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Florida Beekeeping Management Calendar

James D. Ellis, Mary C. Bammer, and William H. Kern

Climate, plant communities, and timing of floral resources differ significantly between the three main regions in Florida: north Florida, central Florida, and south Florida. North Florida encompasses the panhandle region, down through Alachua, Levy, Putnam, and Flagler counties. Central Florida includes Marion County down through Sarasota County. South Florida encompasses the remaining counties including the Keys (Figure 1). Because of this variability, managing European honey bee colonies in Florida differs across these regions throughout the year.

Figure 1. 
Figure 1. 

The following beekeeper management calendar was created for beekeepers in Florida. It is specific to region (north, central, south Florida) and month. The calendar includes recommendations for major management considerations like when to treat for parasites or pathogens and when to feed colonies or harvest honey. This management calendar is not exhaustive. It is meant merely as a reference or starting point for honey bee colony management in Florida. It is important that Florida beekeepers consult their local UF/IFAS Extension office (http://solutionsforyourlife.ufl.edu/map/) or Apiary Inspector (https://www.fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Office-Locations/Apiary-Inspector-Directory) should any specific management questions arise. When considering treating colonies with pesticides, always follow label instructions; the label is the law.

Selected References

DeBerry, S., J. Crowley, and J. D. Ellis. 2012. Swarm Control for Managed Beehives. ENY-160. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in970

Ellis, J. D., W. H. Kern, and C. M. Zattel Nalen, 1992. Preserving Woodenware in Beekeeping Operations. ENY-125. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa244

Ellis, J. D. and A. Ellis. 2010. Small Hive Beetle, Aethina tumida Murray (Insecta: Coleoptera: Nitidulidae). EENY-474. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in854

Ellis, A., J.D. Ellis, M. K. O'Malley, and C. M. Zettel Nalen. 2010. The Benefits of Pollen to Honey Bees. ENY-152. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in868

Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. 2018. Apiary Inspector Directory. Retrieved from https://www.fdacs.gov/Divisions-Offices/Plant-Industry/Office-Locations/Apiary-Inspector-Directory

Gentry, N. and J. D. Ellis. 2012. Bottling, Labeling, and Selling Honey in Florida. ENY-159. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in918

Honey Bee Health Coalition. (2016, November 4). 2 3 Sampling Methods 111116. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IgPfT9FQxLc&feature=youtu.be

Honey Bee Health Coalition. 2016. Tools for Varroa Management: A Guide to Effective Varroa Sampling and Control. The Keystone Policy Center. Retrieved from https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/HBHC-Guide_Varroa_Interactive_v5_31October2016.pdf

Mortensen, A. N, C, J, Jack, M. McConnell, L. Teigen, and J. D. Ellis. 2016. How to Quantify Nosema Spores Infection Rate in a Honey Bee Colony. ENY-167. Gainesville: University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1123

United States Food and Drug Administration. 2017. Using Medically Important Antimicrobials in Bees - Questions and Answers. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/DevelopmentApprovalProcess/ucm589399.htm

Table 1. 

Beekeeping Management Calendar for North Florida.

Table 2. 

Beekeeping Management Calendar for Central Florida.

Table 3. 

Beekeeping Management Calendar for South Florida.

Publication #ENY156

Date: 9/19/2021

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About this Publication

This document is ENY156, one of a series of the Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Original publication date May 2010. Revised November 2013, July 2018, and September 2021. Visit the EDIS website at https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu for the currently supported version of this publication.

About the Authors

James D. Ellis, associate professor; Mary C. Bammer, Extension coordinator, Entomology and Nematology Department; and William H. Kern, Jr., associate professor; Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center; UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

Contacts

  • Amy Vu
  • James Ellis