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DPI Diary

June 2, 2013

This edition of DPI Diary covers social media activities for the period May 18-31

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Division of Plant Industry

AHBSwarm

A swarm of Africanized bees.

Beware: African Bees are Swarming

The May love bug invasion mercifully came to an end. But, right on schedule, Africanized bees began swarming, posing a danger to residents of the Florida peninsula who live south of Ocala. We summarized the dangers the imported bees pose to humans, domestic animals and property and emphasized the measures that people can take to keep bees from setting up housekeeping on their properties, as well as actions to take in the event of an attack by these bees. The Africanized bee moved into the U.S. in the late 1990s. The species was imported to Brazil by scientists hoping to cross breed it with European bees to produce a bee more suitable to semi-tropical climates. The bees escaped into the environment. Stay tuned. We will post a history of the AHB next week.

Save the Guac! Don’t Move Firewood!

Our social media efforts also reminded everyone Don’t move firewood! to avoid spreading invasive pests, particularly the redbay ambrosia beetle, which spreads the fungus that causes laurel wilt disease. Laurel wilt has destroyed many trees in the laurel family here in Florida. It is attacking Florida’s commercial avocado industry in south Florida, fostering our “Save the Guac!” campaign.

Bug Week at UF/IFAS 

Congratulations to our colleagues at UF/IFAS Entomology for Bug Week, an event that garnered a lot of media attention and support. (A Gainesville TV news anchor proved to be a really good sport by sampling a cookie full of baked meal worms, on-camera. View it here.)

Dealing with Crisis 

A FDACS/DPI representative attended a terrific workshop in Orlando on crisis communications for agriculturists, sponsored by the  Agriculture Institute of Florida, and afterwards we linked our followers to reporter Kevin Bouffard’s article on the event in the Lakeland Ledger.

And we wrapped up the week with the following items, which you may want to check out if you missed them when they were first posted:

  • State Executive Chef Justin Timineri posted an easy and delicious recipe for Florida blue crab croissant.
  • With the beginning of hurricane season, we reminded folks that they can get hurricane tips via text message direct from FEMA. Text “HURRICANE” to 43362 (4FEMA).
  • Find a farmers market nationwide, courtesy of the USDA’s on-line directory.

It’s Easy  to Find FDACS/DPI Social Media Posts

Here’s an easy way to follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and follow our division blog. Just go to the division website, http://www.freshfromflorida.com/pi/ look for the “Follow us on the Web” box in the right column, and click on any of the icons.

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