Honey Bee Lab

Subscribe to the Melitto Files blog (4/19/2017) by Mary Bammer - The Melitto Files blog is hosted by the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory. It features blog posts written by the HBREL staff, Florida apiary inspectors, and Master Beekeepers on topics including... Read More
Bee Bread Banner Research update: Honey Bee Nutrition (11/15/2019) by Amy Vu - The UF/IFAS Honey Bee Lab has collaborated on research that has led to two publications related to honey bee nutrition in 2019. Below are summaries of the research and the links to their full publications.... Read More
Beekeeping Management Calendar: November 2019 (11/1/2019) by Amy Vu - Recommendations for your apiary in November 2019: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. The year-round Beekeeping Management Calendar can be found here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in848  Originally published November, 2016. Revised and republished... Read More
Florida Beekeeping Calendar: October 2019 (10/1/2019) by Amy Vu - Management practices for your apiary in October:   This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. A yearly beekeeping management calendar can be found here Additional resources: Tools for Varroa Management Varroa Sampling Methods (video) How... Read More
Honey bees at entrance What’s new with Nosema treatment? (9/23/2019) by Amy Vu - Nosema disease is believed by some to be a significant stressor of honey bees. Nosema is contracted by honey bees by ingesting the spore through trophallaxis (food sharing) or by ingesting waste from an infected... Read More
Brazilian Peppertree What is happening with the Brazilian Peppertree (Schinus terebinthifolia) Insect Release? (9/11/2019) by Amy Vu - Local, state, and federal agencies came together to release dozens of vials containing thrips (Pseudophilothrips ichini) insects in Saint Lucie, Collier, and Broward counties, Florida on July 16, 2019. These thrips are native to South... Read More
Florida Beekeeping Calendar: September (9/2/2019) by Mary Bammer - Management practices for your apiary in September: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. Additional resources: Tools for Varroa Management Varroa Sampling Methods (video) How to Quantify Nosema Spores Infection Rate in a Honey Bee... Read More
Florida Beekeeping Calendar: August (8/1/2019) by Mary Bammer - Management practices for your apiary in August: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. Additional resources: Tools for Varroa Management Varroa Sampling Methods (video) Foulbrood in Honey Bee Colonies   Originally published August 2017.... Read More
Swarm management basics (7/15/2019) by Susan Harris - A honey bee colony has two main goals for the year: 1) survive (i.e. build up the number of bees working to find and store enough honey and pollen to live through the next winter)... Read More
Florida Beekeeping Calendar: July (7/5/2019) by Mary Bammer - Management practices for your apiary in July: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. Additional resources: Tools for Varroa Management Varroa Sampling Methods (video) Bottling, Labeling, and Selling Honey in Florida   Originally published... Read More
Ground nesting bee on ground Research update: Ground-nesting and orchid pollinators (6/17/2019) by Mary Bammer - The UF/IFAS Honey Bee Lab has collaborated on research that led to two 2019 publications on wild pollinators. Below are summaries of the research as well as links to the full publications. Native orchid pollination This research... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: June (6/3/2019) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in June: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. Additional resources: Tools for Varroa Management Varroa Sampling Methods (video) Bottling, Labeling, and Selling Honey in Florida  ... Read More
What’s new with Varroa? (5/13/2019) by Mary Bammer - The UF/IFAS Honey Bee Lab has collaborated on research that led to two recent Varroa-related publications. Below are summaries of that research as well as links to the full publications. Varroa feeding This research was conducted... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: May (5/1/2019) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in May: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. For more information, check out this resources: Swarm Control for Managed Beehives   Originally published May, 2017.... Read More
Florida Beekeeping Calendar: April (4/15/2019) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in April: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. For more information, check out these resources: Florida Beekeeping Management Calendar: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in848 Swarm Control for Managed Beehives: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in970 Florida... Read More
10 tips for teaching kids about bees (4/2/2019) by Mary Bammer - This post was written by Master Beekeeper, Meghan Orman   Bees are fascinating; there’s just no getting around it. If we don’t share our fascination with the young people around us, bees’ future maybe in peril.... Read More
Florida Beekeeping Calendar: March (3/19/2019) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in March: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. Additional resources: How to Quantify Nosema Spores Infection Rate in a Honey Bee Colony Varroa Mite, Varroa... Read More
New Beekeeper Resources from the Honey Bee Health Coalition (2/22/2019) by Mary Bammer - Since 2015, the Tools for Varroa Management Guide published by the Honey Bee Health Coalition (HBHC) has been a go-to beekeeper resource on Varroa. The guide includes information about the mites, tips on how to... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: February (2/1/2019) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in February: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. Additional resources: The Benefits of Pollen to Honey Bees How to Quantify Nosema Spores Infection Rate in... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: January (1/3/2019) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in January: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. The year-round Beekeeping Management Calendar can be found here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in848    Originally published January, 2017. Revised and republished... Read More
A century old tale of ‘Beekeeping in the South’ (12/15/2018) by Mary Bammer - In 1920 the American Bee Journal published a book called “Beekeeping In The South; A Handbook on Seasons, Methods and Honey Flora of the Fifteen Southern States”. Written by Kennith Hawkins, a Beekeeping Specialist and... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: December (12/1/2018) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in December: his calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. The year-round Beekeeping Management Calendar can be found here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in848    Originally published December, 2016. Revised and republished... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: November (11/1/2018) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in November: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. The year-round Beekeeping Management Calendar can be found here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in848    Originally published November, 2016. Revised and republished... Read More
Immediate Hurricane Relief for Beekeepers (10/17/2018) by Mary Bammer - Hurricane Michael significantly impacted the beekeeping industry in the Florida Panhandle. This area is home to about 500 registered beekeepers and nearly 50,000 colonies, which amounts to more than 1.2 billion bees. These colonies are... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: October (10/2/2018) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in October: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management and is not comprehensive. The year-round Beekeeping Management Calendar can be found here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in848    Additional resources: Tools for Varroa Management Varroa Sampling Methods (video) How... Read More
Apiary hurricane preparedness (9/12/2018) by Mary Bammer - As always during hurricane season, your safety, and that of your family and neighbors is the top priority as a pending storm approaches. As long as you are otherwise safe and prepared, however, take a few... Read More
A Reasonable Argument in Support of the Chinese Tallow Flea Beetle (8/31/2018) by Mary Bammer - A note on the Chinese Tallow Flea Beetle from Dr. William Kern, UF/IFAS Associate professor: I hope to offer a reasonable argument why Florida Beekeepers should support the release of the Chinese tallow flea beetle,... Read More
Industry Updates for Florida Beekeepers (5/7/2018) by Mary Bammer - The Florida Administrative Code (FAC) associated with honey bees and beekeepers (Rule 5B-54) has undergone some changes that will have an effect on beekeeping operations in Florida. This post will summarize the changes and what... Read More
Lithium Chloride for Varroa Control? (4/18/2018) by Mary Bammer - At the end of 2017, German bee researchers published a journal article detailing work that they had completed which looked at the compound lithium chloride (LiCl) as a new potential option for Varroa control (Ziegelmann... Read More
Understanding Integrated Crop Pollination (2/20/2018) by Mary Bammer - As the world’s dependence on pollinators increases, researchers from around the country work to develop practical strategies to ensure that our nation’s crops are adequately pollinated. In a collaboration between nearly a dozen universities and... Read More
A Fond Farewell (2/8/2018) by Ashley Mortensen - Hello Florida Beekeepers! I wanted to extent a heart-felt thank you for your support and encouragement over the past few years. After six plus years as a graduate student in the UF Honey Bee Research... Read More
Varroa Biology and Management: An Overview (12/1/2017) by Susan Harris - Varroa destructor is the Number One pest of our Western Honey Bee, Apis mellifera. This pest (commonly called Varroa or Varroa mite) is a parasite that feeds on a bee’s hemolymph, causing honey bee stress and eventually... Read More
Changes are coming to Bee College (11/9/2017) by Mary Bammer - The UF Honey Bee Lab is constantly striving to improve our extension programs in an effort to be more effective and approachable to beekeepers across Florida. Because of this, we are making some significant changes... Read More
Mosquito control and Florida beekeepers (9/22/2017) by Mary Bammer - As Florida continues to recover from the effects of Hurricane Irma, many mosquito control districts in the state are temporarily stepping up their spray programs. It is important to realize how and why this is... Read More
Award-Winning Student (8/24/2017) by Brandi Simmons - Congratulations Ashley Mortensen!  Ashley has been awarded the 2017 Southeastern Branch John Henry Comstock Award given by the Entomological Society of America’s National Office. Ashley Mortensen is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Florida... Read More
Water sources for bees, not mosquitoes (7/6/2017) by Mary Bammer - This summer, keep your bees’ water source from becoming a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) Best Management Requirements for beekeepers requires that managed honey bee colonies have access... Read More
Subscribe to the Melitto Files blog (4/19/2017) by Mary Bammer - The Melitto Files blog is hosted by the University of Florida Honey Bee Research and Extension Laboratory. It features blog posts written by the HBREL staff, Florida apiary inspectors, and Master Beekeepers on topics including... Read More
Veterinarians’ guide to honey bee antibiotics: Webinar (3/28/2017) by Mary Bammer - A new FDA ruling means that many beekeepers will need a prescription from a veterinarian to use certain honey bee antibiotics. The UF Honey Bee Lab hosted a webinar on February 22, 2017 to help... Read More
Looking out for Nosema in spring colonies (3/23/2017) by Ashley Mortensen - A guide to quantifying the honey bee pathogen, Nosema, in colonies Regular subscribers to this blog may have noticed multiple mentions of Nosema in recent posts of the Beekeeping Management Calendar. These recommendations have highlighted the importance of... Read More
Taking advantage of honey bees’ natural behaviors (2/3/2017) by Susan Harris - Honey bees are an insect with a complicated life history and social organization. The honey bee that we use in the United States, Apis mellifera, is a cavity dwelling insect that flies to flowers to... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: January (1/10/2017) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in January: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management, and is not comprehensive. The year-round Beekeeping Management Calendar can be found here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in848  Additional Resources For information on colony nutrition see... Read More
New Year, new rule: A look at the FDA ruling on prescriptions for honey bees (12/23/2016) by Mary Bammer - Starting January 1st, 2017, if you choose to use antibiotics for the prevention or treatment of the bacterial diseases American foulbrood (AFB) and European foulbrood (EFB) in honey bee colonies, you will need a prescription... Read More
Beekeeper Management Calendar: December (12/2/2016) by Mary Bammer - Recommendations for your apiary in December: This calendar is meant to be a reference point for management, and is not comprehensive. The year-round Beekeeping Management Calendar can be found here: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in848  Have something to say? Join the discussion on our... Read More
Pollinator protection that starts in the lab (10/27/2016) by Mary Bammer - In vitro literally means “in glass” in Latin. More broadly in vitro describes a process occuring outside of its biologically normal setting, generally in a laboratory. The idea summons up images of scientists in white lab coats with... Read More
Field study of a new pesticide (9/15/2016) by Josh Campbell - Pesticides in Agriculture Pesticides are an important tool for farmers to control unwanted insect pests. In recent years many commonly used pesticides have been shown to be dangerous to bees that they come into contact... Read More
Zika and Florida Beekeepers (9/9/2016) by Mary Bammer - A letter from the Florida Chief of Apiary Inspection, David Westervelt: The Southeastern United States is in a triple threat situation for mosquito proliferation and control. Listed below are conditions making it favorable for the... Read More
Reducing African honey bees using managed European colonies (8/15/2016) by Ashley Mortensen - At the UF HBREL we love when our science has practical applications for Florida beekeepers. Below is a summary of one such study with African and European honey bee colonies. Hypothesis: The presence of managed European... Read More
Value of Bees to Blueberry Fruit Set (8/1/2016) by Josh Campbell - Florida Blueberry Industry Blueberry growers in central and south Florida mostly utilize the highbush blueberry (Vaccinium corymbosum). It does not require many chill hours (the necessary number of hours where temperatures fall between 32 and 45... Read More
A Tale of Two Subspecies: Genetics studies of South African honey bees (7/8/2016) by amineimanifar - There are two factors that play an integral role in distinguishing between populations within a species. First, an organism’s geography restricts its ability to disperse. Individuals in adjacent populations migrate between one another at a... Read More
There’s a new Bee College in town, and it’s better than ever. (6/24/2016) by heltone - Mark August 12th and 13th on your calendar folks.  South Florida and Caribbean Bee College is right around the corner! Yes, you read that correctly. The UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab is combining... Read More
Varroa: the honey bee destructor (6/14/2016) by cjack - Varroa destructor Background:   Varroa is the most devastating pest of the western honey bee. It is responsible for the death of honey bee colonies world-wide, resulting in millions of dollars of damages. The mites... Read More
Melitto Files gets a new look (6/14/2016) by tbustamante - The Melitto Files has hit the web in a whole new way! We are transitioning from a newsletter format to an online blog. This will be the new source of information about the Honey Bee... Read More