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This is the official website for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, established in 1873. We are a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.


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Welcome to the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association!

For over 130 years the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association has been serving the Los Angeles Beekeeping Community. Our group membership is composed of commercial and small scale beekeepers, bee hobbyists, and bee enthusiasts. So whether you came upon our site by design or just 'happened' to find us - welcome! Our primary purpose is the care and welfare of the honeybee. We achieve this through education of ourselves and the general public, supporting honeybee research, and practicing responsible beekeeping in an urban environment. 

"The bee is more honored than other animals, not because she labors, but because she labors for others."  Saint John Chrysostom 

Next LACBA Meeting: Monday, April 3, 2017. Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:00PM.

Beekeeping Class 101:
 Class #3, April 8, 2017, 9AM-Noon, The Valley Hive. See our Beekeeping Class 101 page for details & directions. BEE SUITS REQUIRED.

Check out our Facebook page for lots of info and updates on bees; and please remember to LIKE US: 



Amazing Bee Video!

Apocrita: A Bee Film (Wasps and Bees Fighting in Super Slow Motion)
Filmed and written by Michael N Sutton

Apocrita is suborder of insects in the order Hymenoptera (Bees, wasps, and ants). This film is a product of passion for the honey bee. My last bee film was an educational piece for kids and I wanted to make something that was more in line with my vision this go around. This is an art film. But hopefully you will see the beauty of these insects as I do.

Bees are Biotic pollinators and have a large role in the pollination of many of our fruits, nuts, and flowering plants. Some crops like Almonds are 100% pollinated by Bees. Climate change, chemical dependence in agriculture, habitat destruction, Colony Collapse Disorder are key reasons the honey bee is in decline.

I love bees and have become fond of filming them up close and personal in their various habitats. I do not use a smoker or a bee suit while filming as I feel it impedes the filming process. I filmed this in one day at Hillside Bees in Merrimack NH on a mid-October day. I was surprised to see how many bees were flying around and was even more surprised to see a large amount of wasps trying to steal food from the bees.

To film this I needed to be within a few inches to a few feet to get a close and personal view of their everyday activities. I was a bit worried about the wasps as I am allergic to their stings but was told once that as long as you are not afraid the bees and wasps will not perceive you as a threat. I do not know if that is true or not but this is the first time filming bees that I have not been stung, even being so close to them, so I am now a believer. I had zero fear going in and I think that made for better shots and being comfortable enough to focus on the subject rather than being stung.

For more information on bees The American Bee Keeping Federation is a great start to learning all the facts on not only beekeeping but also legislative activities, news and events in your area ( )

DIR/DP/EDIT: Michael N Sutton / Stybe Media, LLC.
Shot on IDT OS7 High-Speed camera with Vedra Cinema Primes (12mm, 25mm, 50mm) & a Canon 100MM Macro IS USM
Music composed by: Kevin Matley (
Track: Rest in Peace
Licensed via: Marmoset Music (
Special Thanks to:
Matt Kearney of Expert Digital Imaging (
Eric Kessler & Nate Howell of Kessler Crane (
Ryan Avery of Vedra (
FilmConvert (
Allen Lindahl of Hillside Bees (
Kevin Matley for his amazing music (
Marmoset Music for licensing (
Copyright 2017 by Michael N Sutton / Strybe Media, LLC.


UC Davis Apiculture Newsletter-Spring 2017

Elina L. Niño, Ph.D., Extension Apiculturist

Dear readers,

We hope you are buzzing with excitement for the new season!  We are quite busy ourselves and are working on several new projects. You can read more about it in our Spring Newsletter. Let us know if you have any questions and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we enjoyed writing it.


Elina L. Niño, Ph.D.
Extension Apiculturist
The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, Faculty Director
California Master Beekeeper Program, Director
Department of Entomology and Nematology
University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616Office: 37D Briggs HallField Office: 117 Harry H. Laidlaw Jr.Honey Bee Research FacilityEmail:

E. L. Niño Bee Lab:

To sign up for updates on:
E. L. Niño Bee Lab Courses:
CAMBP interest list:


American Bee Research Conference: A Short Report

CATCH THE BUZZ - By Elina L. Niño (AAPA President), Extension Specialist, University of California ANR Cooperative Extension, Davis, CA, and Michael Simone-Finstrom (AAPA Vice-President), Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory, USDA-ARS, Baton Rouge, LA

This year marked yet another tremendous joint conference of the American Beekeeping Federation, The American Honey Producers Association and the Canadian Honey Council. What an event! But, what you might not know is that this was also the time when the American Association of Professional Apiculturists (AAPA), Canadian Association of Professional Apiculturists (CAPA) and Apiary Inspectors of America (AIA) conducted the annual American Bee Research Conference (ABRC). The ABRC is a scientific conference focused solely on current honey bee research and held annually with one of the beekeeping conventions. The goal is to encourage interactions within the apicultural communities and allow beekeepers to see the latest and greatest research that may be of interest to them.

In our talks with many, many beekeepers we did note that not many are familiar with the AAPA so here is a quick overview of why we exist. AAPA has  the following three primary purposes: 1) Promote communication within and between industry, academia, and beekeepers; 2) Develop and foster research on fundamental questions to help understand honey bee biology and improve the beekeeping industry; and 3) Create a venue to rapidly share new techniques to advance the field while maintaining focus on our favorite organism, the honey bee. As representatives of AAPA we wanted to highlight some of the impressive research presented at the ABRC, as well as provide a brief update of our business meeting.

We kicked off the conference with a great historical presentation from our first plenary speaker Dr. Jeff Pettis (University of Bern). He briefly spoke about the history of AAPA and ABRC and it is worth noting here the names of those who started it all: John Harbo, Eric Mussen, and Malcolm Sanford. The conversation continued with the discussion of regulation of queen supersedure and ended on a high note with the conclusion that we are indeed most likely in the golden age of honey bee research. 

The session continued with some excellent presentations from students and touched on various topics including characterization of honey bee cellular immune components, effects of pesticides, control of overwintering processes, colony management, queen physiology and varroa mite management. A very interesting talk by Samuel Ramsey (University of Maryland) revealed a new understanding of Varroa behavior. Samuel discovered that varroa mites primarily consume honey bee fat stores dispelling a widely-accepted notion that Varroa feeds primarily on bee hemolymph. Time to re-write some books! Talks by Kelly Kulhanek and Nathalie Steinhauer (University of Maryland) discussed results of the multi-year beekeeper survey which provides information for developing best management practices for US beekeepers.  

Being that varroa mites and access to clean forage are on most beekeepers’ minds, it is no wonder we had a large number of talks covering these topics. Several researchers presented their efforts to develop and evaluate various synthetic and bio-miticides. Many others discussed their findings about honey bee foraging habits and what we can do to improve pollinator access to valuable food sources, including work done by James Wolfin (University of Minnesota) on how to make our lawns bee friendly. Not to be forgotten, several researchers spoke about the effects of other stressors on bees, particularly viruses and Nosema spp. Highlighting the need for improving our understanding of multi-stressor interactions, Frank Rinkevich (USDA-ARS, Baton Rouge, LA) discussed the effects of Varroa and management practices on honey bee pesticide sensitivity. The first day concluded with a poster session and a buzzing social graciously sponsored by Veto-pharma.

Our second plenary speaker, Dr. Steve Pernal (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada; CAPA), started us off on the second day by providing an excellent discussion of the progress of the marker-assisted selection guided by proteomics. This collaborative effort of Canadian scientists has built on their previous breeding efforts in order to use protein expression in various bee tissues from colonies exhibiting different resistance characteristics to American Foulbrood and varroa mites. This is very exciting research as it is the first demonstration of using protein markers for selective breeding efforts which could make this challenging job a bit easier.

The remainder of the day was packed with great talks touching on everything from disease and pest detection to how to improve honey bee health with nutritional supplements. Much needed information on the levels of neonicotinoids and other pesticides found in nectar and pollen in ornamental plants was presented by several researchers, including Brian Eitzer (Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station). We would be amiss if we didn’t mention that there were a few talks about our favorite bee individual – the queen. On a more practical note, Marta Guarna (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) reminded us just how delicate queens can be when talking about the effects of queen exposure to temperature fluctuations (i.e. during transport) on subsequent colony performance.

The conference proceedings, where you can find the abstracts and details of the research presented, has been published in Bee World volume 94, Issue 3. The link to the proceedings can be accessed through the AAPA website ( and directly through Bee World.

The final day of the conference concluded with a very insightful Panel Discussion organized by Mark Dykes (Texas Apiary Inspection Service). The panel brought together members of academia, industry, extension services and apiary inspectors for exchange of current issues in the field and discussion of the immediate research needs to provide solutions for beekeepers. This discussion certainly brought the meeting full circle, as queen health issues were on the minds of beekeepers as brought up by Jeff Pettis in the opening plenary. 

This certainly was a productive and informative conference offering something for everyone. It would not have been successful without ALL of the presenters, as the meeting featured 59 talks, including 19 student talks, and 14 poster presentations. We extend sincere thanks to our CAPA co-organizers Shelley Hoover and Leonard Foster, AIA members and specifically Mark Dykes, and Tara Zeravsky of Meeting Expectations. We also want to congratulate our student presentation winners (in no particular order): Courtney MacInnis (University of Alberta), Alexandria Payne (Texas A&M University) and Samuel Ramsey (University of Maryland). This year’s AAPA student scholarship winner was Mehmet Ali Doke (Penn State University).

Our business meeting was completed in a record 63 minutes, but we certainly were very efficient and managed to finalize a lot of pending business. We even have some good news to report. In 2017, AAPA will be offering a competitive Postdoctoral Travel Award as well as a competitive Extension Award. The details will be announced soon so make sure you visit our website Thank you for reading and we hope to see you all in January 2018 in Reno, NV!

Reference: Proceedings of the 2017 American Bee Research Conference. Bee World. Volume 94, Issue 3; doi:10.1080/0005772X.2017.1294471


Honey Bees Navigate Using Magnetic Abdomens

Physics World    By Hamish Johnson    March 27, 2017

Magnetic buzz: magnetizing a honey beeHoney bees appear to sense magnetic fields using a magnetic structure in their abdomens, according to a team of physicists and biologists in Canada. The researchers came to this conclusion by carrying out a series of physics and behavioural experiments on the insects, which showed that this sensory ability can be disrupted using a strong permanent magnet.

Bees are not the only animals that seem to navigate using magnetic fields, with some rodents, birds, fishes, reptiles, bacteria and insects appearing to have this ability too. What is not well understood, however, are the underlying mechanisms of "magnetoreception" that make this navigation possible.

One clue could lie in the fact that some of these organisms contain magnetite – a ferromagnetic oxide of iron that is also found in some types of rock. Indeed in 1997, Joe Kirschvink and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology showed that honey bees respond to local magnetic fields in a way that is consistent with magnetite-based magnetoreception.

Disruptive effect

What Veronika LambinetMichael HaydenGerhard Gries and colleagues at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver have now done is to show that a ferromagnetic material consistent with magnetite exists in the abdomen of honey bees. They found that the material can be magnetized using a strong permanent magnet and that magnetizing the abdomen of a live honey bee disrupts its ability to navigate using local magnetic fields.

The researchers first dissected a number of honey bees, separating the bodies into abdomens, thoraxes and heads before crushing the body parts into pellets representing the three sections of bee anatomy. They then used a superconducting quantum interference device (SQUID) to measure the magnetization of each pellet as it was exposed to an applied magnetic field of varying strength and direction. The resulting plots of magnetization versus applied field showed no evidence for ferromagnetism in pellets made from thoraces and heads – but a clear hysteresis loop indicative of ferromagnetism for the abdomen sample.

The team then used a strong permanent magnet to expose live honey bees to a magnetic field of 2.2 kOe – several thousand times stronger than the Earth's magnetic field – for about 5 s. Further measurements with the SQUID revealed that pellets made from the abdomen of these bees were more strongly magnetized than pellets made from bees that had not been exposed to a magnetic field.

Food source

To see how this magnetization affected the ability of live bees to navigate to a food source, the team first trained a group of bees to locate a sugar reward in an environment where electrical coils create a magnetic field. Half of these trained bees were then magnetized and their performance was compared with an un-magnetized control group. The team found that the magnetized bees were unable to find the reward, suggesting that their magnetoreceptors had been disrupted by the magnetization process.

While the study does not provide direct information about the biological mechanisms involved in magnetoreception, Hayden says: "The fact that we were able to disrupt the magnetic sense may well help to open doors or provide traction for future lines of inquiry."

Hayden adds that the team hopes "to eventually address questions such as the potential impact of industrial electromagnetic noise on the bees' magnetoreceptor and their overall well-being".

He also believes that future experiments could aim at investigating the microstructure of the magnetoreceptor. "Indeed, bees could become the model organism for studying magnetoreception," Hayden adds.

The study is described in Royal Society Proceedings B.

About the author Hamish Johnston is editor of


So, Where Do Honey Bees Come From, Really? California Scientists Want to Know

CATCH THE BUZZ    March 8, 2017

A new study from researchers at the University of California, Davis and UC Berkeley clears some of the fog around honey bee origins. The work could be useful in breeding bees resistant to disease or pesticides.

UC Davis postdoctoral researcher Julie Cridland is working with Santiago Ramirez, assistant professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis, and Neil Tsutsui, professor of environmental science, policy and management at UC Berkeley, to understand the population structure of honey bees (Apis mellifera) in California. Pollination by honey bees is essential to major California crops, such as almonds. Across the U.S., the value of “pollination services” from bees has been estimated as high as $14 billion.

“We’re trying to understand how California honey bee populations have changed over time, which of course has implications for agriculture,” Ramirez said.

To understand California bees, the researchers realized that they first needed to better understand honey bee populations in their native range in the Old World.

“We kind of fell into this project a little bit by accident,” Cridland said. “Initially we were looking at the data as a preliminary to other analyses, and we noticed some patterns that weren’t previously in the literature.”

The new study combines two large existing databases to provide the most comprehensive sampling yet of honey bees in Africa, the Middle East and Europe.

Unrelated Bee Lineages in Close Proximity

Previously, researchers had assumed an origin for honey bees in north-east Africa or the Middle East. But the situation turns out to be more complicated than that, Cridland said.

“You might think that bees that are geographically close are also genetically related, but we found a number of divergent lineages across north-east Africa and the Middle East,” she said.

There are two major lineages of honey bees in Europe – C, “Central European,” including Italy and Austria and M, including Western European populations from Spain to Norway – which give rise to most of the honey bees used in apiculture worldwide. But although C and M lineage bees exist side by side in Europe and can easily hybridize, they are genetically distinct and arrived in different parts of the world at different times.

M lineage bees were the first to be brought to North America, in 1622. The more docile C lineage bees came later, and today many California bees are from the C lineage, but there is still a huge amount of genetic diversity, Ramirez said.

“You can’t understand the relationships among bee populations in California without understanding the populations they come from,” Cridland said.

In the Middle East, the O lineage hails from Turkey and Jordan, and Y from Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The main African lineage is designated A.

At this point, the researchers cannot identify a single point of origin for honey bees, but the new work does clear up some confusion from earlier studies, they said. In some cases, diverged lineages that happen to be close to each other have mixed again. Previous, more limited studies have sampled those secondarily mixed populations, giving confusing results.

“We’re not making any strong claim about knowing the precise origin,” Cridland said. “What we’re trying to do is talk about a scientific problem, disentangling these relationships between lineages, the genetic relationships from the geography.”

This article has been republished from materials provided by University of California Davis. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.


Cridland, J. M., Tsutsui, N. D., & Ramírez, S. R. (2017). The complex demographic history and evolutionary origin of the western honey bee, Apis mellifera. Genome biology and evolution.