University of Florida

The Neighborhood Gardener:
What's All the Buzz About?

Spring is here, which means honey bee swarm season is also here. It's very important that everyone is aware of the state of Florida's recommendations for handling honey bee swarms and nesting colonies.

The state recommendation established by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service’s (FDACS) Apiary Section is that all wild colonies or swarms located in close proximity to people or animals should be eradicated by a Pest Control Operator (PCO) trained in honey bee colony eradication and removal. Further, the state recommends that calls about nesting bees and swarms be forwarded only to trained PCOs, and not beekeepers.

How do you find a trained PCO? It’s simple, with the help of the UF African Honey Bee Extension & Education Program (AFBEE).

  1. Go to
  2. Click on "Bee Removal" (on the left).
  3. Click on the "Bee Removal" button in the center of the screen.

The button will open an Microsoft Excel file maintained by FDACS. Using the tabs at the botton of the document, click on your county to find a list of PCOs in your area who are willing to handle the nesting bee problem.



Thanks to Dr. Jamie Ellis and Catherine Nalen from the UF Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab for providing this information.


Florida Master Garden logo

Florida-friendly Landscaping(TM) Program logo

The Florida Master Gardener Program is on Facebook