Our December 10, 2014 meeting was our Christmas Potluck Dinner
Plenty of Food...
Our own spin the prize wheel
See 50 More Photos VIEW ON FACEBOOK
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... more information
Cane "Bufo" Toads have Invaded South Florida... they're here!
It was reported by a member tonight that Cane toads "Bufo" are now showing up in Southwest Florida and 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 awhile... read more about their problem which is or soon may be our own problem, here in Southwest Florida.
Bee College and Master Beekeeper Program
BRINGING MICHAEL HOME BENEFIT
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 outdoors.
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." - Don Murray
America Revealed Flight of the Honey Bee...Follow the honey bee as it pollinates crops across the United States with David Hackenberg.
Pot Luck Dinner and Meeting
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.
Note: 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 unchanged.
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 Shear Image’s 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.
Small-scale beekeepers (sales less than $15,000 a year) can now bottle and sell honey without permits and without bottling in a Department of Agriculture-inspected kitchen. August 22, 2011
The 2011 National Honey Bee Day Theme:
Bees attacking Lehigh Acres community (WINK NEWS) August 1, 2011... read the whole story and watch video
"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 most.
“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
Lee Deputies looking for bee-napper, June 27, 2011... read the whole story
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
"...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.
DOWNLOAD or VIEW the Standard of Identity - Honey for Florida (pdf)
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 "Funny 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,
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 changes.
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
READ "How to Obtain Your First Bee Colony" by Beekeeping for Dummies Author Howland Blackiston
Suppliers found in American Bee Journal (ABJ)
Nuc & Hived Bees: Jester Bee Company
“U.S. Honey: A Taste for Every Preference”
The taste and color of honey varies according to flowers where the bees gather the nectar. Each different type of plant will yield honey with a different taste...
DEADLINE: February 21, 2011
SUBMIT TO: Please submit essays to firstname.lastname@example.org as a microsoft word document titled: " 4-H Essay _YOUR LAST NAME". Please use the format in the subject of your email as well.
QUESTIONS?: E-Mail the UF Lab Staff email@example.com
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.
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 activities.
View our advertisements in The Florida Beekeeper:
Raffle for Beekeeping and other Door Prizes, usually
at each monthly meeting:
Help boy scout, Christopher Stowell to bring back the Beekeeping
2010: 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 petition form.
Summer Fling for 2010
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
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.
West Virginia just became the first state in the nation to pass a Beekeeper's Immunity Law which limits the liability of apiary owners and operators.
West Virginia's HB4527
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!!!! "
PEST ALERT: Argentine Ant Problem
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. CLICK 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, Roy Beckford, please collect the ants in plastic zip bag and take them to Roy for positive identification.
HOW TO IDENTIFY ARGENTINE ANT Note: there are ants very similar to the Argentine ant (i.e., Darwin ant).
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. SEE MAP
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.
Argentine Ant Information and Photos are available at Florida Department of Agriculture, Div. of Plant Industry.
SPECIAL "HANDS-ON" FIELD MEETING
Florida State Beekeepers Association - ANNUAL MEETING & 89th
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
See picture of this GIANT yellow jacket nest that Dennis took during the interview with Keith. Also a picture that he took of yellow jacket queen, worker, etc. READ THE STORY at Wink News.
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
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 Bee.
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
Powdered Sugar 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:
Per Dr. Malcolm T. Sanford, Executive Secretary, Florida State Beekeepers Association's 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 doubt.
As 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
BEE DAY at Manatee Park
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 meeting.
January 22, 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.
December 13, 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 modified.
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.).
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 an application for membership, and mail it to our treasurer along with applicable dues. Currently $10 for current year if you are already a member of the Florida State Beekeepers Association (FSBA). If you are not a member of FSBA then we can collect membership dues for FSBA as well, in which case the total amount would be $25 ($10 BASF + $15 FSBA).