Beekeeper Resources

for Florida Beekeepers (mostly)

Looking for Beekeeper Resources? Look no further…here there’s info on beekeeper registration, cottage food, UF’s Bee College and Master Beekeeper Programs, Where to Buy Bees and Equipment as well as Bee Removal Laws



TheBeeMD

A diagnostic application for use in the field to diagnose honey bee health problems


Each beekeeper having honey bee colonies in Florida is required by law to register with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS).

FDACS registers and inspects honey bee colonies to certify them as:

  • Free or substantially free from honey bee pests of regulatory significance and
  • Free from unwanted types of honey bees.

Residential Beekeepers

All apiaries maintained on properties not classified as agricultural must follow best management requirements for maintaining European honey bee colonies on non-agricultural lands, as described in the Beekeeper Compliance Agreement [below]. All hives must have movable frames.

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Bee College is a two day training event for beekeepers of all experience levels. Held twice a year, during each spring and fall, the locations of these events rotate between north, central, and south Florida. Usually scheduled in March and October – once at the world’s largest Honey Bee Research Lab in Gainesville and once either at the Ft Lauderdale HBREL or in the Caribbean. Bee College participants get the opportunity to learn about honey bees and beekeeping from the state’s experts. Class topics include beginner beekeeping courses, in-hive skill practice, research updates, native bees, and more! Click here to sign up for emails about Bee College events.


Program mission:

To improve honey bee health and the sustainability of beekeeping globally through beekeeper training and public outreach.

In working towards this overall mission, the UF MBP has two specific goals for program participants. Over a minimum of 5 years, beekeepers in the UF MBP will:

  1. learn and adopt research-based beekeeping best management practices, and 
  2. provide research-based education to the non-beekeeping public and serve as mentors to new beekeepers
Online-MBP_Requirements_Apprentice_2018

Florida law allows individuals to use their unlicensed home kitchens to produce for sale certain foods that present a low risk of foodborne illness, like honey. Cottage food operators can produce and sell these products directly to consumers without obtaining a food permit from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Gross sales for a cottage food operation must not exceed $50,000 annually.

Cottage Food Law Basics

  • Cottage food operators can sell cottage foods only within the state of Florida and not across state lines. 
  • Cottage food operators may sell cottage food products on their website, but the products are prohibited to be delivered by mail order.
  • Cottage food products must be delivered directly to the consumer or to the consumer’s private event, such as a wedding or birthday party.
  • Cottage food products cannot be sold wholesale. 
  • Cottage foods must be properly packaged and labeled. Cottage food operators can serve free samples for tasting, but the samples must be prepackaged. 
  • A cottage food operation must comply with all applicable county and municipal laws and ordinances regulating the preparation, processing, storage and sale of cottage food products.
Cottage_Food_Guidance

Bottling, Labelling and Selling Honey in Florida

Also includes what you need if you do not qualify for Cottage Food

IN91800

Laws, Requirements and Regulations for Bee Removals

FDACS regulates pest control under Chapter 482, Florida Statutes (F.S.). Eradication of pests (including nuisance honey bees) meets the definition of pest control, Chapter 482.021, F.S. Therefore, a person being hired to eradicate a honey bee swarm or established colony (even if they do not make a pesticide application) must be licensed in either General Household Pest (GHP), which covers indoor and outdoor removal, or Lawn & Ornamental (L&O), which covers eradication of bees only if they are located outside a structure, as in a tree.

Beekeepers hired to remove bees are required to be registered with FDACS’s Apiary Section, but need not be licensed under Chapter 482, F.S. Registered beekeepers can remove and relocate nuisance swarms or established colonies in accordance with Rule 5E-14.151, Florida Administrative Code, and can apply to be on the Bee Removal or Eradication List. For more information on becoming a registered beekeeper, please visit the Beekeeper Registration page. 


This content is for members only.

Have any other Beekeeper questions?

Looking for more Beekeeper Resources? Become a member to see those above -or- Bring your ?s to a meeting -or- Ask Us on our Facebook Page. We are here to help Florida beekeepers.