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.
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.
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
Beekeeping Management Calendar for North Florida.
Beekeeping Management Calendar for Central Florida.
Beekeeping Management Calendar for South Florida.