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For the last decade, U.S. honeybees have been decimated by a host of maladies including 22 different named viruses, two kinds of mites, and the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder in which worker bees inexplicably abandon their hives. The problem has been easy for consumers to ignore because food prices haven't been affected. But beekeepers must now work year-round to replace lost colonies; farmers are paying higher pollination fees for a fixed number of hives; and scientists worry that persistent bee deaths could threaten the food supply. (WSJ<http://online.wsj.com/articles/efforts-grow-to-take-the-sting-out-of-the-bee-die-off-1403886935>)
Efforts Grow to Take the Sting Out of the Bee Die-Off Beekeepers, Farmers and Scientists Seek to Combat Shortage of Key Pollinator

For the last decade, U.S. honeybees have been decimated by a host of maladies including 22 different named viruses, two kinds of mites, and the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder in which worker bees inexplicably abandon their hives.

The problem has been easy for consumers to ignore because food prices haven't been affected. But beekeepers must now work year-round to replace lost colonies; farmers are paying higher pollination fees for a fixed number of hives; and scientists worry that persistent bee deaths could...

http://online.wsj.com/articles/efforts-grow-to-take-the-sting-out-of-the-bee-die-off-1403886935
 

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With all the press lately about the bee problems and with the Apiary Division encouraging people to have backyard hives why is the State of Florida's policy on keeping bees on State land so restrictive? I inquired about keeping some hives on a State Park in St. Johns County and was told they did not have any land that met the criteria. The Park manager was ok with the idea of keeping bees at the park until she read through the requirements. Who sets these policies? Is there someone I can contact to try and have the policy changed? Can you apply any pressure from your position?

The part I find hard to swallow is the part about being inside .5mile from the parks boundary and the part about the hives only being allowed on disturbed property? What would it hurt to set hives in an out of the way area of a State Park even it the land was undisturbed? I'm sure you know the rules but, I will copy and paste them for the benefit of others.


2. SELECTION OF APIARY SITES
The following criteria shall be utilized for the selection of Apiaries within all Parks. The Division does not guarantee that a site meeting all required criteria may be found on any given Park nor shall the Division waive any of the criteria to accommodate an Apiary on any Park.
a. Apiary must be located:
(1) On lands with existing apiaries at time of Park acquisition, on cultural sites where apiaries fit within the interpretive context of the site, on ecologically disturbed areas such as pastures, or in context with agricultural crops such as citrus groves.
(2) A minimum of 0.5 miles from the State Park boundary.
(3) A minimum of 1 mile from any other Apiary operated by a different Apiarist.
(4) A minimum of 200 feet from any designated Park trail or waterway utilized by boaters, canoeist or kayakers.
(5) A minimum of 0.5 miles from any developed public use area and Park residences.
(6) So that Park operations and resource management are not hindered.
(7) At an area with existing road access.
(8) In habitat not planned for burning during the timeframe of the agreement.
(9) Away from known archaeological sites
b. Apiary must not be located:
(1) On park lands deemed ecologically intact
(2) In areas with known populations of extremely rare and endemic native pollinators such as Schaus Swallowtail and Miami Blue Butterfly.
(3) In firebreaks
(4) Within 0.5 miles of known infestations of invasive exotic plant species such as Malealeuca, Brazilian Pepper and skunk vine (other invasive species from the Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council category I and II list should also be considered) unless those infestations are in maintenance condition.
(5) On wetland soil types
 
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