Why We Pursue Levels of Expertise
- Got To Be NC Agriculture
- NCSBA North Carolina State Beekeepers Association (NCSBA)
- Certified Honey Producer (CHP)
- Certified Beekeeper (CB)
Back in 2005, we at Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps (GNGMS) joined the Got To Be NC program when I first started making goat milk soaps because it supports locally produced goods. GNGMS qualifies because we are an in-state (North Carolina) farm raising North Carolina purebred dairy goats that produce North Carolina goat milk that we use to make our handmade goat milk soaps and lotions.
When we expanded our product line to include goat milk soaps with honey, we invested in our own honey bee hives so we could guarantee that the honey was pure, unadulterated honey from Stanly County North Carolina.
Subsequently we became members of the local (Stanly County) chapter of the North Carolina State Beekeepers Association (NCSBA) in 2010 (I think) so we could learn the basics and standards from the nation’s leading apiculturists from the USDA Bureau of Entomology, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and the North Carolina State University.
At first we focused on how to care for our honey bees. It’s a little trickery than we initially thought, but after a couple of years our knowledge base grew to include how to handle honey and beeswax correctly. Through NCSBA we learned about the Honey Standard, which we wholeheartedly support.
This year, 2014, we became Certified Honey Producers (CHP) so that we could offer our customers another level of our expertise. To become certified we voluntary agree to abide by specific standards in bottling, handling, and labeling our honey. Established in 2012 the CHP certifies that genuine North Carolina honey is from the location and nectar source claimed on our labeling.
Also this year I passed the first of four levels in the Master Beekeeping program. I became a Certified Beekeeper in the spring of 2014 by passing a written and practical exam. The Certified level focuses on entry-level, basic beekeeping and care which offered me the level of confidence in caring for my bees. I’m more familiar with the pests, diseases, and medications available as well as more accustomed to the apis mellifera behaviors.
We at Heaven’s Hill Honey are up to four hives now and I feel like we are getting closer to calling ourselves beekeepers.
Look for our goat milk skin care and honey products on the Got To Be General Store:
Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps
The following Got To Be NC Agriculture labels can be found on all of our products.
The oval golden label can be found on our Heaven’s Hill Honey products.
The certified label program by North Carolina beekeepers is a way to inform the public of the excellence and purity of honey bearing this certified label.
by Pat Allen, President, Gran’ Nanny’s Goat Milk Soaps