Sunday, January 10, 2010

Certified Naturaly Grown Class and research ideas

The CNG class was good, but not great. They could have charged us $5 and just given us the handout and we could have gathered the same info on our own from reading the handouts. The demonstrations were good and talking with other beekeepers was beneficial as well.

One of the biggest problems is that we are all the first to start this program. We are the ones giving feedback and helping to dial this whole thing in. We will be the first crop of CNG farmers for beekeeping.

I do really object to them splitting the first class into a January class and a future undecided class. They did this yesterday during the class. They just talked about some of the rules and guidelines, but nothing really about pest management and nothing too involved like I thought they were going to do. They also should have had a walkthrough on the certification applications and process.... Other than saying just "sign up and fill it out." There is a little more to it than that. They also don't have the farmer inspections network up yet. It is a system of inspecting farmers from other farms spot checking everyone else around them...

Mark from Marks Bee Haven attended the class with me. I am glad I told him and Mr. Tate from Tate’s Apiaries (he has a nice nuc and soon to be queen breeding program going just south east of me). The class didn't really advertise much and not a lot of people were told... Even so, 85 people signed up!!!!
I did get the opportunity to meet Lynn from Walter Bee. She is a VERY nice person. It is amazing how small of a world it is sometimes. I found out she used to live near me where I grew up in Georgia and we both moved states, to North Carolina! She brought up some very good points and questions during the class. She also brought some good literature for Mark to read (and I will have to steal it from him)...

On to other things:

Sometimes the scientist comes out in me and I get really interested in scientific research. I have found two sites that are really well done and are requesting local beekeeper assistance in supplying data and info.

The first is:

This website has a TON of scientific data and research done on current thoughts for pest management and apiary management. I really recommend everyone go there when you have some down time or are bored, and read away!!! They test the sugar shake method vs IPM vs anything else. If they have not studied it, and you want to get some scientific data, send them an e-mail... And even compile some yourself to send them!

The other site I found asking for data and info from local beeks is:

They are asking for participants to supply data and records for swarm management and handling. They want you to try a method of swarm pervention called checkerboarding. You basically take empty frames and put them where full, drawn out frames would be. The thought is that this tricks the bees into thinking they have more room in the hive, and get into establishment mode building comb, instead of swarm prep.

Check them both out and happy beekeeping!


  1. I'm with you on the class, Jared. I'm going to blog about it soon but I will say that it could have been a lot better..and if they want more participation, I believe they'll have to make some significant changes to the lists of acceptable and unacceptable substances. Then to tell us we'll need to come back in the summer..I dunno about that. We could have gone through the entire outline that day and saved a lot of time. The demos were good, enjoyed those, but the lecture part was lacking (no offense to Dr. Marterre of course..he was working from brand new material). But to tell me that Mega-Bee is unacceptable and that irradiated pollen is acceptable doesn't sit right with me. Have you tried to find irradiated pollen? Good luck. What I could find online at health food stores (for people) was $10-$11 a pound. How many beekeepers..especially commercial beekeepers or those making a good salary as a sideline..will be able to afford it (or lie and cut corners since this is a self-policing group). I think they have a long way to go yet. I'm going to sit back and watch and once tey fine tune it, I'll reconsider.

  2. Hey guys. After giving it some thought, I'm also with you on this one. The upside was that I got to meet you two, but the class was not great. I talked to one of my best friends last night (she has 40 hives) and she had talked some with Jennifer Berry from UGA and she agreed that some of the things are not practical or doable. Kelley is already an "organic" beekeeper but she said a lot of it was not doable for her. I think they're going to have to look at this program very seriously before it will ever get off the ground.