which are the best type of bees for a beginner to get for the main purpose of honey??? (in miami florida)
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All honey bees are Apis mellifera – the designations after that are kind of like the "breed" of a dog. There are several – Italian, Buckfast, German, Russian – to name a few.
I would say that Italian honey bees are the best honey producer, especially for new bee keepers. They are gentle, wonderful honey producers and have good disease resistance.
Florida has quite a bit of honey production (especially Tupelo!) so I would highly recommend trying to get in touch with some beekeepers in your area. Beekeepers are anxious to get new folks involved and will more than likely welcome your interest.
For more info on honey bee types, see the .pdf link below. There is one bee that I am aware of that is missing from this chart and that is the newer strain called Minnesota hygienic. I do not know what the success with them is in Florida but I believe they are at least as good a producer of honey as the Italians and they are more resistant to mites and – I hear – even more gentle.
Also check out the other links to the American Beekeeping Federation and a large product supplier, Dadant and Sons. I also attached a link to the Florida Beekeepers Assoc.
There are lots of good books as well, Beekeeping for Dummies is very good and reasonably priced.
PS – Sorry – after I went back to the .pdf link I saw I missed that the second page has additional info besides what is in the chart so make sure you don’t miss it, too!
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