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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    177

    Default Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    I am a bee keeper in Ft Myers, Fl and I have just been informed by Mr Michael Page, who is the Bureau Chief of the State Entomology and Pest Control Department that beekeepers can no longer remove honey bees from other peoples property. Period, no exceptions. It makes no difference if they do it for free or charge for the services even tho they have the owners permission. I was informed that he will vigorously prosecute anyone violating his decree.
    Mr Page has arbitrarily decided that honey bees are now pests and as such are governed by the laws of Pest Control. This means that all wild bees are to be killed instead of taken to a bee yard where they can be managed and made into useful, productive pollinators and honey producers.
    For what its worth
    Joe

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,680

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    If this comes to fruition, the man....... is an idiot.
    It is my guess he would have a real hard time prosecuting anyone.
    On second thought, he is an idiot already.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,011

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    Actually that is not true Joe. You can collect swarms. You cannot collect feral colonies unless you are working under a pest control operator or get the license. If they get the law changed, which Mike Page initiated in a meeting in your town, you will be able to collect feral colonies as long as you are in compliance.
    Name calling is pretty ignorant when you do not know the facts. It is very easy to prosecute when a homeowner complains or a news truck comes by and takes names. There were several incidents in Joe's region of want-to-be beekeepers that fit your definition Beeman. They are actually causing municipalities in South Florida to fight the law allowing beekeeping anywhere in Florida. The second half of the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services is Consumer Service. Several really bad bee removal incidents happened in a short period of time. The President can deny responsibility for 4 years, but we do not live like that in Florida.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    AmericasBeekeeper,
    I did not make this up.
    I was told point blank by Larry Mitchell, an employee of the State that Mr Page had decided that there would be no bee removals of any kind except by licensed PCO.
    He did imply that this was a recent reversal of position.
    The best guess on getting a license procedure set up and functioning is for bee keepers is 1 year and a half, minimum. Until then, only PCOs
    Joe

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    So, Gary, does this mean that we can't do it for free? Whats involved in getting the license?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    7,011

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    Larry is behind the times. There was plenty of misinformation at the meeting. It should be no surprise it is continuing. It was always illegal just not enforced.
    Dozens of beekeepers were present at the meeting Mike Page hosted in Fort Myers several weeks ago. Actually several county extension offices of beekeepers joined in too. Gary Ranker and Keith Councell were there for the Florida State Beekeepers Association. Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida had a good representation also. I would have thought one of them would share the information.
    The decision was made to work on a special exemption, change of law, to allow beekeepers to remove feral colonies.
    You can as of the meeting remove swarms.
    I am in Apiary Inspection, not AES (pest control) AES and UF will develop "licensing"
    The new exemptiion will not be possible until the next Farm Bill is approved. If you want to be able tell your representatives. If you say nothing the PCOs, pest control lobby will definitely have the louder voice. They were represented at the meeting as well. All Florida Bee Removal was quite vocal at the meeting and will be in Tallahasee in opposition to beekeepers removing any bees.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Rockford, MI
    Posts
    2,680

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    You're right there AB.
    I violated my own policy. Never believe anything you hear and only half of what you see.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    lee county, fl, usa
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    Beekeepers are not the only ones who will lose on this one. What about homeowners who truly cannot afford the $200-$600 quoted to them for bee "removal"--the ones who don't want them killed, don't want pesticides used, or just plain do not have that kind of money? Like the single mom who had serious on the job injuries recently, no income, and 4 colonies in her stilt house (kept splitting) stinging her family; no lawn care at that house! No names given except to say that an earlier poster agreed to help another poster to get those bees removed, no cost to her. I can tell you, she was thanking God for the beekeepers. Or how about another disabled woman who called me for help? Sorry ma'm, law says you gotta pay and have them exterminated. This isn't just about beekeepers.

    Last fall I met a "handyman" that wanted to start doing bee removal. I can't help but wonder if he's the idiot that started all this. SW Fla, Lehigh Acres.
    Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones. Prvb 16:24
    March 2010; +/- 30 hives, TF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    The man who calls himself AmericasBeeman is in a position to know and is a reputable source of information.
    I have enough colonies that I can split them to build up the yard to what ever size I want. The income from cut outs did little more than cover expenses so that is not that great a loss to me.

    One of reasons I started this thread is that I am afraid of the unintended consequences of the process. As AB points out in his web page we have not been able to introduce new sub species of bees into our county since 1922, This is called line breeding and leads to serious problems with inbreeding. Eventually the genes wear out and the strain dies. We have experienced drastic loses in our bee population and it does not appear to be slowing down. The pesticides get stronger and the bees get weaker.
    The feral bee population is getting smaller and smaller.
    The Pest Control people are pushing the State to kill all the feral bees and without someone to protest they will prevail. This will result in the death of hundreds of colonies we cannot afford to lose.
    The number of bee keepers that can put out the hundreds of dollars for the testing and the insurance will be very small. Considering the hassle they will have to go through and the paperwork, I doubt if more than a couple dozen will get a bee keeper license.
    The commercial bee keepers bring thousands of colonies to Fl. in Sept/Oct but they are shipped to Calif. in Feb. The numbers of managed colonies available to pollinate our crops is simply not large enough to cover the requirements. The difference is made up by feral bees. (Not my original idea)
    If we continue to kill the feral colonies we will eliminate all the genetic diversity that is required to maintain a healthy population as well as killing all the pollinators. The importation of European queens from other States is a stop gap measure because they are not adapted to our climate and will not perform well after the first year. The feral bees have adapted to our conditions are are survivors and are the only hope we have for long term survival.
    The probability of a "Silent Spring" is looming on the horizon and growing. The failure of the food crops in this State due to lack of pollinators is like a light in a tunnel, except it is not the end of the tunnel.
    If the public does not express their opinion to the Department and their State Senators, the Pest Control will prevail.
    Regards
    Joe

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    .

    This single mom in FL had almost no money to pay, but I came to the rescue. And oh - I didn't remove the bees. They removed themselves. All I did was put a cone on the house. Is it illegal to place a cone on the outside of a house? Coincidentally, a bee colony happened to have a hole where I placed the cone. Wow, WHAT A COINCIDENCE !!!!





  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    It might be a good idea to kill the last post. Some State zealot might decide to use it as evidence against you.
    Kudo's for being a good samaritan.
    Regards
    Joe

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    Quote Originally Posted by jredburn View Post
    It might be a good idea to kill the last post. Some State zealot might decide to use it as evidence against you.
    Kudo's for being a good samaritan.
    Regards
    Joe
    So what are they going to do - - track my ip address?

    At a a point, we have to speak out loud-and-proud against these tyrants.

    .

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    Patbeek
    Your right, Somebody has to file a complaint against you with the Dept. before they spring into action. At least that was the implication in the news letter I got.
    I agree about the speaking out. That is why I posted the following letter on another post.
    It would be nice if we could get the public to call Mr Page at 850 617 7997 to complain about the PCO's trying to kill all the feral bees in Fl. His email is Michael.Page@freshfromflorida.com

    The unintended consequences of this bill be a disaster.

    Maybe he will offer to pay the PCO to come kill the bees that are living in a persons house when they cannot afford the $300 + fee.

    If we all write a letter to the editor of our local paper and raise a little Hell about this excessive regulation we might be able put a stop to it. It would help if we all contact our local State legislature representative and offer to vote them out of office if they go along with Mr Page.
    You can find your representative at
    myfloridahouse.gov/Sections/Representatives/representatives.aspx
    and the senators at
    flsenate.gov/Senators/

    There is an old saying about the "squeaking wheel is the one that gets greased" so we to raise our voices and let Mr Page know how we feel. Otherwise the PCO's will prevail.

    Regards
    Joe

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    we did a cut out this week. We started on monday got rained out finally finished today. Biggest hive I have ever seen.Pest control guys wanted big money. We told the guy we just wanted the bees. We pulled down 8ft of soffit for him and there was over 4ftx18in area of comb.We made a new friend, we got 4gallons of honey(we won't sell that we make meade or use for cooking) and saved a bunch of bees. We did learn a few things--bee vac needs to have an ice pack-monday nites bees were dead when we got home (15 minutes). Bee gloves aren't totally bee proof, and neither are veils. Fortunately we have been stung enough that the stings go a way in a few minutes and finally some jobs are too big-If we had known how big this hive was I think we would have declined.
    This guy could not afford a six pack of beer-what would he have done with out bee keepers?
    Maybe the state needs to think about that. Maybe people who charge should be regulated more and those that do it to save the bees left alone

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Lakeland, FL USA
    Posts
    827

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    .
    jredburn and jimsteelejr -

    Great posts.

    Thanks for the story and info.

    .

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Ft Myers, Fl 33967
    Posts
    177

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    Jim
    Your vacuum needs to be bigger and needs a vent hole in it.
    I make my vacuum boxes 19 7/8" (Lanstroug) x 19 1/4" (TBH) x 11 1/4" deep. That way I( can put either type of frame in the vacuum box and suck the bees in through the bottom hole where they hit a cloth towel (if there are no frames) The air comes out at the top of the box on the same face as the inlet. This means the air flow makes 180 degree turn and the size of the box lets the air and the bees slow down easy like. I put a 1/8" hardware cloth cone on the air exit so the bees can get in but not out and to furnish ventilation while transporting. I can use it as a transfer box or leave the bees in it until a hive is ready for them. I use 1" ID clear plastic hose for the suction so the bees don't get beat. In colonies that big I will have less than 30 dead bees in the box.

    Go to a CVS drug store and buy a bottle of Tea Tree Oil and a litter of rubbing alcohol , then go to a grocery store and bu a bottle of Almond extract flavoring. Mix the three of them in a spray bottle and use it to keep the bees off of your gloves. It is an approx mix for one of the commercial sprays, It really works.
    Small Hive Beetles love Pine boxes because they can burrow into the surface of the wood and lay their eggs in there. They hate Latex paint,so paint the inside of your boxes to keep the SHB out. An opaque translucent plastic cover over the top of the box instead of a wooden cover will also keep you beetle free.
    Bees don't need a landing board and the bigger the entrance the more problem they have keeping the nasties out. The best entrance is a 3/4" -> 1 1/4" hole in a vertical face.
    Regards
    Joe

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Miami, FL
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    I'm writing a letter

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    St. Petersburg, fl, USA
    Posts
    186

    Default Re: Swarms, cutouts in Fl.

    bee vac was big enough (standard medium box), I had nylon window screen across the box in the back third at a 45' angle. intake is on one side at top, suction is other side at bottom. I did not kill bees from coming in to the box. they overheated. I have added several screened openings that I can close off when vacuuming and then open to transport. We had to go back monday and got another ball of bees the size of my head. No problem with the transport this time.
    I am not sure whether we did not qet the queen the first time or whether this was a swarm that decided this looked like a good place. I will open the original box sunday and see if there is evidence of a queen. So I will either have 1 or two new hives. We have almost no problem with hive beetles. Our hives are on the carport in full sun. I know that full sun is supposed to discourage beetles but I wonder if the concrete also keeps them from reproducing (the beetle larvae are supposed to pupate underground). All of our current hives have screen bottom boards with entrance reducers and they all have landing boards.I don't think the landing boards are necessary but it does give me a chance to observe incoming flights to see what they are bringing in and it hides the sticky board from the bees whenever I use one. I will try the chemical mix on the gloves-thanks.
    I never thought about putting frames in the vacuum. Since I don't want the bees to stay in the vacuum I wanted an empty space to just shake them out of. However we found that shaking just got a lot of pissed off bees more pissed off we just set the vac on top of the hve body that we had put the wild comb and some used frames in and pulled the bottom slider out. We leave the vac on the hive body over night and next morning every one has moved down. I may just put a few frames in to give the bees more places to sit while I vacuum.
    I am off today so I plan to build another vac and make some of the changes every one has suggested.
    the first box I had the whole top made with thin clear lexan. This one I think I will still have a clear top but I will have a second cover of plywood to keep the sun out. Also lots more air holes that can be closed to vacuum and I think I will put removeable legs on it so that I don't have to crawl around on the ground.
    thanks for the ideas.

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