Bees are essential to Florida’s agriculture. They promote fertilization through pollination, which is the process where bees carry and deposit pollen from one plant to the other. These help with the breeding of plants that provide us and animals with food. They also help with the beautification of landscapes as they promote biodiversity through pollination.
Beekeeping, also know as Apiculture, is crucial as it plays a role in preventing the decline of honeybee colonies that are still lost due to pesticides and other chemicals. It assists with the reproductions of bees, providing them a safer environment to create their hive.
What Is Beekeeping?
Beekeeping is the process of creating, maintaining, and controlling beehives. Bee products are collected from these, including honey, beeswax, nectar, beehive air, and several more.
To start, a beekeeper needs to create a hive where the bees will establish their colony. In every hive, there will be a queen, who is the mother of all the other female and male bees.
Beekeepers keep the bee colonies healthy once they are established. They maintain the hives by doing inspections, providing water, collecting bee products, and much more. They protect the bees from diseases and pesticides and manage the population.
Beekeepers manage the population to prevent swarms, which is when the queen and a large group of bees leave the colony because it is too crowded or there is an insufficient source of food and water. This will greatly affect the hive and the production of bee products.
Why Is Important to Provide A Clean Water Source?
A water source is important to the sustainability of a hive. Bees crystalize their honey to store it as food for later. In order to dilute this honey, bees need water. It also helps them keep the humidity of a colony to better control the colony’s temperature.
Water helps bees feed their larvae so they can grow. Did you know that a larvae diet can consist of up to 80 percent water on their first day of larval growth?
To avoid bothering neighbors and preserving the health of the hive, beekeepers must provide a clean water source. When the temperatures rise, bees go out to look for the water sources near them. These could lead them to find water from contaminated sources of water with chemicals (such as pools) that could potentially harm them.
What are Florida Guidelines for Beekeeping?
Regardless of the size of the hive, beekeepers are required to register their hive with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service. Beekeepers can have hives in nonagricultural lands, excluding HOA or any property deemed as public.
Once the hives are registered, the state will send an apiary inspector to inspect your bee colonies for diseases and will check the water supply the beekeeper has set up. After the initial inspection is done, a yearly colony inspection is performed to ensure the quality of living of the hive.
Beekeeping and Animal Preservation at Babcock Ranch
At Babcock Ranch, we take pride in preserving the natural habitat of wildlife, including bees. Beekeeping is one of the many things we do to ensure a sustainable future not only for us but for the flora and the fauna.
We offer guided eco-tours narrated by experts knowledgeable in the history and the species you will see. Book a tour today to learn more about all the species you can see at Babcock Ranch!