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Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab

Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab

  • I’m interested in beekeeping, but don’t know where to start.

    Training opportunities through UF:

    UF Master Beekeeper Program: This is a four level program that helps you become a better and more successful beekeeper. This program is currently being moved online and you can join by registering for the Apprentice level. More info here

    UF Bee College: This is a two day event of talks, workshops, and hands-on demostrations on all things honey bees. Topics are varied and appropriate for beginner to advanced beekeepers. More info here

    Online resources:

    -UF Extension documents on bees and beekeeping. Everything from pests to management recommendations. http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/topic_beekeeping 

    -Follow our lab blog (http://blogs.ifas.ufl.edu/entnemdept/honey-bee-lab/). We post updated management techniques, current research, and notification of upcoming events.

    -Check out the “Beekeeper Resources” page on the honey bee lab website: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/extension/beekeeper-resources/

    Outside of UF's main campus:

    -Contact your local county extension office.  Many offer beginner beekeeper training days or seminars.

    -Join a local beekeeping organization. You may be able to find a mentor or at least have a great community to ask questions to. Local associations can be found here: http://www.floridabeekeepers.org/LocalAssociations.html

  • Is the honey bee population healthy in Florida?

    Yes and no. “Yes” in the sense that we have more managed honey bee colonies in Florida than in recent years (nearly a four-fold increase in the last decade, from about 110,000 colonies in 2006 to over 650,000 colonies now). “No” in the sense that most of the stressors that impact bees throughout the U.S. seem to be worse in Florida due to our favorable climate. Colony loss surveys suggest that gross loss rates are higher in Florida than in the rest of the U.S., on average.

  • What is the biggest threat to the honey bee population in Florida?
  • I think my bees are Africanized, where can I get them tested?
    • FDACS-DPI provides this service to beekeepers at a $25 charge per sample for the FABIS testing, the first preliminary test. The sample needs to be collected from a single honeybee colony and include around 50 bees stored in isopropyl alcohol. They can be sent to our lab with Attn: Kelly Rogers, Plant and Apiary Inspection. Mailing Address: 1911 SW 34th St. Post Office Box 147100, Gainesville, FL 32614-7100 (352) 395-4709 Information from Kelly Rogers
    • Best way to collect bees for this: The best way to do the sample is get the bees in a jar with ample amount of alcohol either by shaking the bees off of a brood frame in to a dish pan then pouring bees into the jar with the alcohol then drain off the excess alcohol leaving just enough to keep the sample wet or by using the jar with alcohol in a down wards motion simply rake the top edge of the jar over the bees on the frame causing them to flip in the to the jar. In either case you don’t want to get the queen!
  • Can I get my honey tested at UF?

    We do not test honey in our laboratory. However, the National Honey Board has a great resource that will help you locate a testing facility near you. Click here for more information

  • I have found bees on my property, how do I remove them?

    Please do not attempt to relocate honey bees on your own. Here is a list of resources that can help you figure out how to best remove the hive: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/extension/beekeeper-resources/bee-removal/