Division of plant industry bureau of plant and apiary inspection section




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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND CONSUMER SERVICES
DIVISION OF PLANT INDUSTRY

BUREAU OF PLANT AND APIARY INSPECTION

APIARY INSPECTION SECTION
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES FOR

PRODUCING HONEY BEE QUEENS IN FLORIDA
1. This is a voluntary program designed to minimize the threat of Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) in Florida and to

dilute any feral AHB populations that may become established in Florida as our gentle managed colonies are our

best line of defense against AHB.
2. Beekeepers participating in this program must sign a compliance agreement with the Florida Department of

Agriculture and Consumer Services.


3. Beekeepers will maintain a valid registration with the Florida Department of Agriculture/Division of Plant

Industry (FDACS/DPI), and be current with any and all special inspection fees.


4. Mating and Mating Yards:
A. Drones. A minimum of 60 European drone source colony (250 square inches of drone comb) equivalents must

be established for each 1,000 or fewer mating nuclei. If colonies are divided, the European drone source

equivalent of 60 European drone source colonies will still be required for each 1,000 or fewer mating nuclei.

Seventy-five per cent of European drone source colony equivalents shall be located within ¼ mile radius of the

mating nuclei yard and the remaining 25% shall be located within one mile of the mating yard. No drones or

drone brood may be introduced into colonies or mating nuclei unless they originate from colonies with

European Honey Bee (EHB) breeder queens or EHB production queens.
B. Queens and requeening. Producers of breeder queens and production queens are required to requeen drone

producing colonies with EHB production queens on an annual basis. Queens used in drone colonies may also

be EHB queens produced in an area outside of a detected area or by progeny tests of worker bees using,

FDACS/DPI approved identification techniques.


5. Breeder queens and European drone source colonies must be headed by EHB queens.
6. Collected honey bee drone semen for instrumental insemination of honey bee queens shall originate from only

drones produced by EHB queens.


7. The beekeeper/queen producer must maintain all documents pertaining to the sale and/or distribution of queens, drones, drone semen from their business and make them available to a FDACS/DPI/Apiary Representative.
8. Florida beekeepers should practice good swarm prevention techniques to prevent an abundance of

virgin queens and their ready mating with available Africanized Honey Bees (AHB) drones.


9. Maintain all EHB colonies in a strong, healthy, populous condition to discourage usurpation (take

over) swarms of AHB.


10. Do not allow any weak or empty colonies to exist in an Apiary, as they may be attractive to AHB

swarms.
11. Recommend re-queening with European stock every six months using marked or clipped queens or

produce a bill of sale from a EHB Queen Producer.
12. Maintain one European drone source colony for every 10 colonies in order to reduce supercedure

queens mating with AHB drones.


13. To prevent potential interaction with AHB, do not site apiaries in proximity of tethered or confined

animals, students, the elderly, general public, drivers on public roadways, or visitors where this may

have a higher likelihood of occurring.
14. Florida beekeepers should be discouraged from collecting swarms that cannot be immediately re-

queened from EHB queen producers.


15. Treat all honey bees with respect.


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