Metanoia Bee Farms

Owner: Hamin Abdullah

Naguabo, PR

Application Date: 2020-12-12

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
We are sustainable beekeepers in Puerto Rico. Our goal is to be good stewards of bees and pollinators, to be good neighbors in our community and to harvest quality products for our customers. We believe that following the Certified Naturally Grown program will help us keep abreast of best practices and guidelines that support the health and wellbeing of our land and pollinators.
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? *
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 are currently developing a website and will update once ready.
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. *
Naguabo, Puerto Rico
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
Apiary is surrounded by over 120 acres of lush vegetation at the eastern border of a tropical national rain forest. Our farm has the following sources of nectar: Royal Palm Tree ("Palma Real"), Sour Sop ("Guanabana"), Margaritas Silvestres ("Wild Daises"), Mango Trees and currently planting Starfruit Trees, among others.
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 are working to plant pollinator friendly crops and other plants. As a long term vision, we are also planting bee friendly trees for shade and further pollen and resin resources.
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. *
We are a new apiary so generally have newer brood comb. Each hive is marked with a number and we track hive composition online in the beep.nl app. As comb ages, we will remove them consistent with the Brood Comb Removal Program.

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 plan on incorporating feral colonies both through "rescues" and also swarm traps. We may experiment with purchasing queens if needed but for now plan to rear our own.
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. *
Bee Tea as described in Ross Conrad's Natural Beekeeping book.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
As of now, we take no measures to suppress Varroa. Varroa is present in Puerto Rico but not in large amounts. There is research being done that initially shows that the PR gentle African Honey Bee (gAHB) is somewhat varroa resistant. Right now we plan to try planting some crops that are high in oxalate such as leafy greens fruits.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
We currently do not have a mite monitoring system as it is not needed.
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)? *
Treatment with essential oils seems to be a popular strategy currently. We are taking this approach but experimenting with applying through planting. We currently have some citrus plants in the apiary but are also planting lavender and chamomile. These plants will take the place of our "essential oils."
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
Our best defense against Nosema will be the fact that our apiary is located in a wooded area with a 120 acre forested area adjacent. Most Nosema treatments are tree based products as, to our understanding, trees produce a fair amount of antifungal products. In addition, we add a small amount of apple cider vinegar to some feedings.
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? *
Wax moths are prevalent in Puerto Rico and seem to be the largest disease issue. We try to monitor the health and strength of hives vigilantly to keep track of the hives that may not be able to naturally defend from wax moths. We are placing wax moth traps around the apiary as well as hopefully attract the moths better than the hives.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
The main predator in PR is the frog. One variety is supposedly able to reach 16 in. with its tongue. We keep hives at least 20" in off the ground to protect from intrusion.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
Not required.

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".) *
We are working to partner with other beekeepers in the future to create something along these lines. Right now we work very informally with three other beekeepers who use natural methods though not to the standards of CNG. We are looking to be the first fully CNG apiary in Puerto Rico and hopefully get others to follow as we show that it can be done.
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") *
Ruben Parilla Rafael Benitez


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. *
Hamin Abdullah & Juan Goytia for Metanoia Bee Farms
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. *
Hamin Abdullah & Juan Goytia for Metanoia Bee Farms
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. *
Hamin Abdullah & Juan Goytia for Metanoia Bee Farms
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. *
Hamin Abdullah & Juan Goytia for Metanoia Bee Farms
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm:
We are certified Bona Fide Farmers by the Department of Agriculture in Puerto Rico.