Nesting Bees and What You Should Do

Bee swarm in tree

©Michael K. O'Malley, UF/IFAS

Spring means honey bee swarm season, and 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 AFBEE.com.
  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.

What should you look for in a trained PCO? Visit the AFBEE web site to read Choosing the Right Pest Control Operator for Honey Bee Removal: A Consumer Guide.

Learn More

Dr. Jamie Ellis and Catherine Nalen from the UF HOney Bee Research and Extension Lab go into further detail in "More on Nesting Bees," explaining why any honey bee nest or swarm must be reported.

Sources

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