Front Cover
 Honey bees and their products

Group Title: Bulletin. Florida Department of Agriculture
Title: Beekeeping in Florida
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00003038/00001
 Material Information
Title: Beekeeping in Florida
Series Title: Bulletin. Florida Department of Agriculture
Physical Description: 34 p. : ill. ; 22 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Wilder, J. J
Publisher: Dept. of Agriculture
Place of Publication: Tallahassee Fla
Publication Date: 1928
Subject: Bee culture -- Florida   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Statement of Responsibility: by J.J. Wilder.
General Note: Title from cover.
General Note: "May, 1938."
General Note: Includes index.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00003038
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: ltqf - AAA3479
ltuf - AME6236
oclc - 41212982
alephbibnum - 002441037
 Related Items
Other version: Alternate version (PALMM)
PALMM Version

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
        Page 3
        Page 4
        Page 5
        Page 6
        Page 7
        Page 8
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
    Honey bees and their products
        Page 29
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
Full Text

SBulletin No. 5

May, 1938


State of Florida
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In Florida


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Nathan Mayo, Commissioner of Agriculture



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HE many requests for information received by the
State Department of Agriculture have shown that a
large number of people are interested in the possibili-
ties of beekeeping in Florida. Requests have been received
not only from people residing in Florida, but also from
people living in many other states. A number of the people
are interested in beekeeping in Florida merely as a pastime
-an activity at which they can enjoy their spare moments.
Others, however, are interested in beekeeping because of
financial returns, either as a sideline or on a large commer-
cial scale.

It is for such beginners in beekeeping that this bulletin
is written. The author, Mr. Wilder, has had many years'
experience with bees in practically all sections of Florida,
and at the present time he owns about 10,000 colonies of
bees. He is, therefore, unusually well qualified to inform
the prospective beekeeper in Florida as to the best pro-
cedure in beginning his apiary.


Beekeeping in Florida

ONE of the first apiaries of any consequence in the State
was established on the Florida East Coast on the west
side of the Halifax river, where the city of Daytona
now stands. This apiary was established in 1872 by a New
York company which was in that section producing lemons
and oranges. The production of lemons, oranges and honey
made a very good combination. The company would come
southward during early fall in time to gather their fruit and
honey. After spending a few months in Florida, they would
sail back to New York City in the spring with a cargo of
Florida fruit and honey. This practice excited considerable
attention around New York as well as in certain Florida
Probably the next apiary of any importance was started
near the city of Wewahitchka in Gulf county by Mr. S. S.
Alderman, who also grew oranges along with the produc-
tion of honey. Just a little later Mr. W. S. Hart, located
at Hawks Park in Volusia county, began producing honey
and fruit in like manner.
This early development of beekeeping in Florida took
place between 1872 and 1888. There was not much to Flor-
ida at that time. The pioneer beekeepers had a hard time
of it. They obtained their bees from the forest, lived in
remote sections of the country which could be reached only
by small vessels, and were seldom visited by those from
other parts of the country.
The success of S. S. Alderman and W. S. Hart soon
caused reports to be widely circulated that an average of
one barrel, or four hundred pounds, of honey per colony was
being secured in Florida. This report meant much to Flor-
ida in beekeeping, for almost at once people began to estab-
lish apiaries all over the State and to put in modern equip-
ment. Progress has continued down to the present time.

It is generally known among beekeepers in the south-
east that Florida has a black bee which has thrived in the
forests of the State for many years. These bees still exist
in the State and can be found in the large cypress timber

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of the Everglades, the Okeefenokee swamp, and the heavy
timbered sections in the western part of the State. Just
when or who brought the first bees to Florida is not known.
On this subject, Mr. Jas. I. Hambleton, apiculturist of the
United States Department of Agriculture, writes: "The
most authentic record states that the black or German bees
were introduced into West Florida not later than 1763. In
all probability the honey bee occurred in East Florida be-
fore that, as black bees were introduced in New England
as early as 1638. William Bartram, describing a journey
taken in 1773, says that honey bees were numerous all
along the Eastern Continent from Nova Scotia to East Flor-
ida. He further states that honey bees were common enough
in forests so as to be thought by the inhabitants to be
natives of this continent."
The movements of this wild bee in Florida are quiet,
and no bee is as busy on flowers as it is. The activity of
these bees is far beyond the common bees, and they are very
cross and quick as lightning to sting. When a tree contain-
ing these bees is cut, they act about like hornets disturbed
from their nest. They produce'a large amount of honey
per colony, yet they do not seem to adhere at all to the idea
of being domesticated. They are not contented to live in
hives and will desert them time and time again for the
forest. Only in a small measure do they adhere to our
modern methods of handling bees. The bees are also so
furious that they are not desirable to have around a farm.
The very presence of a human being seems to completely
demoralize them. In many cases the comb they build has
irregular cells, yet they cap their honey beautifully white,
and it is of good flavor like that produced by other bees.
The Italian and Caucasian are the more domesticated
bees, and these two races predominate in the commercial
apiaries of Florida. The Italian is particularly desirable
for the production of extracted honey, while the Caucasian
excels in the production of comb in shallow frames or sec-
tions. Many small beekeepers in the State still keep the
black or German bee, but the two races just mentioned are
much more prolific and desirable for the many different
honey flows.


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This question can readily be answered. "Bees may be
kept in Florida anywhere you live, or are moving to."
There are no barren spots in Florida so far as beekeeping
and honey production are concerned. This does not mean
that all sections of Florida afford good bee pasture at all
seasons of the year. It does mean that there is no large
area in the State but what at some time during the year
will furnish bee pasture. One must be careful, though, to
see that the hives are placed in some thinly shaded place
where they can be properly watched and taken care of.
Should one be going into beekeeping on a commercial scale,
it is necessary, of course, to consider transportation, the
kind of honey plants that are available, etc.

The right start in beekeeping means much toward suc-
cess. At the very beginning the apiary site should be se-
lected, and this done with great care and consideration.
Bees should never be kept near stock where there
would be danger of horses, cattle, hogs, etc., being stung
by them. As a rule, all animals understand to stay away
from bees, and they will usually do this if they have their
freedom. The apiary should be far enough away so that
there will be no danger of either man or animals being
stung, yet it should be near enough to the house so that it
can be closely watched. It is advisable for someone to
visit the bees rather often, for bees will soon become famil-
iar with people who pass by. After the bees become famil-
iar with people, there is no danger of a volunteer attack of
the bees or any stings from just passing among the hives.
The location should be thinly shaded, but never should
there be a dense shade overhead. A dense shade will cause
the hives to be more or less damp, especially during rainy
weather, and this is detrimental to the bees. The damp-
ness also causes the hives to decay more rapidly. No shade
at all would be preferable to a dense one.
The first colony of bees should be placed in the site
selected. As fast as an increase is made, the hives should
be lined up about four feet apart so as to give sufficient


BLACK MANGROVE (Avicennia nitida)
Another botanical paradox of Florida is this shrub-like tree
which grows with its feet in salt water (marshes) and produces
large quantities of one of our most delicious sweets.


room to work around each. The rows of hives should be
at least ten feet apart so that if necessary a truck may
pass between the rows. It is best to let the hives face
southward, although southwest or southeast will do. It
is necessary to place the hives on stands some twelve or
eighteen inches high so that the ground about them can be
kept free of litter and vegetation.
As soon as there are a few hives in the apiary, a suit-
able, neat, small honey house or room should be erected
close by the side of the apiary. It is preferable to locate
the honey house on the side of the apiary nearest the resi-
dence so that it may be visited without passing among the
bees. The honey house may serve as a workshop as well
as a packing and extracting room when the honey crop is
ready. Honey is to be kept in this room and only enough
carried to the residence for a meal or so at a time. Honey
tends to toll in bees and other insects and often makes a
rather messy job to keep clean. The honey house is the
place for it and it can be readily removed when needed for
the market or table. An extractor, uncapping tank, storing
tank, and a large work table on which to pack the honey
are needed in the honey house.

There are bees in every nook and corner of Florida, and
one should have no trouble in obtaining a start almost at
his very door. It is not necessary to send north or west
for bees, as they can be obtained in Florida. Bees in Flor-
ida are inspected as to disease by authorized State inspec-
tors, and they will see to it that the bees are free from
disease. When bees are secured from outside the State, it
is impossible to know just what one is obtaining, and it
may later be discovered that the bees are diseased.
As already stated, it is advisable to obtain pure Italian
or Caucasian stock, and possibly better than either is the
Caucasian-Italian stock crossed. The bees purchased should
be in either eight- or ten-frame modern standard size hives.
If one expects to produce extracted honey, the ten-frame
hives and pure Italian bees are recommended. If one ex-
pects to produce chunk honey or comb honey in one-pound


CORAL VINE (Antigonon)
A distant cousin of northern buckwheat-much liked by the bees.
In larger plantings would help beautify our roadside fences, and
produce another distinct honey. The same can be said of several
other ornamental honey plants: Assonia, Yucca, Vitex.


sections, bees in eight-frame hives should be secured. It
it preferable to get either Caucasian-Italian or Caucasian
stock for producing chunk or comb honey, as these two
varieties are about the best comb builders and they cap
their honey beautifully white.

For each hive, three regular shallow extracting supers
should be purchased if one is going to produce either ex-
tracted or chunk honey. If comb honey in sections is to
be produced, then two supers are all that one needs. The
best equipment obtainable with full sheets of foundation
in all frames and sections should be used by all means.
One must see that all hives and hive parts are properly
set up according to instructions given in the bee supply
catalog. If this is not done, it will be found out later, much
to one's sorrow.

The yield of honey per colony will vary for different
sections of the State. The variations will depend almost
entirely upon the supply of honey plants in each section.
The State as a whole will probably average from 50 to 70
pounds of extracted honey, although there are a number
of localities that will average up to 100 pounds of extracted
honey per colony. A few exceptional areas may be found
where the average is as high as 200 pounds of extracted
honey per colony.

To express it in another way, it may be said that in
the Tupelo Gum region of West Florida the average per
colony is about 100 pounds of extracted honey; in the part-
ridge pea region, about 60 pounds per colony; and in the
saw palmetto region, about 50 pounds per colony. The sun-
flower region as a rule gives the best yields, sometimes
averaging as much as 200 pounds of extracted honey per
colony. Then in the Black Mangrove region the average is
often around 150 pounds per colony, while in the gallberry
region the average may be as low as 40 pounds of extracted
honey per colony.


Whether an apiary has one colony or fifty colonies, the
beekeeper should know how to properly grade and pack
honey even for his own table, and especially all he expects
to put on the market. The surplus honey should never be
put up in just any kind of container, but it must be correctly
put up in good honey containers.

TI TI (Cyrilla)

A shrub or tree of swamps of North Florida, with an exquisite
bloom much adored by the bees. The honey is light and mild.

Honey produced in Florida. as a rule, has a good flavor
and good color. Sometimes, however, it is a little thin in
body even after it has been left in the care of the bees
until it is well capped over. The bees cap the honey when
it is finished, but as a rule they do not do this until they
have given it the body they intend it to have. One should


remember that honey, when first gathered, is nothing but
sweet sap of the honey plants, thin, void of flavor, and
quick to ferment until well evaporated.

At the present time the demand is greatest for honey
put up in retail containers. The one-pound square jars
have been found most suitable for the best grades of both
chunk and extracted honey. The two and one-half-pound
cans are best for grades just a little off in color. The next
size is the regular five-pound honey pail. Syrup pails will
not do as they are too thin and frail, and the friction top
does not drive in sufficiently tight to remain and not leak.
The off-grade extracted or comb honey can be put up in
regular honey pails or in two and one-half-pound glass jars.

Extracted honey should be well strained before it goes
into the storage tank. It should be allowed to remain there
for several days so that gravitation will clear all matter
from the honey, then it can be drawn off into the containers
and sealed up at once. All packages can be neatly labeled
under your own signature, together with the guarantee and
net weight.

It is generally advisable to put up some of the honey
with comb and some without comb. One can often sell ten
times as much packed comb and extracted honey together
as straight extracted honey alone. Many people want comb
in their honey in spite of whatever they may think best.
In packing comb cut from the regular shallow frames along
with extracted honey, one must be careful to put in as
large pieces as possible and never chip up or put up little
trimmings. It is desirable to let the honey appear in as
large pieces as possible. These pieces should be suspended
so that they will stand up; they should not be put in flat,
for honey naturally looks better from an end view than
from a side view. One must remember to cut out only
tender young white comb and to place the fancy crop in
glass containers.



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GALLBERRY (Inkberry) (Ilex glabra)
The berry itself may taste like gall and look like ink, but the
bee takes wondrous Nature while at her best and gathers for her
human friends from the chasteness of the bloom, one of the four
finest honeys of Florida.




It is a well known fact that practically all the extracted
honey on the market is blended (not compounded) from
several sources. Blending is done for several reasons. First,
it makes a better table article because the flavor of blended
honey is a combination of the flavors of several different
kinds of honey. As most people are aware, the flavor of
honey is governed by the plant from which it is made, so
that blended honey combines the different flavors. All
real honey lovers will agree on this point. The honey may
be blended just as it comes from the extractor, or on the
table when cutting the comb.

Blending honey has reference only to the very best
honey and not to any of inferior quality. A poor grade
should never be in a blend, or it will ruin all. It is better
to put the cheap honey up separately and sell as such. This
applies to both the color and flavor of honey. Some poor
honey has a fine color, and some very fine honey has poor
color. It is seldom if ever advisable to blend dark honey
with light, or honey of poor flavor with that of good
flavor, but a blend should always be with honey of similar
color and quality of flavor.

The blending of honey is particularly important in
Florida because there are a great many kinds of honey
coming along during the season. Often one honey flow
comes in very close behind another flow, and this happens
so frequently that there is very little honey produced in
Florida which is pure as to source. It is all blended more
or less by the bees themselves, for sometimes a single comb
will contain three or four different kinds of honey.

Blending honey not only makes it a better table article,
but the greatest advantage is that it stays granulation.
Much of the Florida honey, especially that produced in the
southern part of the State, will granulate. The honey in
the western part of *he State, particularly in the great
White Tupelo Gum legion, does not granulate easily. If a
large percent of non-granulating honey is blended with the
honey that granulates, then granulation is stayed, often
indefinitely even on the northern markets. There is enough
non-granulating honey produced in Florida, if properly
blended with the granulating honey, to keep all in a liquid


Florida therefore has the opportunity to put up honey
in its natural state that will keep without granulating,
which eliminates the necessity of heating the honey to
make it keep. Honey that is sold with the guarantee that
it will not granulate is more in demand, for no honey
buyer outside of a bottler wants table honey to turn to
sugar or candy.

To those less informed, the winter care of bees in an
almost tropical country like Florida seems of little im-
portance, and perhaps is far less important than in other
parts of the country. Some special care, however, is needed
by bees during the winter months even in Florida.

During the first part of the winter, the bees should be
looked over carefully and even the queens and their work
of egg-laying noted. Some honey is generally coming in
at this time, as the weather is usually still warm enough to
allow the bees to work. The first part of December is the
most opportune time to make the examination because old
and failing queens may be easily detected at such time by
the strength of the colonies and size of the brood nest. A
good queen at the beginning of the winter season should be
laying well with plenty of young bees in the colony; if this
is not the case, then the bees should be re-queened.

While the cover is off and the queen's progress being
noted, it is advisable to see about the stores in the super
just above the brood nest. This super should be full or
nearly so of sealed stores. The bees may not draw very
heavily on the honey the first part of the winter, but the
latter part they will because they are rearing so many
young. The cover to the hive should be a good one that
does not leak, and the bottom board must be sound. It is
also important to see that the hive is on a good foundation.

The colony with a good queen and plenty of stores is
ready for the winter and will need no further care or attten-
tion until spring. Plenty of stores above a good queen is
highly important; otherwise, losses from starvation are
almost certain, or the colony will be too weakened from lack
of honey to keep up the raising of young bees. One must
not forget that bees will perish during cold weather even in
Florida where winters are short and generally mild, unless
they are given sufficient care.


The question is often asked, "Can I keep bees in Florida
and have a honey flow the year around?" The idea is to
have a honey flow twelve months in the year, taking honey
off, packing, raising bees and queens, etc., the year round.
As a general rule, however, nowhere in Florida can one
depend upon such a condition year after year. All of Flor-
ida is subject to cold snaps, light frost, and once in a while
freezes, which to a large extent play havoc with vegetation.
This would mean disappointment to the beekeeper who is
expecting to run his honey extractor or pack honey every
month in the year. Some years this can be done, but years
when light frost and freezes come around this cannot be

From coast to coast across the peninsula for about one
hundred miles, taking in the section where Lake Okeecho-
bee lies, there are large areas of pennyroyal, a winter-
blooming honey plant that gives a good and reliable flow
of nectar from the time the goldenrod ceases to bloom on
through the winter months until citrus begins to bloom.
This is ideal for honey production, bee and queen raising,
but even here this is interfered with by sharp cold snaps.

Through the section just mentioned, the average per
colony is far greater than elsewhere in the State. This is
simply because there are more honey plants and a nearer
perpetual honey flow with only a few days intermission
from one to another. This section embraces, of course, a
large area in the extreme southern part of the State. Honey
extractors can be seen running in various places through
this section during November, December, January and Feb-
ruary. Often the number of bees will increase during these
months, and queen bees reared and mated.

This is perhaps the most favored area in Florida for
beekeeping in all its branches. Pennyroyal is the greatest
yielder during these months, yet there are other honey
plants that come along and bloom during the same period
which add greatly to the flow of honey and abundance of


Common Name

1, Saw Palmetto

2, Black Mangrove

3. White Tupelo Gum

4 Partridge Pea

5, Gallberry

Wild Sun mower

7. The Summer Fair Well

8, The Wonder Honey
9. Black Tupelo Gum

Botanical Name

Serenoa serrulata (Michx,)
Avicennia nitidia, Jacq.

Nyssa aquatica L,

Chamaecrista spp,

Ilex glabra (L) A, Gray

Helianthus spp,

Kuhnistera pinnata
(Walt,) Kuntze

Pentstemon Pentstemon
(L,) Britton
Nyss biflora Walt.

Months of Year in Bloom

May and June

June and July

April and May

June, July, August and
April and May

November and December

September and October

April, May, June and July

March and April

Localities Where Found

Practically all over the
Around ocean's edge frou
New Smyrna to Tamps
Along rivers and overflow
land in western part ol
Throughout sand ridge sec,
Throughout flatwoods sec.
Southern part of State,
principally around Lake
On light, sandy, well
drained soil throughout
the State,
Along the coast around
Apalachicola Bay
Along streams in the west
ern part of the State,

10. Spring T Ti

11, Pennyroyal

12, Cabbage Palmetto

13. The Pepper Bush

14, Mexican Clover

15, Goldenrod

16, The Snow Vine

17, Gopher Apple

18, Blackberry
11, Chinkapin
20. Citrus

Cyrilla parvfola Raf,

Pycnothymus rigidus
Bart,) Small

Sabal Palmetto (Walt.) R,
& S,.

Clethra alnifolla L,

Richardia scabra St. Hil,

Solidago spp,

Willugbaeya scandens (L,)
Chrysobalanus oblongifolia
Rubus spp,
nastanea spp,
Citrus spp,

February and March

December, January and





In western part of State
along small streams and
bay heads,
Southern part of the State,

uly Along the coast, through
the hammocks and along
the lakes,
uly and August Throughout flatwoods sec.
uly, August and Septem- In many cultivated fields
her throughout the State,
october and November Throughout the State.

uly Western part of the State,

lay Throughout sand ridge sec.
pril and May All over the State
,pril and May North and West Florida,
arch and April Throughout Central and
South Florida with Sat.
sumas in North and West


The surplus honey of any colony can be removed at any
time, but beyond this no honey should be taken. Because
one sees blooming flowers almost twelve months in the year
around over Florida is no reason why they are real honey
plants and the bees can gather honey from them. There-
fore, sufficient honey should always be left for the bees to
live on.

It is important to keep a close watch on the bees so
that they will not have any more storing room than needed.
The bee moth will actually eat up the comb in a normal
colony of bees if there is so much storing room that the
bees cannot properly care for the hive by crawling over it
and removing the eggs or tiny larva of the miller that lays
the eggs. It is a common sight, and not a good one, to see
a hive of bees with the combs all destroyed in the top by
the moth. Bees should have only the proper amount of
room at all times, but most particularly at times when there
is no honey flow and breeding may be at a lowebb. A close
watch must be kept on the bee moth or it is apt to cause
great loss of comb.

When a honey flow starts, it is necessary to look out
for super room and keep just enough storing room ahead
of the bees so that they can fill up all supers by the end
of the honey flow. Too much would be detrimental and
not enough would be a loss. To this end every colony should
be watched closely and visited every week to see that all
are kept supplied with storing room. When the honey flow
goes off, then all the surplus honey can be removed, packed,
and placed on the market. One super, however, must be
left full or nearly full of stores for the use of the bees.

All modern hives have loose hanging frames in which
the bees build the comb, live and rear their young. Every
colony should be examined carefully every week, or at least
every few weeks. Each comb in the bottom story of a
hive should be examined to see whether there are enough
brood eggs of the queen and a sufficient amount of honey.

If there is no honey in the super, it is necessary to
supply a frame of honey from some heavy hive. If there
are not as many bees in some colonies as in others, one may


take a frame of capped brood from one of the strongest
and best colonies and place it in the weaker colony. In this
way the weaker colonies can be built up. If no brood is
seen or the colony is growing very weak, the hive may have
a poor queen or none at all. Such colonies should occasion-
ally be given a frame of brood in all stages of development,
which will enable them to grow stronger and raise a queen
from the brood given them. Or, in the meantime, one may
order a queen and introduce her into the colony, which may
often save a colony from a downward drift or perhaps a
total loss.

Frame manipulation is of the greatest importance in
beekeeping, for right here the wheel of fortune in beekeep-
ing may turn. This is particularly outstanding in changing
combs as just mentioned above.

It is not customary even among beginners and small
beekeepers to allow the bees to swarm naturally, as much
better results are obtained when the swarming is controlled
by the beekeeper. The operations of increasing colonies
and controlling swarming are both done with one stroke.
When a very strong, heavy populated colony of bees is prop-
erly swarmed once each season, that colony and the one
made from it are both cured of the swarming fever for the

The strongest colonies should be divided up into equal
parts, in the early part of the year, some three or four
weeks before natural swarming time. This means taking
from the old hive one-half the bees, one-half the brood, one-
half the comb, and one-half the honey. As the hive is being
divided, one should look for the queen. The frame of comb
on which the queen is found should be put with the half
that is to make the new hive. The bees in the old hive can
raise themselves a new queen, although it is often preferable
to buy a queen for the queenless half.

The operation is not a success unless the queen is put
with the new stand, because if the bees that are carried
away to a new stand find themselves queenless, they will
boil out of the hive, pry about looking for the queen, and
invariably go back to the old stand in an effort to find
their mother. This depopulates the newly made hive, but
if the queen is there the bees will not leave her. The old

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half of the hive will have no idea where their mother has
departed to and will at once set out to raise another, or will
readily accept a new queen if one is introduced.

This is simple and easy when everything is in readi-
ness, and it can best be done late in the afternoon by those
inexperienced in the operation. The bees will thus be given
over night to satisfy and content themselves, while if done
in early morning there will be a turmoil all day among the
two divisions, the bees on the old stand looking for their
mother and the bees on the new stand making their new
home. Before this is done, a new empty hive for each
colony must be properly prepared, and the frames should
contain full sheets of foundation or ready built comb.

When the division is made, there should be four or five
frames in each hive of ready built comb containing brood
and honey. This is supplied when the division is made,
but a space should be left without any comb on one side of
each of the hives. The frames containing full sheets of
foundation from the newly prepared hive should be inserted
in these spaces. One frame containing foundation can be
placed right in the middle of the ready built combs in each
of the divisions. This will give the bees some comb to build
and they will start at once to draw out the foundation. As
fast as they draw it out, the queen will fill it with brood
and one will soon have solid slabs of brood.

On every visit, a frame of foundation should be inserted
in like manner until a full set of combs are drawn out, then
all one has to do is to keep the bees properly supered and
two hives rather than one will be making the honey.

Increases during any time of the year can be made in
like manner, but only with strong, heavy colonies. The
weak colonies and those of medium strength naturally have
a struggle to exist, and to divide them would mean disaster
and great loss.

To become successful in beekeeping, one must study
the nature and habits of the honey bee in order to learn
the best methods of bee culture. An effort should be made



to learn about the plants upon which the bees feed. A
number of good books are available on bee culture, which
can be obtained at a reasonable price. There are also a
few monthly publications on bees that contain valuable in-
formation. Whenever possible, the prospective beekeeper
should visit one or more progressive beekeepers in the lo-
cality in which he intends locating and watch the methods
of handling bees. The more information one can secure,
and the better it is applied, the greater will be the chances
for success.

Honey Bees and Their Products

It would seem that as old a subject as Honey Bees and
their products would have long since been exhausted and
nothing new could be said on the theme. But it seems that
no subject is really ever "worn out" as we never know all
about anything. The bee industry has been revolutionized
during the last fifty years.
Honey is the oldest of all the sweets used by man.
There seems to be no country that can claim to be the origi-
nal home of the honey bee. Different species were found
in practically all the inhabitable parts of the world. The
aborigines of Peru sacrificed honey to the sun. Stingless
honey bees of Brazil produced every variety of honey from
good edible kind to black and sour. No one knows who first
tasted honey and pronounced it good. Samson, the strong
man, made a riddle on honey he found in the skull of a
lion which he had slain. That riddle got him into trouble.
John the Baptist's food, we are told, was locusts and wild
The honey bee is quite a useful animal. He does no
damage to the plant from which he gets his product-he is
beneficial in his visits to flowers by carrying pollen and
aiding in fertilization of the seed germs-and he brings a
valuable product to the service of man. He is one creature
that seems to be miserable unless he is at work. His in-
dustry is his life.
The U. S. Department of Agriculture reports that the
average analysis of honey shows the following percentages
of elements.
W ater .................. 17.7
Laevulose .............. 40.5
Dextrose ............... 34.02
Sucrose ................ 1.9
Dextrin and gums ....... 1.51
A sh .................... .15
This leaves 21.92 percent unaccounted for. These per-
centages differ largely in different specimens analyzed.
Extraneous matter gets into some honeys, such as pollen


or peculiar substances that may be in the nectar as ex-
tracted from the flower.
All edible honeys are thought to contain vitamins A,
B and C-neither of which can be found in cane or beet
sugars, according to authorities on this subject. The pro-
portions of laevulose and dextrose vary greatly in differ-
ent flowers from which honey is obtained. A high per-
centage of laevulose prevents crystallization. The tupelo
of the southeastern states and the sages of California pro-
duce this kind of honey. The high percentage of dextrose
causes honey to crystallize quickly and is therefore less
desirable for keeping indefinitely and for shipping long
It remains for the physicians and dietitians of this gen-
eration to discriminate between the different sweets used
for food and classify them according to their food values
and dietetic qualities. Even honeys are not all alike in
content, flavor or appearance. The world today is so com-
pletely commercialized that one may look for a flare-up if
he says that one kind of sweet is better for the human
anatomy than another.
The general keeping of bees is a good thing economi-
cally, in spreading pollen and in furnishing honey for the
household. But the fact remains that the production of a
certain variety and quality in large amounts is the only
way to open up a sure market at a good price. Buyers of
large quantities of anything want to know that they can
depend on the source of supply to be ready when they want
it and in the quantities they want. This is the only way
they can build up a trade that continues from year to year.
The human taste is subject to cultivation and when cus-
tomers of dealers in honeys ask for a certain honey or syrup
they have cultivated their taste to that particular kind and
do not want to be put off with "something just as good."
If the orange honey producers were to advertise their honey
through some central office it would vastly increase the
market. The same is true of the tupelo honey or any other
good variety. Melilotus honey is of a kind and appearance
that appeals to hundreds of thousands, but it takes adver-
tising to create and hold buyers.
The State Department of Agriculture has nothing to do
with the supervising or inspection of bees or honey. That
comes under the jurisdiction of the State Plant Board. As


the extermination oi plant pests is a Plant Board function
it has been construed that bee pests should come under the
same head.
I have no comparative figures of the value of honey
and molasses but the time was at the turn of the century
when honey exceeded in value the molasses in the United
States. Modern methods of refining and advertising arti-
ficial sweets have placed them far in the lead as food
Many physicians and dietitians are recommending
honey for arthritis and neuritis. It has proven to be effi-
cacious in many cases where all other remedies had failed.
Florida is a honey-producing state, largely because we
have an abundance of different nectar-producing flowers
and also because of the long season during which honey
can be gathered. I am of the opinion that the greatest
thing the honey-producers could do for their marketing ad-
vantage would be to organize and place a fund for the
judicious advertising of the distinct types, giving emphasis
to the distinguishing qualities of each.


COUNTIES Stands Value Production Value
Alachua .... .. ...... 426 $ 2.130.00 13.075 $ 1,380.00
Baker ...... .... 227 1,135.00 5.210 566.00
Bay .. ......... 444 2.220.00 11.437 1.322.00
Bradford ................... 53 265.00 1.860 180.00
Brevard ..................... 1.575 7.875.00 70.436 7,174.00
Broward ....... 37 185.00 1.415 165.00
Calhoun .. 2,966 14,830.00 119.357 11.950.00
Charlotte ....... ..... .....
Citrus ...... .. ....... 185 925.00 4.965 510.00
Clay ..............
Collier ......... .. ...... 825 4.125.00 31.790 3.803.00
Columbia .181 905.00 4.850 478.00
Dade ...................... 792 3.960.00 24.496 2.855.00
DeSoto ........... ........ 359 1.795.00 15.965 1.701.00
Dixie 123 615.00 3.397 315.00
Duval 334 1.670.00 10,760 1.240.00
Escambia 203 1.015.00 6.500 650.00
Flagler .............. ........ 24 120.00 650 70.00
Franklin 2.425 12.125.00 123.750 11,342.00
Gadsden ... 762 2.810.00 21.375 1.950.00
Gllchrist ................. 290 1.450.00 7.766 712.00
Glades ........ ............. 1.350 6.750.00 57.100 6,097.00
Gulf 4.785 23.925.00 114.302 11.273.00
Hamilton ....... 385 1.925.00 11.765 1,096.00
Hardee ................. 589 2.945.00 15.692 1.610.00
Hendry 563 2.815.00 19.750 1.948.00
Hernando 11 55.00 330 36.00
Highlands ......... 291 1.455.00 10.232 1.084.00
Hillsborough .......... 937 4.685.00 29.932 2.993.00
Holmes .... .... 43 215.00 1.195 125.00
Indian River .......... 1.243 6.250.00 36.916 3.435.00
Jackson 149 745.00 4.265 403.00
Jefferson .... 157 785.00 4.540 414.00
LaFayette ....... ........... 84 420.00 2.430 250.00
Lake 351 1.755.00 12.030 1.511.00
Lee .. .... 728 3.640.00 29.750 3.048.00
Leon ..................... 461 2.305.03 12.772 1.277.00
Levy ..... ... ......... 32 160.03 2.080 235.00
Liberty ........ ... 1.858 9.290.00 79.874 7.787.00
Madison 51 255.00 1.400 130.00
Manatee .. 1157 5.785.00 44.250 5.550.00
Marion ......... ....... 1179 5.895.00 31.170 3.197.00
Martin ...... ... 112 560.00 5.800 580.00
Monroe ...... .....
Nassau ................ 24 120.00 950 95.00
Okaloosa ................... 290 1.450.00 8.908 860.00
Okeechobee ..... 220 1.100.00 6.183 650.00
Orange ............... 375 1.875.00 9.982 990.00
Osceola .................... . 7 35.00 200 24.00
Palm Beach ................. 447 2.235.00 29.290 3.275.00
Pasco .... 822 4.11000 22.195 2.237.00
Pinellas 1.000 5.00000 50.000 5.500.00
Polk ........... 3.382 16.910.00 109.751 12,058.00
Putnam ........................ 412 2.060.00 12.492 1.580.00
St Johns ........... 13 65.00 450 65.00
St Lucle 370 1.850.00 19.730 1.970.00
Santa Rosa 20 100.00 600 60.00
Sarasota .................. 167 835.00 5.344 513.00
Seminole ...... ....... 837 4.185.00 27.890 2,808.00
Sumter ..... 175 875 00 6.195 676.00
Suwannee 110 550.00 2.800 285.00
Taylor ....... .. 216 1.080.00 5.472 506.00
Union .... ................... 105 525.00 3.415 380.00
Volusia ............ ....... 3.101 15.505.00 99.835 10.418.00
Wakulla ...................... 495 2.485.01 14.850 1.485.00
Walton 520 2.600.00 14.620 1.368.00
Washington 444 2.220.00 11.740 1,094.00
TOTALS ................. 42.299 $210.540.00 1.469.521 $151.339.00
Value of production equals 71.9; of amount invested annually. Amount in-
vested is calculated at $5.00 per stand. Average price of honey is 10c Der pound.
Values range from 9.1c to 14.4c per pound. Average production 34.7 pounds
per stand. No other investment in agriculture pays so large a per cent.

Apiaries. beginning of
Apiary. honey house
Apiary, illustration of........
Apiary. illustration of ........




Apiary. placement of hives
Apiary, selection of site
Areas in Florida favorable to

Bee. Caucasian .... 9 Bees. types of ... 7- 9
Bee. German ... .......... 8 Bees. where to keep them 11
Bee. Honey .. 8-9 Bees, where to obtain ...... 13
Bee. Italian ...9 Bees. wintering 20
Beekeeping. early development Beginning of Apiaries 11
of 7 B!ack mangrove. Illustration 12
Beekeeping. success of 27 Blending honey 19
Bees. Insoectlon of 13 Botinical names of honey
Bee Record. 1937 table 32 plants .. 22-23
Bees. swarming 25-28

Care of bees in winter 20
Care of queens during winter 20
Caucaslon 9
Colonies. division of 27-28

Development of beekeeping.
early ...... 7

Equipment for honey house 13

Facts about honey bees and
their products 29
Frame manipulation 24

Grading of honey .... 16-17
Granulation of honey ...... 19

Hives. supers for ......... 15
Honey bee .8- 9
Honey bees and their products 29-31
Honey. blending of -....... 19
Honey flows .... 21
Honey. grading of ............ 16-17
Honey. granulation of ........ 19
Honey house .. .. 13

Increasing colonies. 27
Inspection of bees ............... 13

Location. of apiary ............. 11
Location, of honey house 13

Co'onles. increase of
Containers for honey
Coral vine. illustration

Division of colonies


Frame manipulation, illustra-
tion ..... ... 26
Foreword 5

Gallberry. illustration 18
German Bee ... 8

Honey. packed with comb 17
Honey. packing of .... 16-17
Honey plants in Florida ... 22-23
Honey plants, table of .... 22-23
Honey. removal of. 24
Honey yields 15
How to start an apiary 11

Italian bee

Location, of honey plants




Manipulation of frames .........

Obtaining bees ........................ 13

Packing honey with comb 17
Packing of honey .... 16-17
Perpetual honey flows .... 21

Removal of honey ..... .............. 24

Saw palmetto. Illustration. 10
Setting up of hive .................... 13
Storing room ............................. 24
Success In beekeeping ........... 29

Table of honey plants ...- 22-23
Table-Bee record 1937 ........... 32

When honey plants in bloom... 22-23

Yields of honey .................... 15

Place to keep bees ...... ....... 11
Plants, table of honey ....... 22-23

Supers for hive ............... ..
Super room, care of ...................
Swarming of bees -...................

Ti Ti-illustration ...............-
Types of bees--

Wintering of bees ..........-........

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