SEMINOLE COUNTY, Fla. – One man in Seminole County is trying to do everything he can to help the bee population in Central Florida as well as help grow it to help pollinate produce out West.
- Seminole County man working to help Florida's bees
- Dennis Langlois is a professional bee removal expert
- He says he receives 500 requests a year to remove bees
Dennis Langlois, president of the Seminole County Beekeepers Association, is a professional bee removal expert. Langlois says he gets about 500 requests a year and currently has about a million bees that he uses to make honey after he removes them from people's property.
If you see bees in your back yard, he says not to panic and don't spray them with a pesticide, because there's still plenty of good work bees can do for us.
"Each of the colonies we remove after the rehab process, we put bees in to honey production or we put bees in to pollination," Langlois said. "So the bees that tend to produce lots and lots of honey are the ones we use for honey production, and the bees that don't tend to make a lot of honey, we will ship those in to the pollination process."
That pollination process actually begins all the way out West in California. The bees begin working on almond farms, and then, according to Langlois, start making their way back east working on different fruit and vegetable farms looking for more resources.
How to Help the Bees
Here are 6 things to know if you see bees in your backyard, according to Langlois:
1. Don't try to remove them yourself. Always call a professional.
2. Leave them be. If they are just on flowers in your backyard they are not being territorial. They are just feeding and will leave shortly.
3. Leave a little path along your back fence. That lets the natural flowers grow in that location and provides forage for bees.
4. Try to grow African Blue Basil. That plant blooms all year, is edible, and provides food to bees when there is nothing else for them to eat.
5. Anyone is allowed to keep bee colonies in their backyard. The state of Florida allows backyard beekeeping in all locations. The only exception is in neighborhoods with HOA's that prohibit that.
6. Do not spray them with a pesticide or bug spray. Not only will you kill the bees, but you will kill future bees. When roaming bees see an empty colony they will fly in, and try to gather nutrients other bees may have left behind.
Problem is, if a colony was sprayed then that bee will travel with toxins and then deliver them to other colonies thus spreading a virus like condition killing other bees.