Buzzkill for beekeepers: New rules could give more power to pest control

Bees pollinate one-third of our food

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Buzzkill for beekeepers? The state of Florida is considering changes to a rule that allows beekeepers to humanely remove nuisance bees and hives from homes and businesses, and relocate them to apiaries.

A change could allow more power to exterminators and pest control services.

“If we didn’t have bees, one-third of our food would not be on your table today,” says Becky Dineen, vice-president of the Pinellas Beekeepers Association. “Not being able to do live removals, that’s going to be a concern for the bees and the environment.”

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Florida’s Department of Agriculture had set a date for a workshop to discuss possible changes, but said, “The issue of bee removal deserves careful consideration. We believe it is prudent to initially explore consumer concerns related to bee removal from structures in independent meetings with the various stakeholders.  Therefore, the workshop set for February 2, 2018, is being canceled at this time.”

No future date has been set.

Dineen said many beekeepers support their hobby by doing removal and bringing the bees back to their apiaries, which is often a more affordable option than hiring a pest control expert.

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