The Commonwealth Bee Company is a social enterprise aimed at developing honeybee habitats in both rural and urban settings. We strive to create an environmental impact through innovative partnerships with like-minded, environmentally conscious homeowners, businesses, governments and corporations who share our passion for pollinators. We provide colony services for current beekeepers, as well as maintenance-free honeybee hives for gardeners, business and building owners. We offer educational courses for every level of beekeeper and provide outreach to a variety of schools, community groups, and businesses.
What is a Social Enterprise?
A social enterprise is an organization that addresses a basic unmet need, or solves a social or environmental problem through a market-driven approach (Social Enterprise Alliance, 2019). Our company exists to support honeybee populations, integrate sustainability education in Community groups and schools, and foster a culture of environmental stewardship across our region.
What is Certified Naturally Grown Honey?
Commonwealth Bee Company is in the process of being a Certified Naturally Grown Urban Apiary.
Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) is a peer-reviewed certification for producers who use ecological practices free of synthetic chemicals and GMOs to provide food for their local communities. It is a certification designed for community-based farming operations selling in local markets.
We believe that HOW our bees are managed is a foundational aspect that differentiates us from other local operations. It is not enough to sell "local honey" if the bees that are making that honey are not treated with these standards.
Our Certification means:
- Real honey with the distinctive flavor of local flowers and blossoms
- Ethically harvested, leaving enough honey behind to nourish the colony
- Bees raised naturally, without synthetic chemicals or high fructose corn syrup
By being a CNG operation, we declare:
- All brood comb comes from our apiaries
- All apiaries are free from synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides and fungicides
- Apiaries only contain as many bee hives as can be supported by the nectar and pollen sources in the area.
- Our hives are made of natural materials (wood) and have not been treated with any wood preservatives or pressure treatments.
- Our brood comb has never been exposed to any restricted chemical, including cuomaphos (CheckMite+), fenpyroximate (hivastan), Tylan, fluvalinate (Apistan Mavrik) or amitraz (Miticur, Taktic, or Mitak)
- 20% of all brood come is removed seasonally to prevent any brood comb present in the colony for more than five years.
-Our queen bees are sourced locally from our apiaries unless purchased from breeding programs designed to implement mite resistant traits into our breeding program.
- Our bee feed is free from synthetic compounds such as high fructose corn syrup, additives or stabilizers.
- Colonies are inspected and treated for diseases and parasites using only natural substances such as oxalic or formic acids.
- Our bees are treated humanly, ethically, and in accordance with current best practices.
You can find out the complete list of CNG apiary standards HERE.