Source: WLRN | Author: Caitie Switalski | Published: January 21, 2020
Florida is abuzz about beekeeping. The number of Floridians who’ve started beekeeping has increased by over 500 percent in the last 14 years. The demand has gotten so large, that the University of Florida’s Honey Bee Research and Extension Lab recently added more to the Master Beekeeper Program that’s open to the public — online.
Beekeepers John and Teresa Coldwell of Broward County take UF’s advanced beekeeping course. One of the public apiaries — that’s a collection of hives — they helped start around the county is located at the Deerfield Beach Apiary, behind the city’s recycling plant.
“Good mornin’ ladies, how you doing?” Coldwell said to his bees, as he squirt smoke on them and lift the lid of a hive.
There’s about 25,000 to 30,000 bees in each hive — and at the Deerfield Apiary, there’s 15 hives.
“They’re all nice bees,” Coldwell said.
The Coldwells have been keeping honey bees for about eight years — after they tried gardening.
“We found out that we’re good beekeepers and probably forever, not the best gardeners,” Teresa Coldwell said. “So we focused on bees instead of the gardenin’ it’s just mushroomed from there.”
They’re both really involved in local beekeeping associations. John Coldwell is the president of the South Florida Beekeepers Association, as well as the Broward Beekeepers Association. He also sits on the board for the state Beekeepers Association.
They’re passionate about bee education. Other than Deerfield Beach, the Coldwells have added public apiaries in Oakland Park, Tradewinds Park, Heritage Park, Treetops Park, and, most recently, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, along with even more private apiaries.