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Author Topic: Florida beekeeping Questions  (Read 1458 times)

Offline kedgel

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Florida beekeeping Questions
« on: July 18, 2009, 01:19:47 PM »
Any other Floridian beeks want to answer questions or provide some tips?  Up North the honey flow was in the spring and by July my hives were loaded with honey.  I have had problems getting my new hive going, so that may be an issue, but I have no honey.  I had 5 frames of drawn comb, some with honey, and I put in 5 frames of foundationed and partially drawn comb with a cut out colony I hived.  I fed initially, but stopped after they had a good start with syrup stored in the combs.  The combs didn't fill up and the stores soon disappeared--including the capped honey I put in.  I have gone back to feeding again and once again they have started to store it in the combs.  Since the combs weren't filling up and they were slow to draw out the other frames, I took out the undrawn frames to focus their energies and to aid in SHB defence, but they still aren't filling.  At first I suspected robbing by carpenter ants that are thick around here.  I  buttered the cinder blocks that support the hive with axle grease which deterred them, but they are still getting in, just not in as great of numbers.  I haven't seen enough ants coming and going to believe they are emptying the stores.  They are coming for the syrup, I think.

Is the flow earlier in the year when the oranges bloom?  Is FL lacking in nectar sources?  Up North my honey was mostly clover, but there is no clover in SW FL.  There are lots of palms and palmettos blooming that are swarming with all manner of bees and wasps, but I think they only provide pollen rather than nectar.  I live in Bonita Springs--between Naples and Ft. Myers on the coast. Can I plant a nectar source that will live in this climate?  I never had to try to do anything for my bees up north.  I put them in the box and they did their thing without any help from me.  I'm perplexed...
Talent is a dull blade that cuts nothing unless wielded with great force--Pat Travers

Offline fish_stix

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2009, 11:17:10 PM »
Kedgel; I've been beekeeping commercially in FL, on and off, since 1959 so hopefully can answer a few questions. As you stated, the orange flow is our major flow and you need to have your bees built up strong by Feb to take advantage of it. A good strong 2-deep brood chamber hive should produce several supers of superior quality honey if you're in or close to a large citrus grove. Build them by leaving the Brazilian Pepper flow honey from Sept on them and using the Red Maple and oak bloom of Dec-Jan plus feed them a gallon or so of syrup to get their motor running. We extract the pepper honey prior to the citrus flow; it's not good quality and sells as bakery honey. After the citrus we have gallberry/palmetto in Apr-June which is also excellent quality light honey. Then in July an intense Cabbage Palm bloom; use it for building splits as it is not good eating quality although some of the Latinos like it. In Sept we have the Brazilian Pepper bloom and we usually make a couple supers but leave it on the bees for winter (our 2-5 day winter!) stores. In between these major blooms we have Spanish Needle all year;this used to be a major crop for us in the orange groves until they discovered herbicides. It makes a medium dark fairly good tasting wildflower honey. Also, the 1000's of yard shrubs and trees make good forage and if you're close to a large mangrove area this makes good honey.

Offline kedgel

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2009, 12:02:50 AM »
Thank you so much for the local intel!! :-D  I'm encouraged!  I had no idea that Brazillian pepper was a nectar source. I'm surprised its even edible since exposure to it gives me a nasty rash.  Thanks again!
Talent is a dull blade that cuts nothing unless wielded with great force--Pat Travers

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2017, 09:47:02 AM »
want to bring this back to top and try to open some chat between Florida keepers, Have been in only a year in central west coast Florida, and it is different then up north, started with 1 hive last year going in to this year with 4 after split and nucs, working on building my apiary, had issues with double deep hive with shb,, but my single deep has been great . have been thinking deep and a medium for my area ,  it has been a learning experience with out a mentor except this site, but was wanting to start up a florida area to discuses things
thanks
Be safe
Ftm-rfb- egh-dtrt -ktf

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2017, 11:28:18 PM »
Bump
Be safe
Ftm-rfb- egh-dtrt -ktf

Offline bwallace23350

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2017, 12:24:30 PM »
I will help you out. Not a Florida bee keeper but will give you a bump

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 12:42:16 PM »
JT,
You are not too far from a beek that pulled and recorded a record 400 pounds of honey per hive on 4 hives. He is in the Tampa area. 1600 pounds in one year from 4 hives. You should be pretty well set.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 09:14:49 PM »
Well it is dry here and I am trying to build up, would love to be that guy but I am looking at it to get me and my family honey and then possible sideline later.
Be safe
Ftm-rfb- egh-dtrt -ktf

Offline jtcmedic

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #8 on: May 08, 2017, 02:34:50 PM »
Well my hives are back on tract with me feeding and them getting pollen building nice
Be safe
Ftm-rfb- egh-dtrt -ktf

Offline KD4MOJ

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2017, 08:21:26 AM »
JT,
You are not too far from a beek that pulled and recorded a record 400 pounds of honey per hive on 4 hives. He is in the Tampa area. 1600 pounds in one year from 4 hives. You should be pretty well set.
Jim

He must have had a dozen supers on each hive!  :smile:  Do you know what his setup was?

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

Up "North" in Tallahassee.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2017, 12:08:20 PM »
JT,
You are not too far from a beek that pulled and recorded a record 400 pounds of honey per hive on 4 hives. He is in the Tampa area. 1600 pounds in one year from 4 hives. You should be pretty well set.
Jim

He must have had a dozen supers on each hive!  :smile:  Do you know what his setup was?

...DOUG
KD4MOJ

Up "North" in Tallahassee.

No, I was told about it by the bee inspector.
He could not give me the guys name.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline tycrnp

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2017, 07:52:55 PM »
I am in NW Florida, along the Gulf Coast.  Had a single top bar last year (1st year) and plan to have it + 3 langstroths.  The city I am in allows bees.  I have informed them, so they don't spray.

Where can I find info about any regulations? I have lots of questions.  Is it a state thing?  Is there a limit to the # of hives I can have? Eventually I would like to sell honey at the farmer's market...are there laws?  I am going to a beekeeping meeting tonight, so I figure I will get some answers there.

Thanks for any input.

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 09:08:25 PM »
I am in NW Florida, along the Gulf Coast.  Had a single top bar last year (1st year) and plan to have it + 3 langstroths.  The city I am in allows bees.  I have informed them, so they don't spray.

Where can I find info about any regulations? I have lots of questions.  Is it a state thing?  Is there a limit to the # of hives I can have? Eventually I would like to sell honey at the farmer's market...are there laws?  I am going to a beekeeping meeting tonight, so I figure I will get some answers there.

Thanks for any input.
TY,
The state of FL took over control from local communities about 5 years ago when city's and counties started to ban them. They did this because Africanized will fill the void when they are banned. How large is your property?
Less than 1/2 acre and you are allowed 3 hives except during swarm season. Then you can have 6 hives. If you have more than 1/2 acre then it is 10 and 20 hives.
At the meeting, ask who your bee inspector is. I think it is Rob Horsbough. You just need to let him know you have hives. When he comes to inspect, you will regester.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline tycrnp

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Re: Florida beekeeping Questions
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 11:21:59 PM »
Jim,

Thanks so much.  I missed the meeting, it was last week.   :oops:  I will attend next month.  Our property is ~ 3/4 acre.  I'll be sure to get in touch with the inspector ASAP.