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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I obtain information about beekeeping?
Visit the Beekeeper Registration web page or contact the apiary inspector in your region. Locate your apiary inspector.
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 web page.
What are the regulations for honey houses and honey labeling?
These regulations come under the jurisdiction of the Division of Food Safety.
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.
How do I join a beekeepers' association?
Contact the Florida State Beekeepers Association.
Where do I purchase bee supplies?
Contact the Florida State Beekeepers Association at http://www.floridabeekeepers.org/ or the local apiary inspector.
What do I use to treat bees for diseases and pests?
Contact the local apiary inspector.
How do I remove bees, yellow jackets, wasps?
For removing bees, yellow jackets and wasps from private property, contact a local pest control company.
What are the requirements of residential beekeepers? (non-agricultural)
Sample Beekeeper Compliance Agreement [ ] - Best management requirements for maintaining honeybee colonies.
General Information and Best Management Practices
- Florida Bee Protection
- Florida Apiary/Citrus Mapping Service
- Inmate Beekeeping Partnership - Inmates learn about beekeeping thanks to a new inmate re-entry program in conjunction with the Florida Department of Corrections.
- What's the Buzz on Bees? - Honey Bee Education Program [ ]
- The Honey Bee Colony Presentation [ ]
- What Is NOT a Honey Bee
- Products of the Hive
- BMPs for Producing Honey Bee Queens [ ]
- BMPs for Maintaining European Honey Bee Colonies [ ]
- Minimizing Honey Bee Exposure to Pesticides - UF publication
Diseases, Pests, and Unwanted Species
- The Africanized Honey Bee
- Africanized Honey Bee (NAPIS)
- Colony Collapse Disorder
- Small Hive Beetle
- USDA ARS Disease and Pest Information
- Varroa Mite (NAPIS)
Rules & Regulations
- Florida Apiary District Map
- Rules/ Statutes of the Honey bee Industry
- Registered Florida Beekeepers [ ]
- Beekeeper Registration Information
- Apiary Inspection Brochure [ ]
- Cottage Food Brochure [ ] (from Division of Food Safety)
- Florida Melitto Files: News for Bee Lovers