Living with the African Honey Bee

queen and ladies in waiting Credit: Scott Bauer, USDA/ARS

African honey bees and European honey bees are the same species of honey bee, but the two are classified as different subspecies or races of honey bee. African honey bee x European honey bee hybrids present an unpredictable combination of both subspecies‹ behavioral traits. This 4-page fact sheet written by J. D. Ellis and M. Bammer and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology explains how to “bee-proof” your house and yard and develop a bee safety plan as well as what you can do if you encounter a swarm or a colony of bees and how to treat a bee sting.
edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1205

D.I.Y. FunGuide: Grow Your Own Oyster Mushrooms at Home

Oyster mushrooms are commonly found on hardwoods throughout the north temperate zone; they are edible and have many nutritious qualities. This 5-page document describes how you can grow your own oyster mushrooms at home. Written by Chih-Ming Hsu, Khalid Hameed, Van T. Cotter, and Hui-Ling Liao and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, January 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss662

Isolation of Mother Cultures and Preparation of Spawn for Oyster Mushroom Cultivation

This 6-page publication details the cultivation of oyster mushrooms from mother culture isolation to spawn preparation. This protocol can be used by both homeowners and commercial cultivators. Written by Chih-Ming Hsu, Khalid Hameed, Van T. Cotter, and Hui-Ling Liao and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Soil and Water Sciences, January 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ss663

The Food Safety Modernization Act of 2011-Final Rule for Preventive Controls for Human Food

This 7-page fact sheet is one in a series covering the different rules promulgated under the new Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which was signed into law on January 4, 2011. It is intended to provide an overview of the final Preventive Controls for Human Food (PCHF) rule. Written by Jessica A. Lepper, Soohyoun Ahn, Keith R. Schneider, Michelle D. Danyluk, and Renee Goodrich-Schneider and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, January 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs301

Food Safety on the Farm: Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices-Sanitary Facilities

The Food Safety on the Farm series is a collection that reviews the generally recognized principles of GAPs (good agricultural practices) as they relate to produce, primarily at the farm level and with a particular focus on fresh Florida crops and practices. This publication focuses on GAPs and GHPs (good handling practices) relating specifically to sanitary facilities. Written by Jessica A. Lepper, Aswathy Sreedharan, Renee M. Goodrich-Schneider, and Keith R. Schneider and published by the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, January 2018.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs159

Satsuma Mandarin Budget and Profitability Analysis for North Florida

satsuma tree

This 16-page analysis written by Kevin R. Athearn, Peter C. Andersen, Bent V. Brodbeck, Lei Lani L. Davis, Clay Olson, Daniel K. Fenneman, Matthew Lollar, Derek Farnsworth, and Michael Perez and published by the UF/IFAS Food and Resource Economics Department provides research-based information and a description of satsuma mandarin markets, production costs, and potential returns for citrus growers who are considering establishing a satsuma grove in north Florida. Its purpose is to serve as a reference and model for growers to create their own enterprise budgets and make financial projections. An enterprise budget estimates revenues, costs, and net returns for a particular crop or farm enterprise to help growers assess the economic viability and risk of an enterprise, compare enterprises, and evaluate production or marketing changes. The budget and financial analysis may assist prospective and current satsuma growers, agricultural consultants, and lenders with planning and decision making.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe1030

Food Safety on the Farm: Good Agricultural Practices and Good Handling Practices-Worker Health and Hygiene

The ‘Food Safety on the Farm’ series is a collection that reviews the generally recognized principles of GAPs (good agricultural practices) as they relate to produce, primarily at the farm level and with particular focus on fresh Florida crops and practices. This 4-page publication focuses on GAPs and GHPs (good handling practices) relating specifically to worker health and hygiene. Written by Jessica A. Lepper, Keith R. Schneider, Renee M. Goodrich-Schneider, and Aswathy Sreedharan and published by the UF/IFAS Food Science and Human Nutrition Department, December 2017.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fs158

A Guide to Planting Wildflower Enhancements in Florida

blanketflower

The establishment of native wildflower plantings in Florida can benefit agricultural producers as well as native pollinators and other beneficial insects. Wildflowers provide forage and nesting sites for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators, increasing wild bee numbers across the farm, and increasing natural enemies of insect pests. This 6-page fact sheet written by Mary C. Bammer, Josh Campbell, Chase B. Kimmel, James D. Ellis, and Jaret Daniels and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology discusses choosing the right mix of native plant species to benefit many pollinator species, as well as proper site selection, planting practices, and weed control techniques. Wildflower plots are practical to manage, maximize benefits to wildlife, and fit well into overall agricultural operation management practices.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1180

Ant Control in the Apiary

ghost ants J.L. Castner, UF/IFAS

Ants are one of a beekeeper’s most common pests, both in the apiary and in the honey house. Florida and the southeastern United States have a large and diverse ant fauna, with both native and exotic species. The vast majority of ant species have no impact on our bees or us. This 8-page fact sheet written by William H. Kern and published by the UF/IFAS Department of Entomology and Nematology describes the few pest species can cause serious problems and suggests ways to control the ants for healthier hives.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1181

Florida's Agritourism Laws

Agritourism combines tourism and agriculture, Florida’s two largest industries, to provide interactive, engaging, and educational experiences for the public. This four-page document describes the laws governing Florida agritourism operations. Written by Mary Beth Henry and Kathryn Stofer and published by UF’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communication, September 2017.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc285

Keeping Bees in Florida

bee pollinating citrus flower

As of June 2016, there are over 4,000 registered beekeepers in the state of Florida and 440,000 managed colonies. According to the USDA, 2012 Florida beekeepers produced over 11 million pounds of honey. The average winter colony loss in Florida as reported by the Bee Informed Partnership Management Survey was the third lowest rate across the nation with only Hawaii and Texas reporting lower colony losses in that time period. This 4-page fact sheet written by Tomas A. Bustamante, Jamie D. Ellis, and Mary Bammer and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology gives an overview of what makes Florida a unique state in which to keep honey bees. It explains the ins and outs of beekeeping in Florida, with descriptions of some of the hazards, a few of the important nectar-producing plants, special considerations for seasonal colony growth and management, and Florida beekeeping regulations.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa264

Chalkbrood Recommendations

chalkbrood mummies

A pathogenic fungus called chalkbrood can turn infected larval honey bees into “mummies,” killing them and reducing their colony’s population and productivity. Florida’s subtropical climate may contribute to a greater incidence of the disease, which is common throughout the state. This 2-page fact sheet describing chalkbrood and listing some management strategies to control it was written by Malcolm T. Sanford, Cameron J. Jack, and Jamie Ellis, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, December 2016.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/aa138

Opinion Leadership and Local Food

A table of fresh fruit and produce at a farmer's market.
Three new articles have been published as part of a new series on Opinion Leadership and Local Food. These articles look at the role opinion leaders, or individuals who have a large amount of influence within their respective social circles, can have on motivating their peers to join in purchasing local food. The articles are as follows:

1. Opinion Leadership and the Perceived Health Benefits of Local Food (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc266)
2. Opinion Leadership and the Perceived Effects of Local Food on the Local Community (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc267)
3. Opinion Leadership and the Perceived Economic Benefits of Local Food (http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/wc268)

Written by Layne S. Marshall, Melissa R. Taylor, and Alexa J. Lamm and published by the Department of Agricultural Education and Communication.

Identifying the Attitudes and Preferences of Parents and Children for Seafood: Summary of Focus Group Results

Sea Grant seafood app photography at Wild Ocean Market on Friday, August 24th, 2012. Fish.
Seafood contains high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals that have many health benefits, but the average family’s consumption of seafood in the United States remains below recommended levels. To begin to understand how to raise consumption levels, the study described in this three-page fact sheet focused on the influence parents’ seafood consumption habits may have on their children. Written by Anh Sam, Xiang Bi, and Lisa House and published by the Department of Food and Resource Economics.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe992

How to Quantify Nosema Spores Infection Rate in a Honey Bee Colony

bee pollinating citrus flower

Nosema are single-celled fungal parasites that infect various animal hosts. One species, Nosema ceranae, has become the dominant microsporidian infection in western honey bee colonies. When honey bees ingest Nosema spores, many eventually starve to death because the spores replicate in the stomach and hijack the bee’s nutrition. The risk of Nosema infection can be particularly unsettling to beekeepers because colonies often do not show signs of infection until the colony is severely diminished.

This 5-page fact sheet written by Ashley N. Mortensen, Cameron J. Jack, Meghan McConnell, Liana Teigen, and Jamie Ellis and published by the Department of Entomology and Nematology explains how to diagnose and quantify Nosema infection in a honey bee colony.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1123

Estimated Costs and Regional Economic Impacts of the Oriental Fruit Fly (Bactrocera dorsalis) Outbreak in Miami-Dade County, Florida

Adult female oriental fruit fly, Bactrocera dorsalis (Hendel), laying eggs by inserting her ovipositor in a papaya.

Oriental fruit flies, very destructive pests of fruits, were first detected in the Redland area of Miami-Dade County on August 26, 2015, and as of January 2016, 165 flies had been captured. This triggered an eradication program and establishment of a quarantine area composed of agricultural operations and nonagricultural properties, such as residential and commercial areas. As part of the effort to eradicate the fruit fly, growers and packers in the quarantine area are required to sign a compliance agreement that outlines the procedures necessary for harvesting, handling, and postharvest processing of agricultural products that may serve as hosts for any life cycle of the fruit fly. This 12-page fact sheet written by Sergio Alvarez, Edward A. Evans, and Alan W. Hodges and published by the UF Food and Resource Economics Department provides estimates of the direct and indirect losses to Florida’s agriculture and related sectors as a result of the outbreak and ensuing quarantine and eradication programs.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe988

Ocho Pasos para Desarrollar un Plan Simple de Mercadeo

person in silhouette runs up eight steps
El mercadeo es parte esencial de un negocio. De hecho es el corazón de cualquier negocio que sirva la función vital de convertir actividades de producción en desempeño financiero, asegurando la supervivencia del negocio. El mercadeo es clave, sin importar el tipo de negocio (incluyendo la agricultura).
This 5-page fact sheet provides a rationale for developing a marketing plan, a step-by-step process for creating one, and a marketing plan worksheet. Written by Edward A. Evans and Fredy H. Ballen, and published by the UF Department of Food and Resource Economics. Translated into Spanish November 2015. (Photo credit: Thinkstock)
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe978

(also available in English as “Eight Steps to Developing a Simple Marketing Plan” at http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/fe967)

Water and Nutrient Management Guidelines for Greenhouse Hydroponic Vegetable Production in Florida

Hydroponically grown plants
Many small farms are implementing greenhouse hydroponic systems. Perhaps the most challenging aspect of crop management for smaller growers is the control of water and nutrient delivery in a soilless media system. This six-page fact sheet focuses on relatively inexpensive strategies to help small growers know both when to start irrigation events and how long to run a single event when growing in soilless media. Written by Robert C. Hochmuth, Natalie B. Parkell, Wanda L. Laughlin, and Sean C. Rider, and published by the Horticultural Sciences Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/hs1274

Pest Identification Guide: An Introduction to Thrips

Dorsal view of an adult common blossom thrips, Frankliniella schultzei Trybom.Tiny insects called thrips are difficult to see with the unaided eye but cause very obvious and sometimes ruinous damage to the flowers, buds, and fruit of many important crops. This two-page guide asks and answers the key thrips questions that allow growers to distinguish between chilli thrips, common blossom thrips, and Western flower thrips to more effectively battle against these destructive pests. What does it look like? What is its life cycle? Where is it found? What type of damage does it cause? And, most importantly, who are its natural enemies? Use this guide to help you identify thrips so that you can take effective steps to control them and limit the damage they cause. Written by Nicole Casuso and Hugh Smith with photos by Lyle Buss, Jeff Cluever, Vivek Kumar, P.M.J. Ramakers, Gary Vallad, and Hugh Smith. Published by the Entomology and Nematology Department, UF/IFAS Extension.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1058

The Social Organization of Honey Bees

Honey bee castes: a. drone (male), b. queen (reproductive female), and c. worker (non-reproductive female).
A honey bee colony is a superorganism, which means that together its members function like a single animal. Bees within a colony work together like the cells in a human body. They warm the colony in the winter by vibrating their wings to generate heat and cool it in the summer by ferrying in droplets of water and fanning air over them. Worker bees fan air into and out of the colony entrance in distinct inhalations and exhalations. Colonies reproduce by swarming to create new daughter colonies that in turn thermoregulate, breathe, and reproduce just as a single autonomous animal does. In three pages this fact sheet explains the intricate caste system and age-based division of labor that allows colonies of humankind’s best-loved pollinators to function and thrive. Written by Ashley N. Mortensen, Bryan Smith, and James D. Ellis and published by the Entomology and Nematology Department.
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/in1102