Beekeeping at Black and Elder Farm

About our Beekeeping Practices

    We are dedicated to producing high quality pure and natural products from the hive. We do not use any chemicals, antibiotics, or pesticides in our beekeeping practice or in any aspect of our farm. We allow our bees to produce 100% pure natural beeswax comb, built as they see fit. We do not rely upon an annual honey harvest or any particular product of the hive such as wax, propolis or pollen as an agricultural commodity. Only in seasons of excess do we share in the abundance produced from the generosity and industrious labor of the honeybee.

    Our honey products can be classified as raw, as we do not use any heat in our honey extraction or bottling process.  Our honey can be classified as unfiltered, as we only strain the honey to remove large particles of debris.  This ensures a high quantity of pollen is present in the liquid honey. Honey is a unique and unpredictable agricultural product.  Micro climates, weather patterns, soil conditions and unique blooming periods throughout a given season will produce flavors that seldom repeat themselves.

Chemical-Free

  • We do not use any pesticides, chemical miticides / acaricides, organic acids or essential oils.
  • These compounds are commonly used in beekeeping for the management of pests such as Varroa mites and the honeybee viruses they vector

Antibiotic Free

  • Absolutely no antibiotics for us...ever. Antibiotic use has contributed to antibiotic resistant diseases and a loss of beneficial gut flora in honeybees.

No Sugar Syrup

 

  • Feeding sugar syrup is a common practice that can result in honey diluted with the sugar syrup, previously fed to the bees.
  • We do not feed sugar syrup to our honey producing colonies ensuring the honey products we sell are 100% pure and natural.

100% Natural Wax Comb

  • We allow our colonies to build 100% pure and natural beeswax comb
  • Comb is used by the bees for raising their young and for the storing of food and should be clean and free of environmental toxins
  • We do not use manufactured wax foundation or plastic foundation that is commonly used, as a starter, to guide the bees in building comb.
  • Wax comb is an accumulator of environmental toxins from their foraging activity and serves, as a “quasi” liver for the honeybee colony
  • Manufactured wax foundation is primarily made from commercial beekeeping operations and may contain residual agriculture chemicals encountered by bees during pollination services.
  • We also remove comb that is over 3 years old to help limit accumulated toxins and maintain a healthier environment for our colonies
  • We believe that comb should be 100% pure and built in its entirety by bees

Zero Importation, 100% Local Honeybees Raised on our farm

  • We do not import honeybees or queens from outside of our geographical area.
  • We strictly work with locally raised honeybees
  • We have been selectively breeding honeybee queens and producing new colonies from the best of our locally adapted stock since 2013
  • This is much like a farmer who selects the best seeds season after season to produce future crops.
  • We use these young queens, like seed, to start new colonies each year, helping us to sustain a renewable beekeeping operation.

  Black Mountain, NC Apiary