How to apply to lease property for an apiary
Florida’s honey industry is ranked in the top five in the United States. Pollinators, including honey bees, are essential for pollinating agricultural crops, and natural and managed landscapes. However, over the last four decades there has been an overall decrease in honey bee forage in the United States. Thus, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services encourages state land managers, including the St. Johns River Water Management District, to lease small parcels within public lands for apiaries. The district has developed a revenue producing lease program that provides many benefits, including:
- Increased number of pollinators on district lands
- Minimizing district expenses by increasing revenue from non-governmental sources to off-set district management, maintenance and resource protection costs
- Minimizing impacts to the local agricultural economy by keeping viable lands in active agricultural production
New properties suitable for apiary operations are competitively bid by the district pursuant to Florida Statute 373.093. An Invitation to Submit Offer (ITO) is advertised by the district on the district website for available properties. A Notice of Intent to lease will also be published in a newspaper in the county in which said land is situated. Leases will be awarded to the responsive and responsible bidder with the highest offer per site. Properties already under lease will be reviewed by the district for consideration of opening the property up for bid by region and the current lessee will be given a minimum of 30 days notice to vacate the property prior to new lease award. Current ITOs are identified below. The table displays the most recent “Invitation to Submit Offer” based upon “broadcast date” first. Persons/firms obtaining solicitation documents from this site shall be responsible to visit this webpage for any changes, delays or addenda related to the ITO. Each ITO will provide an Exhibit identifying the location of the property.