Chubb E. Acres Farm, LLC

Owner: Melissa Holahan

21345 Chubb Rd.
Northville, MI 48167
Oakland County

daytime phone: (517) 202-7989
evening phone: (517) 202-7989
Web site: http://www.chubbeacresfarm.com/

Application Date: 2021-03-29

General Information

Please briefly tell us why you are applying to have your apiary be part of the Certified Naturally Grown program. *
Our mission at Chubb E. Acres Apiary is to promote healthy bees while supporting our environment in a sustainable manner. We manage our apiary using natural methods to provide the purest form of honey to our local community. Our property has been maintained pesticide free since 2016 and the certified naturally grown program would be our pledge to continue to raise our honey bees naturally & sustainably.
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 local beekeeping community
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).
How many hives are in your apiary (or apiaries)? *
7-10 hives
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. *
21345 Chubb Rd., Northville, MI 48167
Briefly describe the landscape where the apiary is located. What surrounds the apiary? What are the nectar sources? *
Our apiary resides on a large open plot where we maintain a cut flower and market produce farm. 5-acres of our land have remained open with wild flowers. In the spring time some of our important floral sources include wild flowers, dandelions & clover. In the fall our bees collect from our large field of goldenrod and autumn olive nectar sources which gives our honey a unique buttery clove flavor profile.
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 plan flower sources that are native to Michigan yearly to continue to improve our nectar sources for our honeybees as well as our native bees. In addition to our pollinator gardens, we designed our landscape around our house with a company that specializes in supporting native pollinators with native Michigan plantings (Creating Sustainable Landscapes, LLC) and our native plants are sourced from Wildtype native plant nursery (Mason, MI)
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 are marked with the year they are introduced into the colony. At each hive inspection we monitor brood frames for any signs of disease and frames are removed and replaced as indicated. As part of our sustainable beekeeping we overwinter hives and use this stock to supply local beekeepers with nucs. When these nucs are sold they contain 5 frames which are then replaced with new frames each spring. We typically have 90-100% overwintering success so we reduce our apiary back down to 4-5 hives and sell recycle about 30-40% of our frames in doing so.

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 are a sustainable apiary with a high over-wintered colony survival rate (90-100% over past 5 years). Our colonies for the following year are made from creating splits and nuculeus colonies from this survivor stock. In early spring we purchase queens from a local reputable breeder. These queens are used to requeening hives, make up splits and provide nucs to beekeepers in our community with local bee stock. We also breed a limited number of queens on our property each year.
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. *
We use supplemental feeding on a very limited basis. When supplemental feeding is required we only use granulated cane sugar mixed with boiled water to make a sugar syrup. Our early spring feeding (1:1 dilution) is limited to colonies with depleted winter storage before natural nectar/pollen sources are available in Michigan. Fall feeding (2:1 dilution) of colonies occurs if our fall nectar sources do not supply adequate honey flows for winter honey storage. New/young colonies (from nucs or splits) are fed granulated cane sugar syrup (1:1 dilute with water) to stimulate growth and to ensure survival. We never feed sugar syrup during our honey flow (when our honey supers are on the colonies). We do not feed beet sugar or high fructose corn syrup to our bees.

Management of Pests and Disease

Varroa Mite
Please briefly describe what measures you take to suppress the Varroa mite population in your hives. *
We use several types of integrative pest management tools including brood breaks (re-queening, caging the queen and/or walk away splits) and removal of drone comb. When mite levels reach levels indicating treatment we do so using a rotation of natural mite products.
How do you monitor mite population levels? When and how often? *
We monitor mite levels monthly (May-Oct) as part of our participation in the Bee Informed Sentinel Apiary Program using the alcohol wash method.
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)? *
Our prevention of AFB and EFB includes removal of brood frames yearly to ensure. If AFB is diagnosed in our colonies, the infected hives would be removed and burned. If EFB is diagnosed in our colonies the infected hives would be re-queened, brood frames removed and supplemental feeding (sugar syrup) to support recovery.
How do you prevent and treat Nosema? *
We prevent Nosema but ensuring that our hives our healthy going into the winter to reduce the risk of high spring Nosema loads. If Nosema is diagnosed in our hives we would provide supplemental feeding (sugar syrup +/- pollen) to support recovery.
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? *
Most of these diseases are associated with weak colonies and/or high varroa mite levels. Therefore, we ensure that our mite levels remain low and weak hives are either re-queened or combined with a stronger hive. We have managed small hive beetles with removal of bees (shook swarm method) onto new foundation and suppled supplemental feeding until the colony recovers.
What measures do you take, if any, to protect the hives against pests such as mice, skunks, possums, raccoons, and bears? *
Our hives have mouse guards that are put on in the fall to prevent mice/voles from inhabiting the hive. Skunks, possums, and raccoons are deterred with elevated hive stands, critter guards on our front entrances, and farm dogs on our property. We currently do not have issues with bears in our region of Michigan.
Please describe any other practices you follow to help strengthen the bee population under your care.
Our apiary serves as a teaching site involved in several programs (SEMBA beginner beekeeping school, intermediate beekeeping school and one-on-one training for new beekeepers). We take an active role in mentoring local beekeepers that purchase nucs from our farm. We also participate in a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education in beekeeping every year. Being involved in teaching and continuing education keeps our apiary on the leading edge of current technology and new advances in beekeeping.

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".) *
SEMBA beekeeping school - various course instructors
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") *
see above


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. *
Yes - Melissa Holahan
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. *
Yes - Melissa Holahan
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. *
Yes - Melissa Holahan
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. *
Yes - Melissa Holahan
You may use this space to tell us anything else you think we should know about your farm: