Frequently Asked Questions
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
-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
Become a registered beekeeper:
In Florida, anyone keeping honey bee colonies must become registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. For more information, visit www.FDACS.gov/BeekeeperRegistration
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?
Varroa, nutrition, and queen quality
I think my bees are Africanized, where can I get them tested?
Contact your local apiary inspector. You inspector can come out to visit your apiary, inspector you colonies, and collect a sample to submit to the FDACS-DPI Diagnostics lab.
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?
- You can contact your local beekeepers association to find a registered beekeeper that may be able to assist with a live bee removal. To find a list of your nearest association, visit: http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/extension/beekeeper-associations/
- Your other option is to contact a pest control operator to eradicate the honey bees. To find a list of pest control operators, visit: https://www.fdacs.gov/Consumer-Resources/Consumer-Rights-and-Responsibilities/Pest-Control/Bee-Removal-or-Eradication-in-Florida