Honey Bee FAQ

Honey Bee FAQ

A: Bee colonies swarm at least one time per year, and the Africanized bees can swarm up to 5 times or more per year. When a bee colony swarms it is usually many thousands of bees looking for a new home. Honey bee colonies send out scout bees to find a new location ahead of time, and a short while later, they all take off for the new location. It takes only about 15 to 20 minutes for the cloud of bees to settle in and bingo, you now have a fresh new colony of bees on your property. A colony of bees can go a few feet to many miles to find a home or build one on a branch of a tree.

A: No. Bees like to choose large hollow locations like CBS block walls, bird houses, under sheds, in eves, power poles, and many other places that are hollow, check out our picture page.

A: Yes. You must remove the entire nest. If you leave it in place you will get all kinds of pests and most likely get a re-infestation of bees.

A: Honey bee colonies swarm because that’s how they reproduce. It is nature’s way of keeping the population up.

A: You have to send them to a lab and have them tested. They look exactly the same and do exactly the same things. The only difference is their temperament and resistance to tropical pests like mites and hive beetles.

A: The smoke only hides the alarm pheromone. A lot of people think that smoke will drive them out, but in reality, it will only drive them deeper into the structure. Beekeepers will use smoke to help keep the bees calm when robbing honey or inspecting a bee hive. Bees communicate in two ways one by “pheromones” and two is the “bee dance”. The use of smoke interrupts the pheromone communication, which is a smell that they emit.

A: Bees make honey out of nectar they collect from flowers. The reason they do this is because it is their food store, just like we go to the store and put groceries in our cabinets, it’s not just for the bears and us. Bees consume honey, pollen, and water. Bees are natural hoarders, so when there is an abundance of flowers, they will collect all they can get their hands on, and what this means is, they can make enough for us and themselves.

A: Contrary to popular belief, the queen does not run the colony, the workers do. A colony is made up of male bees, underdeveloped female bees, and one fully developed female bee. The fully developed female bee is the queen, and her only job is laying eggs. It is the worker bees that run the colony, and they are the underdeveloped females. Worker bees will live 4 to 6 weeks, but the queen can live up to 4 years and only have mated once in her lifetime. When the queen can no longer perform her duties or dies unexpectedly, the worker bees will make a new queen as needed. Worker bees can make a new queen any time they need to if they have a fertilized egg or a larva no older than 3 days. A female larva chosen by the worker bees is fed royal jelly and hatches out vertically in about 16 days as opposed to horizontally and 21 days like all the worker bees. The food they eat when they are in the larva state is what turns the otherwise normal female worker bee, into a “queen bee” or a fully developed female bee.

A: No. It is not illegal to eradicate feral or wild honey bees in Florida if they are on your own property or you have a PCO License to do business in Florida. Many People read on some websites or someone tells them incorrectly that you can't kill honey bees because they are endangered, that is misinformation. Honeybees are not on any endangered list. The State of Florida does not prohibit a "licensed pest control operator" or a "homeowner" from exterminating a nuisance, feral colony of bees. The laws on pest control can be found in chapters (482) and (5-E 14) you can do a quick internet search and learn more about them. We are a licensed and insured CPCO and we are registered local Broward beekeepers. We relocate honey bees only when it is safe and cost-effective to do so.

A: No. Honeybees are not on the endangered species list, nor are they at risk of being on the list at this time. There has been a lot of talk about bee die off lately, and that is concerning to many people. The die-off that is being talked about today is the commercial beekeepers losing their bees, not feral or wild honey bees. There are many reasons for this, only some of which are the vorroa mites, unknown pathogens, chemicals used in bee hives by beekeepers, and mishandling of bee colonies and extreme weather conditions. All of those plus others have led to the decline of the commercial bee colonies that we here so much about today.

A: The best way to answer this is to explain Florida laws on bee keeping. In Florida, in order to keep honey bees legally on your property you must be a registered bee keeper. Your yard must conform to the specification in the Florida statute "best management requirements". All bee hives must have removable frames and be inspected by the state each year. With all that said the short answer is yes you need to get rid of them or put them in a bee hive. If you want to keep bees on your property, you can, if you adhere to the laws on bee keeping. It may sound difficult, but it's not. There are many thousands of "back yard bee keepers" in Florida including me. I keep as many as 35 colonies with no problem. Back yard bee keeping is not expansive or labor intensive, people of all ages can be successful at it. Give us a call and we would be happy to explain more about bee keeping in Florida.

A: The African bee is slightly smaller than our domestic bee, but it takes a laboratory test to measure the difference. A single African bee sting is no more venomous than a single European bee sting. The most important difference is in their behavior. African bees produce more offspring, defend their nests much more fiercely and in greater numbers and are more likely to abandon the nest (abscond) when threatened by predators or adverse environmental conditions. More about African Bees

A: African honey bees were brought to Brazil in the 1950’s for testing as possible alternative pollinators and honey producers because of their reputation of being hardy in tropical environments. At the time, their defensive nature and ability to reproduce in greater numbers were not well understood. Some were accidentally released and have spread throughout South and Central America, Mexico and all throughout the southern U.S.