Cane "Bufo" Toads have Invaded South Florida...
It was reported by member, Otto tonight (June 10, 2015),that not
only are Cane toads "Bufo" showing up in Southwest Florida,
but that he actually saw one first hand. These toads are causing beekeeping management
problems, because the huge toads reside near hives and consume large
quantities of bees, plus they are so toxic that they should not be
handled and can easily and quickly kill dogs and pets.
A quick search of the web reveals information that these toads are
active at night and can eat 200 to 300 bees. They eat the
guard bees at the entrance and other bees come out to replace these
bees and the toad uses his sticky tongue to keep eating the bees.
These toads cannot jump very high; however, beekeepers should
elevate their hives (at least 15 inches) to prevent cane toads from
feasting on their bees. WARNING!: Do not handle these toads as
they secrete toxins. The toxins can
easily and quickly kill a dog. They like to stay under
elevated hives and eat dead bees that are dropped out. If you
find them you can wear plastic gloves and put them in a bag and
dispose of them (some say they freeze them). Australia has
been dealing with fighting the battle against this toad invasion for
read more about their problem which is or soon may be our own
problem, here in Southwest Florida.
USDA National Honey Report, Number XXXIV - #12, January 16, 2015
Excerpt from the report regarding Florida, based on commercial
COLONY, HONEY PLANT AND MARKET CONDITIONS DURING
FLORIDA: The weather for the month was a little warmer than
normal with precipitation slightly higher than normal. There was
still not very much rain, as December is typically a dry month in
Florida. Bee health was considered to be very good. Beekeepers were
splitting hives and treating for mites in preparation for the annual
trip to California for almond pollination with many hives being
relocated shortly after the middle of next month. There were few
sources of food, except for scattered wild flowers and some maple.
The maple bloom appeared to be about a week earlier than normal.
Citrus greening was causing some early premature orange bloom, but
no honey was being produced from that source. The next source of
food for honey production will be citrus, primarily orange blossom,
in March. There was essentially no honey being produced for sale and
practically no stored honey available for sale. Demand remains good
with supplies very light and prices remaining at or near record
Website Statistics: Some inquiring minds want to know, just
how popular is our local association's website. For those
geeks and nerds, I have compiled a 12-moth report on the website's
performance... and it exceeds all expectations with over 5000
visitors to our site every month. These are actual visitors,
not just hits. If you are interested in hits, then for example
in April of 2015 we had about 80,000 hits (about a million hits in
the last 12 months).
However, "unique visitors" is far more important than the hits.
Unique means new visitors actually looking at our website. In
April of 2015 we had 4,542 "unique" visitors to our website that
Some of most popular pages after the main page, were our
blog, links page, honey plants
"what's blooming page, and our downloads page. While our
blog was inactive it is still
bringing in about half of our visitor traffic. Even though our
Archive and past events page may contain history and old
information, the information was viewed almost 300 times in
April.... read more
Need more convincing of the effectiveness of our website?.. Goggle Search
these 4 keywords::
beekeeping events florida 2015 and see where we
stand among all the websites in the entire world for current
beekeeping events in Florida.
Space is limited to 25 students. Cost of the course is $135.
Make Checks payable to BASF
(Mail to 3406 Palm Beach Blvd, FM 33916).
The UF/IFAS Lee County Extension, in collaboration with the
Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida (BASF) offers a 4-week introductory
beekeeping class this summer.
Morning classroom sessions are at the North Fort Myers
Recreation Center. Afternoon practical sessions are at the BASF apiary.
Students receive a basic kit including bee veil, smoker, hive
tool, and resource books.
Bees are NOT provided as part of this package!
Pre-registration is necessary for inclusion in the class.
Saturday, September 10
Saturday, September 17
Saturday, September 24
Saturday, October 1
Saturday, September 10, 2016 at 8:30 AM - Saturday, October 1, 2016 at 4:00 PM
North Fort Myers Recreation Center - 2000 North Recreation Park Way, North Fort
Myers, FL 33903
ALL ATTENDEES MUST REGISTER ONLINE for admission to the event. Walk-up
registrations are discouraged and will incur an additional $20 fee.
The University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension
Laboratory announce the 4th annual South Florida Bee College in
conjuncture with their 4th annual Caribbean Bee College.
Friday and Saturday, August 12-13, 2016
UF Fort Lauderdale Research and Education Center
3205 College Ave.
Davie, FL 33314
This two-day event will have lectures in the morning and hands-on workshops in
the afternoon. Live bee colonies and a Welsh Honey Show will be on display.
Keynote Speakers: Dr. Larry Connor and Dr. Justin Schmidt
We hope that you and your family decide to join us for this fun-filled weekend.
Classes for beekeepers of all ages and experience levels, gardeners,
naturalists, county agents, and anyone else interested in honey bees. You do not
have to keep bees to attend; the only prerequisite is your interest in the
Political Signs Repurposed into 5-frame (or 3-frame) NUCS
(nucleus) hive boxes at
and there is a
rough sketch by Dennis available there for download which may
help you come up with your own variation.
Some of this month's (November) meeting raffle items: White rubber coated large gloves, 6-oz pkg
of hive staples (approx. 49 staples), EZ Nuc (5-frame fold-up
assembly plastic nuc), S.S. smoker with rubber billows and cage guard, pair of
boot bands, heavy-duty hive tool, clear plastic queen catcher, bee brush (Mann
Virginia has lots of new beekeeping related "new" raffle items for regular and special raffles as was passed in March's meeting to spend to boost
2016 FSBA Annual Business Meeting & Election of Officers Thursday, December 8, 2016, 8:00
Florida Dept of Ag Doyle Conner Building
1911 SW 34 St, Gainesville, FL
Florida State Beekeepers Association members are
invited and encouraged to attend. There is no charge to participate. The meeting
will start promptly at 8:00 AM as there is a fair amount of association business
to address. As required by our governing documents, both a president and VP
shall be elected annually. Wayne Eheart is chairing the nominations committee.
If you wish to nominate a member for office, please contact Wayne via email at
The FSBA has been in discussion with the Florida Association of Property
Appraisers regarding ag exemptions for commercial beekeeping operations. The
FSBA is working with FAPA to develop guidelines for assessing beekeeping
properties. FAPA has been invited to attend for a roundtable discussion on ag
exemptions and beekeeping operations.
8:00-10:00 Annual Meeting / Election of Officers
10:30-1200 Roundtable Discussion Ag Exemptions
The following e-mail endorsement has been received from Jeanette Klopchin,
Pollinator Protection Specialist, Division of Agricultural Environmental
Services, Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services:
The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) has
developed a Managed Pollinator Protection Plan (MP3), whose purpose
is to establish a systematic and comprehensive approach to mitigate the
risks of pesticides to bees and other pollinators while supporting both crop
protection and insect pollination. Most importantly, this MP3 is developed
through open communication and coordination among key stakeholders;
beekeepers, growers/landowners, and pesticide users.
We now invite you to participate in a state-wide pesticide-pollinator
awareness survey that aims to collect important background information about
the current state of knowledge, common practices, concerns, and other relevant
information about pesticides and pollinators in Florida, directly from its
The information obtained with this survey will be used to measure the success of
the Managed Pollinator Protection Plan over time and will help tailor our
This survey is completely anonymous, and no one, not even FDACS, will be able to
associate you or your company with any of the responses.
Completing this survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes.
Please choose and only complete the survey that most closely reflects your role
in Florida Agriculture.
The FSBA is
coming back this year for funding of the bee lab, after being
stung in 2014 by Gov. Rick Scott's line item veto, last year.
The following are excerpts from an article on this subject at
center is needed to determine why so many beekeepers are
losing colonies...We have some very serious problems."
said Tom Nolan, the association’s president and a
part-time beekeeper from Bradenton..
Nolan told the
Senate Committee on Agriculture, “Beekeepers are losing
about 30 percent of their colonies every year,” Nolan
said. “I’ll ask you if you can think of an industry that
can survive starting 30 percent in the hole every
the entire article by Bruce Ritchie at Context
Per Celeste Fournier (President of the Beekeepers Association of
Southwest Florida): As you may be aware the Governor and the
Legislature are trying to work out the state budget, and it is a
critical time for the Bee Lab. Please take 5-10 minutes, call or
email the representatives below. Let them know how important this
bee lab is to you and all beekeepers.
Per Tom Nolan (President of the Florida State Beekeepers
Association): Funding for the bee lab will be taken up as soon
as June 9, 2015. We need as many people as possible to call and
email Monday (June 15, 2015) morning. When calling, you will most
likely go straight into voice mail, leave a message, you don’t need
for anyone to return your call.
Ask that the House match the Senate appropriate of $3.6 million.
Tell them it is line number 101 for the Conference Committee of the
Senate General Government and House Agriculture and Natural
Resources Appropriations. The Senate offer is $3,644,269 the House
offer is $0.
Fall Conference Meeting 2015
November 20 - 22, 2015
The Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort welcomes
attendees of the Florida State Beekeepers Association 2015
Annual Meeting and has provided special conference rates
for your stay:
The standard $20 resort fee has been
waived for FSBA conference attendees, so your room rate
includes complimentary self-parking, unlimited Internet
access, unlimited use of health and fitness center, resort
beach access and in-room coffee service. To receive these
special conference rates, you must
reserve your room by October 19,
The Bee Workshop
"Honeybee Health & Best Management
Intensive Learning Session
August 30, 2015
11:00 am - 5:00 pm
"FREE to the Public" ~
"Register by August 26, 2015"
FAMU Research and Extension
4259 Bainbridge Highway, Quincy FL
The exciting learning session is for
seasoned beekeepers, urban beekeepers and farmers interested
in examining agro ecology strategies that work to build
healthy soil, healthy food, invigorate honeybee health and
establish sustainable bee keeping practices.
Checks were made payable to BASF and were mailed to:
“Beekeeping Course”, 3410 Palm Beach Blvd, Fort Myers, FL 33916).
Deadline for registration was
May 15, 2015
Introduction to Beekeeping Course
Classes for this 4-week course began on
Saturday May 30, 2015.
Space was limited to 40
students. Students received basic startup kit including bee veil,
smoker, hive box and resource books. Bees were NOT provided as part
of this package!
was necessary for inclusion in the class. Details were available by
Fournier or Rebecca; e-mail
Morning classroom sessions are at the North Fort Myers Recreation
Center (2000 North Recreation Park Way, North Fort Myers). Afternoon
practical sessions are on the apiary/farm of a BASF member
September 10, 2014 meeting included a
presentation by T. Wayne Gale, Director of Mosquito Control followed
by Q&A about the presentation, specifically about concerns of
possible effects of currently used pesticides on local beekeeping.
In Lee County, if you would like to be notified by Lee County
Mosquito Control prior to when they use ground or aerial adulticide
treatment NEAR YOUR BEES, then please call 239-694-2174 and ask to
be added to their NOTIFICATION LIST and provide your name, exact
address where your apiary (hives) are located (including a zip code
and phone number that has the ability to accept
a RECORDED VOICE message...
Registration ends February 15, 2013... limited to 100
FSBA 92nd Annual
hosted by the
Tampa Bay Beekeepers Association
was held on Nov 1 thru Nov 3, 2012 at the Mainsail Suites Hotel & Conference Center
Consisted of Reception Dinner, Main Program
Seminar -Conference, Awards Banquet, and Business Meeting (Election of Officers).
Keynote speaker was Dr. Diana Sammataro, USDA-ARS Research
Laboratory, Tucson, AZ. ~ Photos will be available (Dennis is still working on
The UF/IFAS Lee County Extension, in collaboration with the
Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida (BASF) is offering a 4-week
introductory beekeeping class this summer.
Classes begin on Friday August 9, 2013. Space is limited to 40
students. Students received basic startup kit including bee veil,
smoker, bee box and resource books. Bees will NOT be provided as
part of this package!
Pre-registration is necessary for inclusion in the class.
Cost of the course was $225.
Morning classroom sessions will be held at the Extension Office
located in Terry Park. Afternoon practical sessions will be
conducted on the farm of a BASF member beekeeper.
Deadline for registration is August 5, 2013
Third Bill signing
Ceremony on 8-16-2012
Stacy Ferris, Photography for Governor Rick Scott
State Preemption/Apiculture Bill 1197
signing with Florida Governor Scott at his office, Tallahassee, FL
Place mouse on small images below
to zoom magnify examine larger photos:
Left to Right (above) Tony Hogg, Rebecca Cowan Hogg, Samuel Hogg, Gary J.
Ranker, Gov. Rick Scott, Melissa Councell, B Keith Councell, Elmore Herman
Place mouse on small images above to zoom magnify
examine larger photos:
This bill gives the Florida Department of
Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) exclusive authority to regulate
beekeeping, apiaries and their locations.
I have received the up to date
information on the Rule Change allowing Beekeepers to remove and relocate live
bees. There will be a workshop on Jan. 17th in Gainesville. Beekeepers for the
time being may continue to remove live bees. Please read the following
details from Mike Page.
"Ding” Darling Wildlife Society's FREE
Family Fun Day
We are very pleased to announce that our local association (BASF)
will be participating in the “Ding” Darling Family Day activities on
Sunday, October 14, 2012.
“Ding” Darling Family Fun Day will take place at the J. N. “Ding”
Darling National Wildlife Refuge from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM.
Our group will have “Hands on” exhibits (observation hive,
etc.) and educational props to encourage those attending expecially
geared to the anticipated large number of children who generally
Our club will set up will be between 9:00 AM and 10:30 AM. Most
exhibitors will be in one large tent, but Don has a couple of pop-up
canopies also. Ding Darling WS is providing us with banquet tables
and chairs. Electricity is not available. Once our exhibit is set
up, we will be able to park in an adjacent lot so that we can access
our vehicles should we need additional materials. Parking location
is different than in previous years but the same as last year.
Please see attached map and
please print a copy and leave on your vehicle dashboard.Download Map
Ding Darling WS is providing lunch for our club's exhibitors and can
even arrange to man our exhibit for us while we take periodic breaks
if we only have one person manning the table.
Get with Don and/or Rebecca if you want to participate or help with
the educational outreach of our club.
Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012
FREE FAMILY FUN DAY
J.N. “Ding” Darling NWR
A FREE day valued at $50 per adult
10:30am FREE Flag-raising ceremony; FREE reusable
“Ding” Days gift bags to the first 500 kids, EC parking lot
11am-12noon FREE Talking Trash Game with prizes, EC
12noon FREE Snakes Alive! Program, EC parking lot
1pm FREE Amazing Live Animals Program, EC parking lot
2pm FREE Snakes Alive! Program, EC parking lot
3pm FREE Amazing Live Animals Program, EC parking lot
FREE & continuous throughout the day
•FREE hourly life-size Endangered Species & Wildlife
Puppets on Parade and puppet crafts garden presented by Heather Henson,
daughter of the late Jim Henson Muppets creator
•FREE Naturalist-narrated 60-minute TBE Refuge tram tours (check in at
•FREE Admission to Wildlife Drive
•FREE Face-painting in the EC Birding Room
•FREE Hot dogs
•FREE Shuttle service from TBE and IWA site (look for signs)
•FREE Touch tank at TBE
•FREE Butterfly House
•FREE Hands-on nature crafts
•FREE Environmental displays and informational booths
Purpose: To help Freddie and Debbie Howard to pay for
expenses associated with Michael's death. Meal: Pork Steak Dinner with all the fixings, Drink, and
includes Dessert. Price $8.00 Activities: Children's Rides, Raffle Tickets, and Cotton
Candy! Location: Barron Park, LaBelle, Fl Date: October 20, 2012 Time: 11:00 AM until ?
FOR TICKETS CALL: Carol (863) 673-0269, Shirley (863)
675-1708, or The Moose Lodge (863) 675-6255 DONATIONS: May be sent to P.O. Box 2797, LaBelle, FL, 33975
and made out to "Bringing Michael Home" Sponsored by LaBelle Moose Lodge 2398
Biography: Michael passed away September 5, 2012, was 30
years old, from LaBelle (born in Fort Myers), the son of Freddie and
Debbie Howard, Jr.. He loved fishing, hunting, and the great
Cypress Lake Middles School (CLMS) had a BEE DAY as their fundraiser
kickoff by selling Bee Authentic products (Ralph Williams company).
In the weeks leading up to this event the students had studied and
learned about bees and pollinators. Don and Beth from our
association provided the talk and demonstration about honeybees.
Beth is shown in her bee suit, talking to the students about a
basic hive set up, protective equipment, and backyard beekeeping as
a hobby. Don assisted the students with the observation hive
and helped them look for the queen.
"This was an all day event for every class. They were 4 stations,
wax candle making, finding the queen bee (the pictures around the
observation hive), beekeeping equipment and protection, and finally
honey and wax products. As you can see I had the easy job of telling
everyone to go find the queen. Beth Ceilley was in the suit.
This event was the kick off of the schools fund raiser and it
centered around the importance and benefits of the honeybee." -
America Revealed Flight of the Honey Bee...Follow the honey bee as
it pollinates crops across the United States with David Hackenberg.
Controversial Feral Bee Management versus Pest Control Issue
FSBA Committee and others to meet September 14th in Fort Myers, FL
Monday, July 30, 2012 - NEWS from Florida Dept. of Agriculture &
Consumer Services Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control
Beekeepers cannot charge for removing bees. Bee management (live bee
removal or relocation) for commerce (money) is only permitted by
those with a PCO license. All previously stated (or unstated)
exemptions made or implied by FDACS or DOACS which allowed
beekeepers to perform live bee removal and/or relocation under “bee
management” no longer are valid reasons for performing bee removals
for hire without holding a PCO license. It has been agreed following
a discussion between FDACS/DOACS directorates today that they are
standing by this decision that charging for bee removals now
constitutes pest control and will be enforced under the pest control
law. This decision comes as a result, several months ago, of Jerry
Hayes asking FDACS Bureau of Entomology and Pest Control to consider
regulating live bee removal as an act of pest control. For
more information please contact:
Michael J. Page, Chief
Florida Dept. of Agriculture & Consumer Services Bureau of
Entomology and Pest Control 3125 Conner Blvd. Suite N, MS C-41
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1650
ph - 850.617.7988
Fax – 850.617.7967
The Florida State Beekeepers Association (FSBA) disagrees with and
regrets the above decision. It means that a time-honored
“gentleman's agreement” to allow beekeepers to remove honey bees
from structures for a fee has been abrogated. Many in the
Association believe that this new policy is not warranted and are
asking The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS)
to reconsider the decision...read
was celebrated across our country on
August 18, 2012. The primary goals of the National Honey
Bee Day Program include the promotion and advancement of
beekeeping, education of the public about honey bees and
beekeeping, and public awareness of environmental concerns as they
effect honey bees. Theme: "Sustainable Agriculture
Starts with Honey Bees"
This bill would gives the Florida
Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (DACS) exclusive authority to
regulate beekeeping, apiaries and their locations. This agricultural bill
which had faced early opposition has now received final passage
(by both the house and senate) on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 and was
sent to our Governor, has since been signed to be effective
July 1, 2012.
The UF/IFAS Lee County Extension, in collaboration with the
Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida (BASF) offered a 4-week
introductory beekeeping class this summer.
Classes began on Friday July 6, 2012. Space was limited to 40
students. Students received basic startup kit including bee veil,
smoker, bee box and resource books. Bees were NOT be provided as
part of this package!
Pre-registration was necessary for inclusion in the class.
Cost of the course was $200.
Morning classroom sessions were held at the Extension Office
located in Terry Park. Afternoon practical sessions will be
conducted on the farm of a BASF member beekeeper.
The EPA cover-up of the damage done
by neonicotinoid pesticides
FSBA has added a special website addition of a
FSBA Cottage Foods
Page which include among the many many resources: Cottage Food Law,
Cottage Food Brochure Guide by FDACS, sample label templates, links to
Avery's Online Design and Print Center, resources, references... and information on using
Honey Board's Hang Tags for smaller containers.
Backyard Beekeeping in our Area
In spite of warm and fuzzy feelings for the honey bee, general fear of
insects is canceling out common sense! Citations issued... Fight or Flight? Your help is needed to
replace fear/ignorance with acceptance/knowledge.
Learn about the benefits of backyard beekeeping in both
residential and urban areas of our community... and why issuing citations
to backyard beekeepers is not in the best interest of our community.
What you can do to help. Equip, educate yourself, the public, media,
and community leaders. Practice good beekeeping, be a model
beekeeper... use Best Management Practices. Write a letter!
Florida may soon tell local
governments that they can no longer place restrictions on beekeepers.
Local ordinances have cropped up as the number of beekeepers has tripled,
and industry experts say local ordinances are actually putting local
residents at risk of dangerous bee stings...
read the whole story
State May Ban Local Bee Laws ~ The Miami Harold
Local governments would no longer have the right to
restrict beekeeping... the city of Sarasota and other well-intentioned
local governments banned beekeeping, which has led to an influx of the
more aggressive Africanized bees...read
The banquet takes place in the Special Event Center at the Fairgrounds.
Use the Martin Luther King Boulevard Fair Entrance
Laurence will be honored at Florida
Agricultural Hall of Fame banquet during the Florida
State Fair in Tampa.
Laurence is a
third-generation beekeeper who was instrumental in advocating for research
to reduce bee hive losses in Florida. He also invented a trap for small
hive beetles. Cutts served as chief of
the Apiary Inspection Bureau at the Florida Department of Agriculture and
If interested in attending and sitting at a FL Beekeeper's table, please
send to your check in the amount of $60.00 (per person) to Gary Ranker.
Include your name as you wish it to be printed on the name tag.
Click Here for Gary's contact information.
SEE VIDEOS of Laurence Cutts
Seating assignment will appear on your name badge at the event.
The Curious Kids meet beekeeper Keith Councell to learn just how
creative bees can be! From honey to furniture polish and candy, bees
keep pretty busy!
Better late than never. Found Videos from last year's
convention... thanks to
Brendhan for posting them on web at vimeo. For those who
missed the convention, you can watch videos from last year's event
using menu directly above. A couple of videos included below
for your enjoyment:
Bee Bearding at our 2010 Convention for FSBA
Our David Mendes at Day in Bee Yard portion of our Convention 2010 for FSBA
Registration is now open for
5th Annual University of Florida
Bee College Program
Friday and Saturday March 9th & 10th, 2012
The Whitney Laboratory
for Marine Bioscience
9505 Ocean Shore Blvd.St. Augustine, FL 32080-8610
Dennis spoke at the Venice Area Garden
Club, Venice, FL on Thursday, January 5, 2012. His one-hour
talk/demonstration included basic bee biology, beekeeping as a
hobby, and honey from the hive to the market place.
Observation hive with live bees were on display during the
presentation. He was well-received, many questions, and much
interest in beekeeping. BASF flyers, club meeting information,
Honey Queen recipes, etc. were distributed to those interested.
Pictured below is Bea Holt and Dennis.
"Thank you for your informative and entertaining presentation."
Bea Holt, VP Venice Area Garden Club, Venice, FL
The FSBA will have a booth at the Florida
State Fair, Tampa, FL ~ February 9 -20, 2012.
is the coordinator. Bert carries his master sign-up sheet with him at all
times during the day, so just give him a call to be added to the list.
Pot Luck Dinner and Meeting
was held on Wednesday, 12-14-11, 6:30 PM
Click Here or on Images
above to see all the pictures, etc. from this event.
Orange Blossom Beekeepers Association hosted the 91st Annual
Florida State Beekeepers Association Convention October 27-29, 2011.
The event was held at the Orange County Extension Offices
located at 6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando, Florida.
The Holiday Inn International Airport in Orlando will be the
location of our Annual Banquet. They are offering room rates of $81.00 per room
(up to 4 people) especially for our event. This Holiday Inn is about 3 miles
from the Orange County Extension Center (6021 S. Conway Road, Orlando). They
have a restaurant in the hotel but there are also numerous restaurants in this
area, such a Dennys, Sonny's, Chilis, Tony Romas, Fridays, etc.
The Holiday Inn also had a FREE shuttle that took guests to The
Florida Mall for a little shopping. Unfortunately, they do not go to the theme
parks but will drive you anywhere within 3 miles of the hotel for free.
The menu of the BBQ was changed from pulled pork and veggie burgers to Chicken
as the only meat dish. All other menu items remained
Save on Shipping Offers from certain Vendors attending this year's
Convention: Some vendors who were at the 2011 convention were able
to accept orders in advance of the convention and brought/delivered orders to
the Convention. If you were a vendor who who accepted orders prior to the
Convention and delivered the order to convention in order to SAVE ON SHIPPING...
you were able to be added to a list of
PARTICIPATING VENDOR(S) (2011)
Virginia and Dennis Riggs of the Beekeepers Association of Southwest
Florida set-up at the
October Fun Fest 2011. There were many people interested in
starting up beekeeping as a hobby, attending our next meeting, and
looking for local sources of honey. We passed out old honey queen
brochures/recipes, our new club brochure, and the post cards about
our association. There were a few opportunities to discuss the joys
and benefits of beekeeping and our club’s efforts in Southwest
Florida. Many questions were asked and answered regarding the bees
in our observation hive, the equipment and methods of beekeeping,
and general questions regarding health benefits of honey… especially
concerning allergies. This was their third year setting up at Shear
Image’s event and sharing beekeeping knowledge and information about
our association. We encourage others in our local membership
to send us photos and details of their events promoting beekeeping,
so we can add them to website, blog, FaceBook, etc... Thanks.
"It doesn't matter if you have one or ten, it's not
permitted in a residential area," said Joan LaGuardia, Communications
Manager for Lee County. According to LaGuardia says
Lee County only permits bee keeping in agricultural areas.
The above is yet another example of the need for educating our community
leaders of the good that hobby beekeepers provide to our community and the
consequences of eliminating or banning beekeeping in areas where they are needed
“The extreme defensiveness of the Africanized Honey Bees (which now heavily
populate our area) has caused unjustified fear of ALL honeybees and has sadly
resulted in some communities restricting or banning hobby beekeeping in urban
and residential areas of South Florida, with apparent total disregard that hobby
“backyard” beekeepers provide a much needed first line of defense against the
undesirable bee invasion by providing a continuous supply of the calmer, managed
European Honey Bees filling the voids throughout our community which would
otherwise quickly be filled by the unwanted bees should the gentle bees be
legislated out through ignorance of their importance. A prime goal of the
Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida is education including education of
the non-beekeeping members and leaders of our community regarding the great need
and importance of permitting the keeping of managed, gentle European Honey Bee
colonies throughout our communities, replacing beekeeping intolerance,
ignorance, and fear with acceptance, knowledge, and love for the gentle honeybee
and those who keep them." ~ Dennis Riggs
Manatee Park Eco-Detectives Summer Camp ~
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Dennis and Virginia present "All
About Bees" to the young Eco-Detectives, July 28, 2011.
Melissa's Dad assisted by supplying Keith's observation hive for the
Presentations by Our Club:
[ Manatee Park
2008 ] | [ Manatee Park 2009
HopGuard the newest Varroa Mite control has been approved for use in
Florida. Several other States have been approved as well.
One year ago, May 30, 2010 our member Rachell Skerlec's youngest
son, Griffin got a beehive as his birthday gift of choice for his
8th birthday. This year, on May 30, 2011 Griffin turned 9 and got a
very special gift from his honeybee colony,… 2.5 gallons of golden,
delicious wildflower honey! Don Murray (VP of our association
at that time)
loaned his extracting equipment and helped with the very first
harvest (almost a full super of honey)...
more pics and details
The following are UPDATE photos of
the Kenya Top Bar Hive which now has a colony of bees:
"...New York City made beekeeping legal, and in so doing it
joined a long list of other municipalities, from Denver to Milwaukee
to Minneapolis to Salt Lake City, that have also lifted beekeeping
bans in the last two years. Many towns, like Hillsboro, Ore., have
done the same, and still other places, like Oak Park, Ill., and
Santa Monica, Calif., are reconsidering their prohibitions.
Nationwide, hives are being tucked into small backyards and set
alongside driveways; even the White House has installed some..."
“People want to feel that they are doing something to help,”
said Dave Mendes, president of the American Beekeeping
Federation in Atlanta. “Having a few beehives in your backyard can
make you feel better.”
Yes!, Florida has a Honey Standard (the first to have one) ~ Only PURE HONEY will do
on Florida Retail Shelves.
No unfair competition from pretend honeys, bogus honey, foreign honey blends, diluted honey, or
honey cut with syrups.
Standard of Identity - Honey: One objective is control of
the pervasive, illegal practice of blending or diluting pure honey
with low-cost syrups (i.e., sugar, cane, corn, etc.) thereby
committing an economic fraud on both the permanent and transient
residents of Florida.
This rule addresses comprehensive prohibitions against the
deliberate addition of any food ingredient or food additives other
than honey, sets maximum moisture content for honey, sets parameters
for sugar constituents in honey and establish honey labeling
guidelines. This rule provides a mechanism for the Department to
enforce instances of adulteration and misbranding of honey being
offered for sale at retail in Florida.
Florida was the first (in 2009) to adopt a Honey Standard,
followed by California, Wisconsin, ...and now North Carolina just
joined Florida and the others and are ready to send out their
Honey Police to combat the crime of
Honey" (sweet-but-bogus honey).
"Some of the people who think they've been buying sourwood all
these years have actually been buying corn syrup, and they have no
idea what they're missing," said John Ambrose, an
entomologist and bee expert at North Carolina State University who
sits on the newly created Honey Standards Board.
SPECIAL Field Meeting (Picnic) was
held at our New Club Apiary,
May 29, 2011, 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
It was a beautiful, sunny day (no rain).
Everything went very well and was enjoyable. Thanks to all
that worked to make this happen. I am sorry I didn't take many
pictures and not everybody who attended (i.e., Pen, Lisa, and
others) made it into my photos. Others took pictures of the
picnic and of the hive inspections... and I will post more pictures
as they become available. Check website often for updates and
Rachell Skerlec, mother of two 4-H boys earning their 4-H Beekeeping
credit. They got two areas signed off Saturday, by helping
Dennis and Virginia Riggs with their observation hive set-up/display
and fielding questions about bees, beekeeping, and beekeeping
equipment at the Olga Community Center BBQ. Both boys have a
long list of beekeeping tasks which they must complete and get
signed off by beekeepers. The
list and progress can be
viewed at our BLOG.
Please help them achieve their goal(s).
Meeting Q&A Topic on April 13, 2011 was
"Getting Started: Installing Package Bees, Do's & Don'ts" by Dennis
He established the nation’s first standard of identity for honey
to prevent cheap, watered down, or otherwise adulterated honey
products from being processed or sold in Florida as pure honey. This
protects the honeybee industry and ensures consumers get pure honey
when they purchase it in Florida.
He launched statewide outreach program to inform public about
Africanized bees that are established in Florida. The department
facilitated the formation of a regional inter-agency communications
group to address the growing number of Africanized bees and the
likely interactions between the highly defensive bees and people and
animals. The slogan, Look, Listen and Run has been adopted by
the group and is being used to inform the public.
FDACS is playing a key role in the national control strategies for
the introduction of apiary pests and diseases including
varroa mites and the troubling mystery disease, colony collapse
disorder which is being blamed for the loss of thousands of
honey bee colonies.
Jerry Hayes says it is impressive how active Commissioner Bronson
has been with all Agricultural Groups in Florida, but Jerry, of
course, was really impressed with his forward looking engagement
with the Apiculture Industry of Florida. Jerry says to have a list
of Commissioner Bronson's accomplishments include our Industry is
tremendous. A list of Commissioner Bronson's most significant
accomplishments in helping Florida Agriculture be the best in the
Nation can be
viewed on this FDACS web page.
The Florida Beekeeper ~ September 2010 ~ Online Version
The Annual Advertisement Campaign for "The Florida Beekeeper"
is now underway. Please have your association or a beekeeping outfit
in your area consider
taking out an ad to support the State Beekeepers Association's
Thomas J. Allen, 69, died Monday, Aug. 9, 2010. He will be
missed and remembered by us all. He was a wonderful, generous
Tom was many things to many people. Besides our beekeeping
friend, he was a nationally recognized wildlife artist (painting,
sculpting, carving), a gifted photographer, wildlife biologist,
butterfly expert, an avid native plant gardener, fossil hunter and
collector. He was a dedicated conservationist who loved to share his
knowledge, speaking to diverse groups in many venues. He truly loved all forms of wildlife.
Tom spearheaded education and outreach efforts for the Beekeepers
Association of Southwest Florida, and was a successful backyard
beekeeper and honey producer. He helped other novice beekeepers with
his advice and time and was a generous resource for all in the
Memorial Service: was held on
Saturday, Aug. 14, at 2:30 p.m., in the chapel of Coral Ridge
Funeral Home, 1630 S.W. Pine Island Rd., Cape Coral.
Contributions in Tom's memory may be made
to Cape Coral Friends of Wildlife, P.O. Box 152761, Cape Coral, FL
33915, or to Hope Hospice of Cape Coral.
Tom Allen Day
2:00 PM, November 21, 2010, at Rotary Park
For the past few weeks the City of Cape Coral has been organizing an
official “Tom Allen Day”. After coordinating with Sandy Allen and
Mayor Sullivan, they have selected November 21st, which is Tom’s
birthday, for the event. It will take place at 2 pm at Rotary Park.
What does “Tom Allen Day” mean?
Tom Allen Day will be a time for Tom’s friends to gather and
celebrate his life. Mayor Sullivan will be there to present a
proclamation to Sandy, which will declare November 21, 2010 to be
“Tom Allen Day” in the City of Cape Coral. The proclamation will
recognize the many things Tom did for the citizens and wildlife in
Cape Coral. Afterward we’ll have light refreshments. We would love
to have all of Tom’s friends attend this special day. Tom touched
many lives in the few years he lived here. Please let everyone you
know that was friends with Tom about this day.
Help boy scout, Christopher Stowell to bring back the Beekeeping
Merit badge which was discontinued in 1995.
Christopher says, “I believe that now more than ever before the
survival of the honey bee is important to all. If other boys are not
encouraged to learn how to become beekeepers, the honey bee will
surely die out. Not only do I feel this way, but beekeepers all
across America believe in the importance of teaching the younger
generations the importance of the honey bee." READ
CHRISTOPHER'S REQUEST at the Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream website.
Support the Reinstatement of the Merit Badge... SEND THE LETTER
for Christopher using the form on the Haagen-Dazs website. ADD YOUR NAME
to the list of those supporting this cause using the simple online
Florida State Beekeepers Association is proud to announce the
reintroduction of the Honey Queen Project for Florida.
If you have a daughter, niece, sister, or granddaughter between the ages
of 17 and 24 she may be eligible. THIS IS NOT "A BEAUTY
CONTEST"!... and NO! she will not wear a bee costume like Dennis'
daughter-in-law who is holding a teddy bear of Old Man Riggs' honey.
The Honey Queen is the "front line" between the public and Florida
Beekeepers. She is the face of beekeeping and attends local fairs, gives
lectures at garden clubs and schools and is the media contact for the
local and state associations. The ultimate goal for a Florida Honey Queen
is to attend the American Beekeeping Federation and win the National
Palm Beach County Beekeepers Association has invited our association
to their "Summer Fling for 2010" which will take place on Saturday,
June 19, 2010 at the Pine Jog Environmental Center. The event
will include classes, speakers, dinner, board meeting. They
are looking for donations and sponsors. If interested in
participating or having a table at this event, then
READ INVITATION LETTER for
more information and to view the actual letter of invitation from
their president, Brendhan Horne.
2nd Urban Farm Bus Tour March 17, 2010
The 2nd Urban Farm Bus Tour, guided by Roy Beckford,
agriculture agent with IFAS Lee County Extension, will be held
Wednesday, March 17, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The tour will feature
four urban farms located in Lee County. It is a unique opportunity
to meet farmers who will share their business experience and to
learn about new farming techniques being practiced locally. One
of the stops will be at Keith Councell's place to see/discuss
farming bees. Samples and produce will be available.
Refreshments and farm snacks will be provided during the bus tour.
Lunch is also included and will be served on one of the stops. The
bus will be leaving from Lee County Extension Office, 3406 Palm
Beach Blvd., Fort Myers. The cost is $50 per person For additional
information, call 239- 533-7514. The extension Web site is
... not sure what time the bus stops at Keith's?
BRING ON THE BEES
New York Times announced March 16,
2010: "New York City's board of health voted Tuesday to lift a
ban against beekeeping, legalizing the hives of hundreds of
residents who have tended bees in defiance of the law.
The unanimous vote amends the health code to allow residents to keep
hives of Apis mellifera, the common, nonaggressive honeybee.
Beekeepers will be required to register with the Department of
Health and Mental Hygiene and to adhere to appropriate practices.
That means they must be able to control bee swarms and ensure that
the hives do not interfere with pedestrians or neighbors."
Per Dan O'Hanlon (Legislative Chair of West Virginia Beekeepers
Association): "It passed our House 94-2 and our Senate
34-0. The final version of the
bill is attached. Many thanks to the bill's sponsors and the
many others in both chambers who helped out. The bill was made
effective on passage. I will be explaining it at the WV Beekeeper's
Spring Meeting in Huntington April 10th. HOORAY!!!! "
To our knowledge (based on some quick preliminary research)
currently concludes that the Argentine ant has not yet been yet
reported in LEE OR CHARLOTTE COUNTIES.
HERE to see a map of where the Argentine Ants may be a problem.
Should they make it to Lee County the Argentine ants can overwhelm
new colonies overnight, ultimately causing the loss of an entire bee
yard. Since the Argentine ant has not officially made its way
to Lee County, if you believe that you have lost a hive to
these ants, and believe they are indeed the Argentine ant,
then per the request of Agricultural Agent,
Beckford, please collect the ants in plastic zip bag and take
for positive identification.
The Argentine ant has been reported from the following counties:
Alachua, Bay, Broward, Duval, Escambia, Gulf, Highlands,
Hillsborough, Okaloosa, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Polk, Putnam,
Seminole, Walton and Washington.
Often beekeepers will falsely conclude that ants caused the
demise of their colony when the ants are only there naturally
cleaning up the remains of the colony which died by other means.
Please don't jump to any conclusions and help Roy to determine if
Argentine Ants are here in Lee County and not just a case of
mistaken identity. Identification is difficult and there are
other ants very similar. A microscope is required for many of
the I.D. steps.
The 89th Convention of the Florida State Beekeepers Association will be held in
Monticello, Florida near Tallahassee in the Panhandle November 5-7, 2009.
The Apalachee Beekeepers association will be hosting the FSBA annual meeting. In addition to the FSBA
meeting they have scheduled a
Welsh Honey Show at the North Florida Fair.
for Sunday, November 8, 2009, 8:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Bldg. 1
The Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida (BASF) joined the national effort
to bring AWARENESS to the plight and challenges which face our
gentle honey bees and the beekeeping industry by holding a National Honey Bee Awareness Day
seminar and exhibition.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
8:00 AM to 4:00 PM
Gulf Coast Palm and Tree Nursery
8591 Gladiolus Dr., Fort Myers, FL 33908
The National Honey Bee Awareness Day (a.k.a. National Honey Bee
Day), is the first ever day completely dedicated to Honey Bee
Awareness from a national effort. This event will be tailored
to educating and connecting with the community with the goal of
harnessing and multiplying the efforts which our local bee
associations already make in their communities through this national
combined effort culminating on this single day.
Considering all the important work performed by the honey bee, it is
long overdue to have a day which is dedicated solely to the Honey
Gulf Coast Palm & Tree graciously allowed us to host this
seminar and exhibition at their location in their facilities... and
provided hot dogs, sodas, nice door prizes, etc.
[ National Honey Bee
Awareness Day PHOTOS ]
This is an event you simply cannot afford to miss, nor an opportunity to miss
August 9, 2008 was the debut year for the annual exhibition ‘Taste of Lee”.
The response was overwhelming with more than 2,000 patrons showing up on a rainy
morning. Both television and print media reported the success of the event in
the nightly news and in the August 10th newspapers respectively.
This year, July 18, 2009, ‘Taste of Lee’ promises to be even bigger.
Included here are the
event flyer and
application form for you to consider participating in what is quickly
becoming the premier event showcasing local producers. For
information, please call C. Cowert at 239 533-7514.
Dusting of Colonies found ineffective per study authored by
Amanda Ellis, James Ellis, and Jerry Hayes (January 2009), "we did
not find that dusting colonies with powdered sugar afforded
significant varroa mite control"
IMPORTANT "CANCELLATION" NOTICE Regarding FSBA Mid-Year (June)
Meeting in Bartow:
Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford, Executive Secretary, Florida State
FSBA Template: After a good deal of deliberation, President Reno
Plenge has decided to cancel the mid year beekeeping meeting of The
Florida State Beekeepers Association http://floridabeekeepers.org ,
scheduled for June 13 in Bartow. Several developments put the
program’s effectiveness and potential audience participation in
Urge the Department of Agriculture to act now to
bees are crucial to producing about one-third of all the food we eat, the
Department of Agriculture has failed to meet crucial research needs to
determine the cause of colony collapse disorder, which is devastating
hives across the country.
part of the "Haagen-Dazs Loves Honey Bees" campaign, they created a
new flavor of ice-cream, Vanilla HoneyBee. They are also
donating $250,000 (for bee research) to UC Davis & Pennsylvania
State University, formed a 7-member scientific advisory board, and
has a great, informative/fun website,http://helpthehoneybees.com
PAST EVENT: Saturday, September 20, 2008 "IN
THE FIELD" at Keith's, 1:00 PM.
MORE DETAILS including map,
directions, agenda, etc.
March 5, 2008 - GENERAL MEETING: Membership fees were
collected at the meeting and officers were elected. It was a very important meeting.
Betterbee shipped us 20 of their new 2008 catalogs which were
available at the meeting. There are only 2 or 3 left! Also, Old Man Riggs
brought his single-frame
observation hive with a frame of LIVE BEES for viewing at this
meeting. The same one used on Fox 4 Morning Blend show with
Roy and Dennis.
February 7, 2008 - GENERAL MEETING: We voted Beekeepers
Association of Southwest Florida as our official name. We
accepted both the proposed Constitution and Bylaws amended to
include our new official name. We set membership fee at $10.00
(annually) for our organization with the prerequisite that you must
also be a member of the Florida State Beekeepers Association (FSBA).
Steering committee is remaining in leadership/organization mode
until elected by the membership (next meeting). Next meeting
was set for Wednesday, March 5, 2008, 6:30 PM, at Lee County
Extension Service. Main entrance will be closed and entry will
be around back (South side of building). Meeting was adjourned
and refreshments provided by Keith Councell were enjoyed after the
2008, Tuesday, 5:00 PM, Lee County Extension Service
(Terry Park): Second Meeting of the steering committee.
General meeting date was set for Thursday, February 7, 2008, 6:30 PM
at Lee County Extension Service (Terry Park Complex), four choices
for names will be presented (Beekeepers Association of Southwest
Florida, Beekeeping Association of Southwest Florida, Southwest
Florida Beekeepers Association, and Southwest Florida Beekeepers
Association), officers will be elected at general meeting,
constitution and bylaws will be presented for acceptance.
2007, Thursday, 4:00 PM, Lee County Extension Service
(Terry Park): First Meeting of the steering committee. Draft
versions of Constitution and
Bylaws were presented, discussed, and
November 28, 2007, Wednesday, 6:45 PM, Lee County Extension
Service (Terry Park): First Meeting of those interested.
See Minutes for more information.
Steering committee was selected for working on the details
(membership, constitution, bylaws, name for organization, etc.).
Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida can use
your help. Please DONATE to support our group's efforts.
We are a now a 501(c)3 Non-Profit Organization and your donations are tax deductible!:
Notice: You do NOT have to be a member of PayPal (or sign up) to
use your credit card to donate, simply look during the donation process for the
section "Don't have a PayPal account? and click continue.
How do I join Beekeepers Association of Southwest Florida (BASF)?
Attend one of our meetings and pay applicable dues to our Treasurer,
or you can DOWNLOAD
Membership Application. Consent/Release Form, and mail it to our treasurer along with
applicable dues. Currently $12 for current year.
If you are not already a member of FSBA then please join FSBA as well;
however, we do not collect dues or fees for the Florida State
Beekeepers Association (FSBA), you must pay FSBA directly: Click
HERE to Join or Renew your Florida State Beekeepers