This blog is updated annually. Scheduling of face-to-face classes will depend on the status of COVID-19 outbreak.
In recent years, awareness of honeybees has increased globally. More and more people are interested in learning about honeybees and how to keep them. The UF/IFAS Extension Office in Alachua County has developed a series of short courses that will help you get started as a beekeeper. This series is the 2019 national winner for the Search for Excellence in Commercial Horticulture category by the National Association of County Agricultural Agents!
The series is comprised of four classes that are strategically scheduled to help you along the way during the first year as a beekeeper. We hope to resume hands-on, face-to-face classes during the second half of 2021 as gatherings become safer. We are working on developing online materials for beginner beekeepers in our area. In the mid-time, we invite you to join us at Bee College this Spring. Below, find a brief description of our future face-to-face classes:
- November: Beginner Beekeeping. Six-hour class (includes lunch and materials). The class covers principles of honeybee biology, equipment, how to use a smoker, rules to start an apiary, and more. The class cycle starts again with Beginner Beekeeping every November but during 2020, this class will not be held.
- Feb: Swarms and Colony Management. Three-hour class (includes refreshments and materials). During Spring months, many resources are available for honeybee colonies to grow. Around March, strong colonies will prepare to split and start a colony somewhere else (swarm). To avoid losing those bees, this class trains you on how to recognize signs that your colony may be getting ready to swarm and how to make splits properly and timely.
- May: Honey Extraction and Hive Management. Three-hour class (includes refreshments and materials). As the colony stores resources, you may want to collect the sweet reward of keeping bees. This class will go over how to extract honey, how to bottle and label it, and more. This will be our first honey extraction class hosted at the new extraction room available at the new Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory!
- July: Pest and Disease Management. Register HERE. Three-hour class (includes refreshments and materials). The class will go over multiple pests and diseases, reasons for queen loss, and hive nutrition.
These classes will give you the principles and hands-on experience that will help prepare you to take full advantage of Bee College later in the year.
Classes are announced around the 15th of the month before the class thru local TV and newspaper, our website, IFAS Calendar as well as Facebook so you CANNOT miss it! Classes are limited to 40 participants and typically fill up quickly after the announcement. Sign up as soon as you see the class advertisement and take advantage of the early-bird registration. A 10 dollar late registration fee will apply after the cut off date for each class. Registration closes at noon the day before class. If you would like to receive email notifications about these beekeeping classes, you may join our beekeeping listserv by emailing email@example.com. You may also follow us thru Facebook @FarmingAlachua.
Each class has an individual registration link thru Eventbrite that goes live around the 15th of the month before the class. Classes take place on Saturdays at the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab located at 1881 Natural Area Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611 (the building with yellow hexagonal windows).
These classes are brought to you as a collaboration between UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County, the Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab, and volunteer local beekeepers.
Featured post: https://spark.adobe.com/page/k3X4TVk6WTnLf/
More than 400 people have participated in this series. Come and join us!
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
October 18, 2021
Hi Lane, I attached some information via email. Thanks
October 17, 2021
I think I know the answer to this but can you confirm that growing crops in a hydroponic system can not be sold, even at a farmers market, unless that land is categorized as agricultural or if you fall into the "limited use" category, which I believe that requires atleast a single acre of land? If this is correct, do you know if there is any exemptions, as my property would not qualify for limited use, as it's only a half acre. I'm just trying to sell my produce at farms markets as a side business! Thanks for any advice, feedback you can give.
August 24, 2021
Thank you very much. Glad you enjoyed it.
August 24, 2021
Great recipe! We call this a Frittata. I like the order of adding the ingredients and the technique. Also the tip about Sulphur.
April 21, 2021
Hi Deborah, Awesome. I love cinnamon basil. If you will email me email@example.com or call I will give you suggestions for uses and places to purchase. I love it with fruits and teas. It is great to rub on peaches and then grill and with baked apples. I look forward to talking to you.
April 21, 2021
thanks for the info. Basil is one of my favoriye summer spices. i have never seen nor heard of cinnamon basil . Ill be on the look out for ot now. I like Tulsi basil for tea which catagory does that one fall in? is that perhaps same as cinnamon basil?
March 30, 2021
You certainly can try to sprout them. You will have a far far greater germination rate if you cold stratify the seed first. Its a very simple process that just requires a wee bit of patience.
March 29, 2021
I’m curious about the cold germination. I’m in zone 10 and the pods are opening. Do I need to do this cold germination process or can I just try to sprout them? Thank you.
March 24, 2021
You are right, good catch! Many of the gardens during the Renaissance Period had varying underlying principles/theories. Le Notre definitely created the synthesized definition of French Classical Gardens, starting with Vaux-le-Vicomte, which definitely had Renaissance/Baroque garden influences. One major difference I've always liked was the use of theatrical perspectives within gardens (focal points, unification around one plane/frame, and use of planes to influence depth) and Mollet's influence on parterres. Of course, the French-style gardens were substantially more grandiose than the Italian Renaissance for purposes of pleasure, entertainment, conducting court, etc, but focused much on absolutism. I'd love for you to send me some additional resources because it is hard to find them. You can send me a direct email to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
March 23, 2021
The Gardens of the Palace of Versailles is not a Renaissance Garden. It is instead a French Classical Garden, which held quite strongly opposing values of the renaissance ideals. It was not even in close proximity with the Renaissance period.
January 12, 2021
Thank you for your great question. We have lots of materials and resources available online for homeowners. The Gardening Solutions webpage is a great webpage for all homeowners (www.gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl.edu). We also have a county webpage dedicated to the Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program that includes additional resources (https://sites.google.com/ufl.edu/alachuaffl/home). Regarding services, we offer programs throughout the year relating to landscaping best management decisions and vegetable gardening. I recommend checking out our county’s programs/events page for all our upcoming programs (https://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/events/?location=alachua). Other services we provide include our Master Gardener Volunteer Help Desk. You can reach out to our Master Gardeners Volunteers via email (email@example.com)or phone (352)955-2402 to help troubleshoot any issues within your landscape or garden. Also, the Master Gardeners perform Florida-Friendly Landscape Recognitions. Volunteers visit a homeowner’s property and do a landscape evaluation. This free evaluation allows homeowners to learn ways to improve their landscapes and potentially earn a Gold or Silver landscape recognition. Taylor Clem, PhD Environmental Horticulture Extension Agent UF/IFAS Alachua County Extension 106 SW 140th Terr. Suite 3 • Newberry • FL • 32669 955-2402 (office)
January 8, 2021
Is there any documentation, preferably online, that defines and lists the availability of services for homeowners and those planning on planting beneficial plants on their property?
October 12, 2020
I'm not sure about mobile friendly but will research to see if I can find you an answer.
October 12, 2020
Hey! Quick question that's entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My blog looks weird when browsing from my iphone4. I'm trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to correct this problem. If you have any suggestions, please share. With thanks!
October 6, 2020
I recommend reaching out to our office. Dr. Cindy Sanders is our county's livestock agent and she will be able to answer your question and give recommendations. Feel free to call us from (352)955-2402
August 23, 2020
I would like to know if horses can Eat sunshine mimosa
August 3, 2020
Great Blog! Looking forward to more!
July 9, 2020
Genevieve, Thank you for reaching out. We have quite a few publications that can help you out! Here are a couple articles from UF/IFAS Extension relating to butterfly gardening and attracting wildlife to your landscape. If you'd like further information, feel free to reach out to our office at (352)955-2402 or email our Master Gardener Volunteer help desk at firstname.lastname@example.org. Butterfly Gardening in Florida: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW05700.pdf Landscape Backyards for Wildlife: https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/UW/UW17500.pdf
June 19, 2020
Interested in plants that are easy, come up each year. attract butterflies and humming birds
May 27, 2020
Good morning, Thank you for reaching out to UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County. I'll forward your question to our Livestock Agent, Dr. Cindy Sanders. She'll be able to give you the best recommendations regarding your pasture. Thank you, Taylor Clem
May 26, 2020
I'm in Alachua county and over the years Sunshine Mimosa has spread across quite a bit of my bahia grass horse pasture. It's intermixed with the grass. I'm not finding anything that says it's toxic to horses but I don't think my horses eat it. I think I could control it with herbicide but am hesitant because it is always covered with honey bees and native bees. Is this something I should try to control? Is there a danger that it will choke out my pasture?
April 28, 2020
Hi Carol, I understand this may be a practice you use however our recommendations are based on guidance from the USDA and National Center for Home Food Preservation. We must follow their guidelines and protocol for proper food safety. Please see the statement below from the National Center for Home Food Preservation and their link as reference in my article on washing blueberries before freezing. Freezing Blueberries or Huckleberries Preparation – Select full-flavored, ripe berries. Remove leaves, stems and immature or defective berries. Dry Pack – Do not wash blueberries. Washing results in a tougher skinned product. Pack berries into containers, leaving headspace. Berries can also be frozen first on a tray and then packed into containers as soon as they are frozen. Seal and freeze. Wash before using. https://nchfp.uga.edu/how/freeze/blueberry.html
April 28, 2020
I have always heard don't wash your blue berries..I do and have no problem. I love bb fresh..not a problem to grab a handful and give them a wash..frozen? that’s a problem! When I had my bushes I’d pick every few days put them in the sink (bowl, pot whatever) give them a swim..that’s when you see how dirty they can be..then put them on a terry tea towel, gently spreading them into one layer. They would stay on the counter until they were dry. Occasionally I’d lift the towel to roll them about to hasten the drying. If the towel is really wet change it out. When they are dry put them in an appropriate container with a folded paper towel on the bottom, another mid way and one on the top. There ready to eat and easy to see if one may be going bad.
April 27, 2020
Monarchs caterpillars only eat milkweed, and the butterflies only lay eggs on milkweed.
April 23, 2020
I have counted as many as 30 monarch (and queen) caterpillars munching happily on my Giant Milkweed. Later I discovered more than 15 spent chrysalis in the cat palm growing beside it.
April 20, 2020
Hi Carlos, I recommend always to follow science-based information, shadow a beekeeper and have the opportunity to learn some about the biology and principles of honeybees before any major investment. Keep in mind that keeping bees in Florida is different from keeping bees in other areas so try to learn from resources that are focused at least to the South East. The beekeeping series offered in Alachua County is a good place to start, the next series cycle starts in November. I also recommend Bee College and the Master Beekeeping program at UF. You can do it online or face-to-face (annual event). You can check it out at http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/extension/master-beekeeper-program/. If you have specific questions on these programs you may contact Amy Vu at email@example.com. Lastly, you can contact the Gainesville Area Bee Club and join them to meet other beekeepers and learn about others' experiences (https://www.gainesvilleareabeeclub.com/). Here are some recommended sources for you to start exploring beekeeping: - http://entnemdept.ufl.edu/honey-bee/beekeeper-resources/ - https://impact.extension.org/?s=beekeeping - https://honeybeehealthcoalition.org/
April 18, 2020
Hello I would like to start with bee keeping!! Any advise ?
April 16, 2020
Hello do Monarch caterpillars eat only milkweeds leave or will they ravage my entire garden?
April 14, 2020
James, There are different types of turfgrass species, but finding a specific species that are good for sun and shade is difficult. Seville St Augustine and Empire Zoysiagrass are the most shade-tolerant turfgrasses, but they still need a good amount of sun. Areas directly under trees won't typically develop a good turf stand. The best strategy for managing turfgrass is following IFAS recommendations for growing turf in shadier conditions. If you would like to get more information, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, we have an upcoming webinar on turfgrass management on April 23 from 4 - 5:30pm. You can register and see more information here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/turfgrass-in-alachua-county-tickets-102293845646 Thank you very much, Taylor Clem Environmental & Community Horticulture Agent UF/IFAS Extension Alachua County.
April 6, 2020
I am looking for a grass to replace my St. Augustine which has been eaten by chinch bugs. I have both full sun and full shade areas. My yard is now almost completely covered by sand burs. Is there one grass for both shade and sun? I am a disabled vet and mowing the grass is about the limit of the yard work I can do.
March 17, 2020
I'm guessing the March 19 event is cancelled. However, if you had handouts about planting edible plants, would you either post them or email them to me? Thanks!
February 4, 2020
Thank you so much for your article. I am a firm believer in Companion planting.
June 5, 2019
I recently purchased a giant milkweed plant. I had never heard of it before. Do monarch caterpillars like it as much as regular milkweed? Thanks!
July 11, 2018
Dam awesome Kevin. I'm proud of you!
June 12, 2018
Hi Dave - I would, as carefully as possible, transplant. Ideally you would want to wait until your plants are roughly 3 inches tall. You may still want to wait with 1/2 of your plants. I just don't know if your plants will make that size given you germinated in egg cartons. You could also cut the egg cartons apart & just transplant the whole thing. The egg cartons should decompose. Good Luck.
June 12, 2018
I have planted 6 varieties of .milkweed from seeds in paper egg cartons after 30 days in the fridge. Germination went well. I have about 20 young seedlings about 3/4 to an inch high. Should I get them out of the cartons and into pots now or wait til they're bigger? Thanks
June 1, 2018
Santa Rosa Gardens, a mail-order company in Pensacola, Florida has incarnata and tuberosa. The website is santarosagardens.com. Tell them Louise from the Panhandle Butterfly House sent you. They are a great company.
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