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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
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    6,994

    Default Updated apiary policies will help manage bees - The Star

    By Wes Locher
    Published: Thursday, August 15, 2013 at 09:36 AM.
    Honeybees have been a buzz word in Wewahitchka in recent months.
    Last Friday, a meeting was called at the Gulf County Extension Office to discuss ongoing issues related to honeybees invading neighborhoods and swimming pools in Wewahitchka.
    The meeting, hosted by Extension Director Roy Lee Carter, reviewed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s official apiary policies and a list of best management practices that beekeepers in the area should follow.
    Carter’s intentions were to ensure that everyone “was on the same page” when it came to doing their part to avoid bee-related issues in the area.
    A new version of the apiary policy will roll out within 90 days and will require that all area beekeepers follow specific guidelines regarding eligible hive locations, bear depredation control and beekeeper responsibilities.
    The group included County Commissioners Carmen McLemore and Ward McDaniel.
    Other attendees included Jamie Ellis of the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida, local beekeepers and members of the Plant and Apiary Inspection from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer services.
    Honeybees have been a buzz word in Wewahitchka in recent months.
    Last Friday, a meeting was called at the Gulf County Extension Office to discuss ongoing issues related to honeybees invading neighborhoods and swimming pools in Wewahitchka.
    The meeting, hosted by Extension Director Roy Lee Carter, reviewed the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s official apiary policies and a list of best management practices that beekeepers in the area should follow.
    Carter’s intentions were to ensure that everyone “was on the same page” when it came to doing their part to avoid bee-related issues in the area.
    A new version of the apiary policy will roll out within 90 days and will require that all area beekeepers follow specific guidelines regarding eligible hive locations, bear depredation control and beekeeper responsibilities.
    The group included County Commissioners Carmen McLemore and Ward McDaniel.
    Other attendees included Jamie Ellis of the Entomology and Nematology Department at the University of Florida, local beekeepers and members of the Plant and Apiary Inspection from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer services.
    McLemore said that he’d been getting phone calls from Wewahitchka residents complaining of bee infestations. His concerns were for those in the community who are allergic to bee stings and are unable to go outside.
    “There are more and more bees,” said McLemore. “We have to do something.”
    Area beekeepers explained that bees naturally go to the closest water source if farmers do not provide it near the hives. Professional beekeepers know to keep small pools of water nearby their hives in order to keep the bees from traveling.
    Best practices like these have been undertaken, but not all beekeepers follow the guidelines.
    The group assumed that the issue was coming from out-of-towners who come in for a few weeks at a time, mainly during the “tupelo flow.”
    Some beekeepers bring hives in from California, Wisconsin and Michigan. They stay for six to eight months before heading to another destination.
    Beekeepers are supposed to register their hives with the Florida Department of Agriculture and even those with one hive are required to do so. A list of registered beekeepers is available on the agency’s website and beekeepers not on the list can be reported.
    The beekeepers agreed that part of the problem is that the exact number of bees in the county is currently unknown.
    According to Jeff Pippin with the Florida Department of Agriculture, area bees are on the decline.
    In 1950, Gulf County had around 5.5 million bees, but 2013 estimates show the number closer to 2.5 million. Pippin is eager to bring new beekeepers to the area but wants to ensure that they follow the appropriate guidelines.
    “People need to realize the importance of bees and the lack of them,” said Pippin. “Here, there are always bees, so people don’t realize that there are fewer.”
    Pippin inspects and certifies hives for nine counties in Florida and said he and his team had already inspected over 24,000 hives this year. He said that bees are coming in at such a high rate that he’s making attempts to double the amount of inspectors.
    There are 3,200 beekeepers currently registered in Florida and the number is climbing.
    In addition to overcrowding, local beekeepers also face extreme competition. Several farmers reported having hives poisoned, destroyed or stolen. To help combat the behavior, new agricultural laws will fine offenders $10,000 for the molestation of one beehive.
    In Wewahitchka, honeybees collect nectar from the blossoms of the white Ogeechee tupelo tree. These trees are distributed along the borders of rivers, swamps, and ponds in remote wetlands of Georgia and Florida.
    These blossoms last two to three weeks in April and May and are the primetime for bees to create the unique honey.
    Locally, that time frame is known as the “tupelo flow.”
    Around 1,000 drums of tupelo honey are produced each year in Gulf County with a market value of $4 million. Tupelo honey is rare and makes up half a percent of all honey produced in Florida.
    “Tupelo honey is the best,” said Carter. “We’re sitting on a gold mine.”
    http://www.starfl.com/news/local-new...-bees-1.187156
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,944

    Default Re: Updated apiary policies will help manage bees - The Star

    Following best practices ought to be a no brainer. But how do you reach the folks who aren't registering their hives? Do you folks have the people power to be detectives? Maine requires annual registration on June 15th of each year; but with a radically understaffed department (imnsho) I've never heard of any consequences for not registering. My hives are registered and my fee (all of $12 this year for 38 colonies) has been paid.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,994

    Default Re: Updated apiary policies will help manage bees - The Star

    Other beekeepers report non-registered every day. Food safety goes out and puts a stop sale on their honey and hive products. The cities and counties also go looking since they can only prosecute non-registered beekeepers for having bees in Florida. Apiary Inspection does not need to be "bee police" with all this unsolicited help.
    Duval County, Jacksonville beekeepers are the only area that resists BMPs and the only area that has a case in the courts about bees.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,944

    Default Re: Updated apiary policies will help manage bees - The Star

    What we have in Maine:

    Best Management Practices for Beekeeping

    This document is intended as a reference and standard for honeybee management in Maine, with particular emphasis on urban/suburban locations.

    Introduction

    Honeybees not only produce honey but also play a vital role in the balance of nature, especially in pollination of agricultural crops, horticultural crops, and home gardens. Pollination is important for the viability of many farming enterprises, market gardens, orchards, and seed industries. Some important Maine food crops, including apples, raspberries, blueberries, and squashes, either depend on or benefit greatly from honeybee pollination. It has been estimated that work by honeybees contributes about $100 to $150 million annually to the Maine economy. In 1975 the honeybee was officially designated as Maine’s state insect in recognition of its importance to the Maine economy.
    Beekeeping is becoming increasingly popular in nonrural areas. Maine currently has approximately 800 beekeepers, who manage 10,000 hives. Beekeeping provides honey for home consumption, enjoyment in watching these highly social creatures, and the opportunity to join an amateur bee- keeping group. However, honeybees possess a sting and therefore require proper and responsible management so they do not create a problem for neighbors.
    This document is intended as a reference and standard for honeybee management in Maine, with particular emphasis on urban/suburban locations.
    It may serve as

    • A basis for local governments to create uniform codes
    • A resource for information to reinforce community confidence in the safety of beekeeping activities
    • A standard reference should complaints or conflicts about beekeeping activities arise
    • A compendium of best management practices that all Maine beekeepers should follow.

    It is intended that these Best Management Practices form a prescription for harmonious cooperation between beekeepers, neighbors, and other landowners. The guidelines for bee colony man- agement in these Best Management Practices also constitute a standard for beekeepers operating in Maine to follow, and should be recognized and used as such by apiarists, decision-making author- ities, and the general public. Finally, in the case of ordinances enacted by local authorities, the Best Management Practices provide a consistent approach for clarifying and resolving issues. Beekeepers and local authorities who need more information should consult the Maine State Beekeepers Association or the Maine Department of Agriculture. (See below for contact information.)
    Requirement to Register

    It is a requirement under the Title 7 MSRA, section 2701 to become a registered beekeeper with the Maine Department of Agriculture if one or more hives are kept. Registration is valid for a twelve-month period expiring in mid-June.
    Renewal forms are sent annually to previously registered beekeepers for return to the Maine Department of Agriculture, Division of Plant Industry along with the appropriate annual fee specified in the fee schedule. Beekeepers who change addresses are requested to notify the Department.
    Swarms and Bee Enquiries

    The list of beekeepers who collect swarms is updated annually. Swarm inquiries from the public may be directed to the Maine Department of Agriculture, to County Extension Offices, or to the Maine State Beekeepers Association. Other general beekeeping questions may be directed to the Maine Department of Agriculture or the Maine State Beekeepers Association. (See page 5 for all contact information.)
    Definitions

    Apiarist and beekeeper
    A person keeping bees
    Apiary
    A place where honeybee hives are kept
    Apiculture and Beekeeping
    The management of beehives
    Honeycomb
    Removable frames, containing wax cells which house honey, pollen, and/or brood (eggs, larvae, pupae)
    Honey flow
    The gathering of nectar from flora by honeybees
    Honey extraction
    The removal of honey from combs
    Beehive
    Removable framed housing for a honey- bee colony
    Bee sting
    Injury sustained and inflicted by a worker honeybee
    Brand
    Identification for marking frames and hives
    Flight path
    The distinct route taken by many bees leaving from or returning to their hive
    Foraging bees
    Bees seeking water or food. Bees naturally forage flowers for nectar and pollen. In abnormal circumstances, when natural sources of food and water are scarce, bees may forage supplies of animal feed, water, or protein.
    Hive
    A honeybee hive, being a nucleus colony or a standard size colony
    Package bees
    A number of adult bees, with or without a queen, contained in a ventilated ship- ping cage transported via USPS or other carriers.
    Pollination
    The transfer of pollen by honeybees from anthers to stigmas of flowers for the pur- pose of plant fertilization
    Robbing
    Bees attempting to access honey stored or spilled in another hive.
    Strong hive
    A populous honeybee colony
    Super
    Box or boxes containing frames placed above the bottom, or brood, box
    Swarm
    Cluster or flying mass of honeybees including workers, queen, and drones
    Water Supply
    Taps, hoses, pools, hot tubs, streams, ponds, puddles, etc.
    Hive Densities

    One of the primary limitations to keeping bees is the real or perceived interaction between the bees and the people who live in or use the surrounding area. To overcome this problem, a hive density limit is proposed that minimizes potential conflict between people and honeybees, assum- ing that beekeepers follow the management practices outlined in this document. (In the recom- mendations below, “undeveloped property” means any idle land that has no structures or facilities intended for human use or occupancy. Property used exclusively for streets, highways, or com- mercial agriculture is considered undeveloped property.)
    Lot /Acreage Number of Colonies
    up to 1/4 acre
    (1/4 acre = 10,890 sq. ft., roughly 50 ft. x 215 ft.)
    2 colonies
    more than 1/4 acre, less than 1/2 acre
    (1/2 acre = 21,780 sq. ft., roughly 100 ft. x 218 ft.)
    4 colonies
    more than 1/2 acre, less than 1 acre
    (1 acre = 43,560 sq. ft., roughly 150 ft. x 290 ft.)
    6 colonies
    1 acre or more 8 colonies
    Regardless of lot size: If all hives are situated at least 200 feet in any direction from all property lines of the lot on which the apiary is situated, no limit on the number of hives. Regardless of lot size: As long as all adjoining property that falls within a 200-foot radius of any hive is undeveloped property, no limit on the number of hives.
    Hive placement

    Correct placement of hives is a most important consideration for responsible beekeeping in urban/suburban situations. Hives must be in a quiet area of the lot, not placed directly against a neighboring property unless a solid fence or impenetrable vegetative barrier not less than six feet high forms the property boundary. Keep hives as far away as possible from roads, sidewalks, and rights of way.
    Hive entrances should face in such a direction that bees fly across your property. If this is impos- sible, use barriers (hedges, shrubs, or fencing six to twelve feet high) to redirect the bees’ flight pattern.
    Swarming is a natural instinct of honeybees that occurs chiefly from spring to early summer.

    Swarming

    Swarming is a natural instinct of honeybees that occurs chiefly from spring to early summer. Swarms should be collected to prevent their becoming a nuisance. Honeybee colonies can and should be managed to prevent or minimize swarming. For example, brood chamber manipula- tion, colony division, adding supers for brood rearing and honey storage, and replacing old or failing queens can all reduce the swarming impulse. These and other management practices to control swarming are explained in detail in good beekeeping textbooks. Beekeepers who learn of a swarm should take reasonable measures to see that the swarm is retrieved.
    Provision of water

    Beekeepers should provide water for their bees before locating them in their yard. Bees prefer a sunny place with surface moisture, for example wet sand or gravel or the edge of a birdbath. If you establish such water sources, your bees will become habituated to them and will be less likely to visit swimming pools or hot tubs. Remember that in very hot weather, bees use a large amount of water to maintain temperature and humidity within the hive.
    Queen Bee


    Queens

    In any instance that a colony exhibits unusual defensive characteristics (stinging or attempting to sting without provocation) or exhibits a frequent tendency to swarm, it is the beekeeper’s duty to requeen from European stock.
    Robbing Behavior

    When nectar is scarce, honeybees may rob honey from other hives. Under such conditions, bee- keepers should work hives for only a very short time, if at all. Exposing honey (especially sticky honeycombs) outdoors often encourages robbing. All spilled honey should be cleaned up immediately. To prevent robbing, buildings and trailers used for honey extraction must be made beeproof, as far as is practicable.
    Disease control

    There are a number of honeybee diseases and pests, of which American Foulbrood (AFB) is the most serious. Beekeepers should be extremely cautious about mixing hive equipment or purchas- ing hives from sources that are not certain to be AFB-free. (Contact the Maine Department of Agriculture to have used beekeeping equipment inspected.) Finally, it is incumbent on beekeepers to manage parasitic mites and other pests responsibly for both colony health and honey quality.
    Transportation of hives

    Beekeepers must take appropriate care when transporting hives of honeybees. All loads of hives and supers of honey must be secured in accordance with Maine Department of Transportation regulations. Bees being transported should have entrance screens or be secured under netting.
    Recommendations for Considerate Hive Management

    Beekeepers should take into account that weather conditions influence bee behavior and plan to work bees when conditions are favorable. They should make sure that neighbors are not working or relaxing outdoors when they open hives and should try to perform hive manipulations as quickly as possible, with minimum disturbance to the bees. Extended hive manipulations, particularly removing honey, should be carefully planned to accommodate neighbors’ activities. Beekeepers should use smoke when working bees and should smoke hive entrances before mowing or trimming in the hive area. Clippings and exhaust should be directed away from
    hive entrances.
    Additional Information

    MAINE STATE BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION
    http://mainebeekeepers.org/
    MAINE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
    Division of Plant Industry
    28 State House Station Augusta, ME 04333-0028
    (207) 287-3891 Anthony M. Jadczak, State Apiarist anthony.m.jadczak@maine.gov
    COOPERATIVE EXTENSION OFFICES
    For information on all county extension offices: University of Maine Cooperative Extension 5741 Libby Hall Orono, ME 04469-5741 (207) 581-3188 1-800-287-0274 (in Maine)
    http://extension.umaine.edu/
    Acknowledgements

    The Maine State Beekeepers Association gratefully acknowledges our debt to the Code of Practice for Urban Beekeeping in Queensland (http://www2.dpi.qld.gov.au/bees/16815.html), published by the Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, Queensland, Australia (www.dpi.qld.gov.au), and to the Model Beekeeping Ordinance for Louisiana Local and Municipal Governments, published by the Louisiana State University Agricultural Center.
    Information is provided in this document as general advice on sound beekeeping practices. Beekeepers, local authorities, and others should seek professional advice on specific issues and situations.
    © 2007, Maine State Beekeepers Association, Inc.


    Read more: http://mainebeekeepers.org/beekeepin...#ixzz2cKHvFVMj
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

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