Did you know most honey is produced in hives that that are directly treated with chemicals and medicines to keep them viable?  Most commercial and even “local honey” comes from hives treated with many of the following:

  • Antibiotics (Tylan, Fumagilin-B, Terramycin, etc.)
  • Formic acid (Mite-Away II)
  • Coumaphos (CheckMite+)
  • Oxalic acid
  • PVC Resin & Fluvalinate (Apistan Strips)
  • AVACHEM Sucrose octanoate [40.0%] (Sucrocide)
  • Thymol (Apiguard, Api Life Var)
  • Para-Dichlorobenzene (Para-Moth)

Google any of these chemicals and MSDS (material safety data sheet) and you will probably avoid commercial honey for life!

Whitfield Apiaries seeks to understand how the bees operate biologically and then integrate management methods that cooperate, as much as possible, with the bees biology.  We employ a number of bio-technical pest control strategies to keep our bee hives healthy without the use of chemicals and antibiotics.

One practice is the return to small cell comb in the brood chambers.  Like a number of aspects relating to American Agriculture, it turns out that bigger is not always better and natural (smaller) size cells and bees are making a comeback with those who want chemical and antibiotic free hives.  The benefits include brood cells that are capped and later uncapped 2 to 3 days faster than traditional sized cells and more importantly, disruption of the Varroa mite’s reproduction cycle.  This means less Varroa get into the brood cells, and less Varroa reproduce.  Many natural beekeepers see this as a valuable strategy in the fight for their bees’ health.  Unfortunately, this strategy has a very small following because it requires significant investment in beekeeping equipment and bee stock to make the switch.  Once on the chemical and antibiotic treadmill, it is hard to get off without major losses in an apiaries’ bee population and honey production.  Return to small cell comb, good bee genetics, systematic comb removal, screened bottom boards, Housel positioning, unlimited brood nests and the result is healthy and sustainable bee hives that produce optimum conditions for bees and results in the most healthy honey available.

Whitfield Apiary’s investment in this bio-technical approach will ensure that we avoid chemical treatments for the hives while keeping them healthy.  We think this is the key to pure and natural honey for your family and ours for years to come.

Raw honey in decorative jars

Natural honey in decorative jars.