Orange Blossom Beekeepers Association

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do I start beekeeping?

A: The best way to start learning about beekeeping is to find a local mentor. Join or attend one of our OBBA meetings to find a mentor in your area. Our meetings are held on the 3rd Thursday of every month, at the Orange County UF/IFAS Extension Center (6021 S Conway Rd, Orlando, FL 32812), at 7PM. We usually meet in the main auditorium; the building closest to Conway Road.

Q: What beekeeping books to you recommend reading?

A: Since beekeeping practices vary by region and climate, it is very important to listen to the advice of experienced beekeepers in your area rather than merely looking up information on the Internet or reading books. If you wish to supplement what you learn at meetings and workshops, here are some reading suggestions:

  1. Beekeeping for Dummies, by Howland Blackiston
  2. First Lessons in Beekeeping, by Keith Delaplane
  3. The Beekeeper’s Bible: Bees, Honey, Recipes & Other Home Uses, by Richard Jones

Q: Where can I buy equipment?

A: You can buy equipment from the D&J Apiary truck that conveniently comes to our monthly meetings. You can pre-order equipment ahead of time by calling (352)-669-4233 or messaging them on their Facebook page. Make sure to arrive early to pick up your equipment!

It is important to note that if enough people do not order supplies (minimum $500), D&J will not come to the meeting, and you will need to pick up at their store. This does not mean YOU have to order $500 worth, just that the total order should add up to $500.

Q: Where can I buy bees?

A: You can buy bees from our club members, from D&J, from Bee Serious (Jason Deeringer), and Mann Lake. We encourage beekeepers to buy local, but there are many ways to do this!

Q: How do I register my hives with the state of Florida?

A: You will register your bees AFTER you acquire them. Registering your bees with the State of Florida gives you some protections and we encourage all beekeepers to do this. Visit The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Beekeeper Registration Page here. Your first step wtill be to contact the apiary inspector for your county by clicking on this link.

Q: How do I find information about what is blooming and general guidance for what to expect this month?

A: The University of Florida Honey Bee Research has a monthly calendar highlighting beekeeping essentials in the state. Click here to see the calendar. Scroll down to “In The News” section, and look for, “Beekeeper Management Calendar” for the reference calendars we present each month.

Q: I have heard a lot about pests and diseases harming bees. How do I know how to treat for them?

A: We recommend using IPM, which stands for Integrated Pest Management. This means not always using the same treatment every time a pest shows up and using prevention, nutrition, mechanical, natural, and sometimes chemical treatments to tackle the issue. An excellent resource available for nutrition and pest management is through the Honey Bee Health Coalition. For Varroa treatment, their Varroa Management Tool is an outstanding reference and will give you IPM options.