Florida Hosts National Honey Bee Inspectors Conference
January 25, 2016
FDACS-facilitated field day preceded the conference
On January 5, personnel from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services facilitated a field day for apiary inspectors and professional apiculturists from around the nation, focusing on techniques for protecting honey bees from pesticide exposure and investigating bee kills.
The field day at St. Augustine preceded a joint meeting at Ponte Vedra of the Apiary Inspectors of America, American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) and the American Association of Professional Apiculturists (AAPA).
“The success of this field day was due largely to the high level of cooperation among the agencies involved and the expertise of the facilitators,” said David Westervelt, assistant chief of the Division of Plant Industry Apiary Inspection Section.
Personnel from the Apiary Inspection Section of the Division of Plant Industry, the Bureau of Agricultural Environmental Laboratories and the Bureau of Inspection and Incident Response provided information and hands-on demonstrations.
The field day focused on ways agriculture and apiary inspectors can work together to address colony loss incidents. AIA President Mark Dykes of the Texas Department of Agriculture and Dale Dubberly, Bureau Chief, Bureau of Inspection and Incident response, FDACS, welcomed participants. Jeanette Klopchin, FDACS, reviewed Florida’s Managed Pollinator Protection Plans. Other speakers discussed pesticide label changes, bee statement interpretations and effects of honey bee’s exposure to pesticides.
Outside the classroom, in the hives, faculty demonstrated bee hive handling and basic inspections, basics of bee agriculture, pesticide use by beekeepers, techniques for investigating suspected bee kills and standard sampling procedures for disease and parasites.