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Beeproofing your home


Every month I receive phone calls regarding bee swarms or bees taking up residence inside their Florida Keys home. The best option is to beeproof your house in advance of a bee swarm taking up residence on your property or in your home. According to the the University of Florida Extension EDIS publication “Beeproofing for Florida Citizens” http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/IN/IN74100.pdf beeproofing is the practice of methodically removing or restricting access to potential bee nesting sites (Africanized or European honeybees). This practice is beneficial for many reasons. Naturally, if an area is beeproof, the potential for feral (or wild) colonies to move into that area is greatly lowered; therefore, the risk of stinging incidents is also lowered. In addition, colonies that establish themselves inside a wall or around a structure must be eradicated immediately by a Pest Control Operator (PCO) . This process can be expensive and often requires structural repair (which also requires time and money). And bear in mind there are a limited number of PCOs who do bee control in the Florida Keys.

First step is to identify potential bee nesting sites: water meters, manholes, holes in a structure that lead to an open space inside a wall, gutter downspouts, pipes, etc.

Next step is to block off or remove those sites. This can be done by several methods: screening, caulking, filler, tape. For more in-depth information visit the Africanized Honey Bee Extension and Education Program website at:
http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/afbee/

Other informational websites about Africanized honey bees:

http://www.doacs.state.fl.us/pi/plantinsp/ahb.html

http://www.miamidade.gov/fire/library/Bee_Safe_English.pdf

http://entnemdept.ifas.ufl.edu/afbee/resources/how_to_choose_PCO.pdf

These links were current as of April, 2013

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