaries.
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. *
depending on the time we use 1:1 or 2:1 organic granulated sugar to water. We supplement the feed occasionally with essential oils (spearmint, tea tree, lemongrass) to stimulate feeding and health of colony.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
Strong numbers in the colony. As well as using survivor hives that exhibit hygienic behavior.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
I don't.
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 quarantine new colonies before incorporating them in. Also, at any concerning sign I give special attention and will not use that equipment for other hives.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
Healthy bees
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 found if you have maximum number of health bees Wax Moths and SHB aren't really a problem. I also use screened bottom boards to allow bees to push them out. I have used diatomaceous earth on the ground.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
Elevated hives. entrance reducers. concrete block or ratchet strap to keep hive together.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
We use essential oils to promote health and supplement weaker hives with stronger ones to give it a boost.

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".) *
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") *
Melissa Lombardi Brent Harrel


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 Agree
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 Agree
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 Agree
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. *
I agree
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm:
This is a family operated business and we take great pride in our treatment-free methods. From our garden, to our small orchard, to our beehives, we only use natural essential oils to treat issues in order to keep everything free of harmful chemicals.