The practice of bee removal in Florida is changing quickly. During the past few years African bees have grown to be well established in South Florida and a lot of West Central Florida. Some colonies have even been established in North Florida. Consequently the focus of bee removal over a lot of Florida has shifted dramatically toward public safety.
This change is due to the difference in behavior between Africanized bees and the European honey bees managed by beekeepers. African bees, also known as “killer” bees, are really protective of their nests and easily provoked. Although they do not deserve the “killer” title, they do deserve a stack of respect and a broad berth to prevent any nasty surprises.
Even though a nearby bee colony is currently calm, it just isn’t true that no danger exists. Research says that an average queen bee lives between 6 months and one year. When a new queen exists to replace the old queen Beekeeper League City Tx, she leaves the nest temporarily to mate with drones from nearby colonies. If African bee colonies are nearby, and if she mates with one, the existing colony that was calm 6 months ago could become Africanized very quickly.
Africanized bees have now been established for quite some time in the Southwestern states. Stats show that ½ of most African bee attacks occur in situations where in fact the victim was aware of the bee colony but did nothing about it. If those nests have been removed when they certainly were discovered, the attack wouldn’t have occurred.
In the past, bee removal, that is eliminating a bee colony, was discouraged because bees are an endangered species. We rely heavily on bees to pollinate our food crops. Instead, we encouraged beekeepers to save the nest and add it for their managed hives. The invasion of African bees, and the rise of numerous bee diseases however, have reduced the value and increased the danger of wild bees. Fewer and fewer beekeepers are willing to accept the risks.
Where Africanized bees have grown to be established, there may be 100-200 colonies per square mile. Removing one wild bee nest does not significantly reduce the general population of bees. State officials are NOT attempting to destroy all wild nests, or even all Africanized bees. They do recommend however, that any bees found nesting near people be removed immediately, and that all bee removal be performed by a state certified Pest Control Operator.
An educated and certified Pest Control Operator should 1) recognize whether the bees on your own property really are a swarm or a colony and be able to explain the difference for your requirements 2) discuss the removal procedure with you before beginning the bee removal 3) wear a veil, sting suit and gloves to do the bee removal, 4) remove all dead bees and all combs related to the colony, 5) discuss bee-proofing.