Apiary Inspection

Overview |  FAQ General Information & Best Management Practices |  Diseases, Pests and Unwanted Species |  Rules & Regulations |  Publications |  Presentations |  Related Links

Overview

Apiary Inspection plays a vital role in Florida agriculture as inspectors work to prevent the introduction and establishment of honey bee pests and diseases. A healthy and secure Florida honey bee industry is valuable to all.

Florida's honey industry is consistently ranked among the top five in the nation with an annual worth of $13 million. In addition, the Florida honey bee industry benefits our state's fruit and vegetable industry by providing an estimated $20 million in increased production numbers created by managed pollination services that are available in no other way. There are over 100 varieties of popular fruits and vegetables that use pollination to ensure fruitful crops.

Florida apiary inspectors certify movement of honey bee colonies throughout the state and the nation. These colonies are monitored for diseases, honey bee pests and unwanted bee species. The department has the most comprehensive state program (e.g., number of inspectors and traps) to prevent the accidental introduction of the unwanted Africanized honey bee.

Seventeen million pounds of honey are produced in Florida each year and enjoyed around the world.

Honey bees, otherwise known as the Angels of Agriculture, are the strongest link in the chain between food producers and consumers.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Where can I obtain information about beekeeping?
    Visit the  Beekeeper Registration page or contact the apiary inspector in your region.  Locate your apiary inspector.
  2. If one has a colony of bees, must the beekeeper register and what is the procedure?
    Yes, all who keep bees must register with the department by contacting the local apiary inspector. See  Beekeeper Registration.
  3. What are the regulations for honey houses and honey labeling?
    These regulations come under the jurisdiction of the  Division of Food Safety or  Honey House Sanitation and the Florida Food Law.
  4. How do I ship bees out of state or move them within the state?
    Florida law requires that all bees being moved be inspected and certified by the department. See  Chapter 586.
  5. How do I join a beekeepers' association?
    Contact the Florida State Beekeepers Association.
  6. Where do I purchase bee supplies?
    Contact the  Florida State Beekeepers Association or the  Local Apiary Inspector.
  7. What do I use to treat bees for diseases and pests?
    Contact the  local apiary inspector or  Honey Bee and Research Extension Lab
  8. How do I remove bees, yellow jackets, wasps?
    For removing bees, yellow jackets and wasps from private property, contact a  Bee Eradication or Eradication List.
  9. What are the requirements of residential beekeepers? (non-agricultural) 
    Sample Beekeeper Compliance Agreement [ Adobe PDF Document 47.81 KB ] - Best management requirements for maintaining honey bee colonies. NOTE: Must be executed by a local  Apiary Inspector.

General Information and Best Management Practices

Diseases, Pests, and Unwanted Species

Rules & Regulations

Publications

  Presentations

Related Links