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Author Topic: Greetings from South FL  (Read 1430 times)
Holycow
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« on: March 10, 2007, 09:14:28 PM »

Hi everyone,
I've been lurking here for a while, but the time has finally come to step into the active area. Learned abit of beekeeping from an uncle, but he lives so far in the north US that the rules of bees are quite different here. Hopefully I can exchange info with other folks who live in a climate of perpetual spring & summer.
Thanks everybody.
--jeff
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Understudy
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2007, 10:33:39 PM »

I am in West Palm Beach, Fl. Where are you?
Welcome to the forums.


Sincerely,
Brendhan
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The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
pdmattox
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2007, 07:51:47 AM »

 I live in the north central part of the state.  Welcome to the forums.
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Holycow
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2007, 11:04:31 AM »

Hi,
I'm here just south of Miami, lived in Gainesville for about 6 years.. used to go to Lake City pretty often. It's a nice place.
 Since you folks live here, how does the state inspection work? I just captured a swarm last week and am getting them set up. I read the Dept. of Ag. website. but things didn't seem too clear. How are they about keeping a couple hives in a fenced  backyard in a residential neighborhood. I have high hedges all around so the bees aren't buzzing the neighbors. The hive I just set up is in the middle of the space so activities next door shouldn't bother them. We have AHB around here, so I'll have to keep a close eye on the queen and temperament of the upcoming generations, but these guys are pretty mellow. Accidentally squished a couple yesterday when checking the hive and didn't get a hot response.
Thanks,
--jeff
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2007, 11:58:32 AM »

Hi Jeff,

Where in Miami. I am familar with miami and dade county. So you could be any where from Aventura to Homestead.  Smiley

Florida State inspections in South Florida are performed by Bud Grant. He covers all of South Florida. And it is just him. So setting up an inspection can be slow. However before you set it up we can help you so you are ready for it.

The dept. of Ag doesn't say who can keep bees or where. The local zoning codes do. So depending on where you live city or county zoning will be the governing factor. With that being said. If you live in an HOA(Home Owners Assocition) neighborhood you will find that they tend to be overreactive and panic ridden. They have lawyers who have nothing better to do than harrass you.

Residential areas tend to not be a favorable place but many of us are backyard beekeepers in SoFla. So there are many renegade beekeepers in SoFla. We wear black masks and have secret handshakes. Special decoder rings are avaliable for members.

And yes we have AHB, hoever the media blows a lot of that out of proportion. Let your bees be in the box and leave them alone for a little bit so they can build comb and collect pollen and honey.

Your bees will fly up to a mile and a half to do that activity so you neighbors plants will all benefit from you having bees. When you harvast honey make sure your neighbors get some free honey. We are not beneath bribery .... er.. I mean gift giving and sharing.

Try to make sure your hive is not to readily visible from the street , panicky neighbors are your worst problem. They can be worse than AHB.

If you are concerned about the bees you can always send some to the lab for testing. My recommendation is do an aggression test once a week for about three weeks. You can do that by taking a black sock on the end of a pole and waving it in front of the hive entrance for 20 seconds. If the bees flock to it and attack it you may have aggressive bees. Whether they are AHB or not doesn't matter because even EHBs can be aggressive under certain circumstances. If they have lost their queen or the hive has been disturbed or freak weather changes may change the mood of your bees. If they are continously aggrssive I would requeen them. because even if they are not AHBs you won't like working on a hive with bees that are always in a bad mood.

So far it sounds like you are doing very well keep going and remember rule #1 . Have Fun.

Sincerely,
Brendhan
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The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
Holycow
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« Reply #5 on: March 11, 2007, 02:35:16 PM »

Hi,
I'm here int he Kendal area. Thankfully I do not live within a H.O.A. and my local "city govt" has nothing related to bees on the the books. My concern is that there seems to be an ordinance in this county prohibiting people from keeping bees within a non- agricultural area. I didn't know if it was enforced. I've been on the fence about it for a while, what I'd been thinking of doing was getting a few hives going at home and then moving them to other places where the zoning doesn't bar it. However, before you can ask a nursery or farm owner if you can keep bees on his property.. you have to have bees.  Ha.
Might have to learn that secret handshake.
--jeff
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« Reply #6 on: March 11, 2007, 06:04:10 PM »

Hi Jeff,

I am familar with Kendall. Glad you are not in the HOA. Dade County desperatly needs beekeepers and beekeeping support. Unfortunatly there is little of either. And with the size of Dade county try to make for a local beekeeping group has been shown to be difficult especially with the AHB issue.

Broward County is also about the same. No local beekeeping club and not a lot of backyard beekeepers. Both are needed badly.

However since you are here and I am thrilled that I have another SoFla beekeeper here I will try to pass along as much information as I can. Warning here in South Florida we do it very differently than all of those northern beekeepers who are on this forum.  They will all claim to love the change of seasons but really they are all just very jealous of the fact that we are not out there scraping snow off our car. Smiley

Also if you don't mind the drive you are very welcome at the PBC beekeeper meetings.
http://www.beekeeperspbc.com

So let's start with some outright basics.
1. Do you have bees yet?

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
Holycow
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« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2007, 09:22:58 PM »



Hi,
Yes, I just captured a swarm (in a trap I set in my back yard) last Sunday. The trap was a poly hive I set up with some comb inside. Ha! It's just that easy.
I've been feeding them 1:1 sugar water, and man they are thirsty. They are all over the feeder as soon as the sun comes up. Been sucking down at least 8 cups of the mix every day. Today they went thu 12+!
I opened the hive today to take a look and all is good inside, working fast with a queen in place. Didn't expect to see her or I would have had some paint ready for marking, but she made an appearance anyway. No eggs, but a little honey some pollen and lots of wax.
I have experience interacting with bees. I have a full suit w/gloves and veil. I use the full deal if I'm going to dig into a hive and really have them flying, or mess with a colony I don't know. I don't typically wear gloves unless I think I might really make them mad. What I've done most of the time with my hives in the past is just wear a hat and sunglasses and use smoke and everythings been fine. The last hives I had (last year) were hit hard by SHB, one small hive abandoned ship one day while I was at work. The other was invaded by ants and somehow lost it's queen ..ended up w/laying workers and that whole mess. I harvested all the honey and nuked them when I realized the hole was too big to dig myself out of that year. Planned to solve the problems and have a whole new game planned next swarm season. And here we are.
Not feeding in hives to keep beetles at bay, checking daily for ants and hitting them w/ cinnamon when they do show up. Beetle traps are ready if they re-appear but I suspect if I keep everything clean and get a strong hive going they will kick out any beatles before things can get bad. (That's what I've seen them do in the wild.)
Am I missing anything?
--Jeff
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« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2007, 09:48:20 PM »

darn Jeff,

That is one hell of year. You didn't mention any varroa problems or possums or raccoons. I think you may have been slacking.  Wink

SHB suck. Permacomb made that managable for me. I am still however inclinded to recommend powder sugar treatments for SHB if you are not using permacomb.

A full suit in SoFla is a like sticking your head in an oven. I think they are good for cut outs and feral hives that might be AHB but on my hives I prefer not to come out medium rare. I don't use gloves unless I question the hives aggresiveness.

So far you sound like you are the right track. I recommend you look at the post I just made on a wax moth infestation in one of our members hives.
http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=8176.0
It has a link to pictures.

Keep plugging away.  Smiley

Sincerely,
Brendhan

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The status is not quo. The world is a mess and I just need to rule it. Dr. Horrible
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