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LA COUNTY FAIR - BEE BOOTH


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, May 2, 2016. Open: 6:45P.M./Start: 7:00P.M.  All are welcome! 

Beekeeping Class 101:
  Next class, Sunday, April 17, at Bill's Bees Bee Yard 9AM-Noon. Topic: What goes on inside the Hive. BEE SUITS REQUIRED. All are Welcome! 

Check out our Facebook page for lots of info and updates on bees; and please remember to LIKE US: https://www.facebook.com/losangelesbeekeeping 

THE LATEST BUZZ:  

Sunday
Apr242016

Have you heard the latest bee buzz?

Pesticide Action Network    April 22, 2016

Yesterday, the "Pollinator Protection Act" took a big step forward in the California legislature, moving closer to becoming state law. This is just one of many positive developments for bees in recent weeks. As public momentum to protect vital pollinators continues to build, cities, states and businesses are getting in gear — even as federal policymakers continue to come up short. 

States stepping up

In the face of strong opposition from the citrus industry lobby, the Pollinator Protection Act (SB 1282, Leno-Allen) passed out of the California Senate Environmental Quality Committee on Wednesday with a 4-2 vote. If it becomes law, this bill will require labels on any plants or seeds treated with systemic neonicotinoid pesticides — a very common practice. Currently, there is no way to identify which plants, including those sold at nurseries, pose a threat to pollinators collecting contaminated nectar and pollen.

The bill will also ensure that these bee-harming pesticides are available for sale only to certified applicators, farmers or veterinarians. While neonics are used in highest quantities in agriculture, home and garden use also increases pollinator exposure.

One of the witnesses who testified in support of the bill — Jessa Kay Cruz, a senior pollinator conservation specialist for the Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation — told the committee:

"The Pollinator Protection Act is a reasonable response to help minimize the risks that neonicotinoids pose. Labeling of seeds and plants that have been treated with a neonicotinoid will allow people to make informed decisions about the products they purchase. The bill will also avoid misuse and overuse of these chemicals by people that are not properly trained."

Meanwhile, Maryland is poised to become the first state in the nation to ban all consumer use of neonics. The Smart on Pesticides campaign, which has mobilized strong support for the state law, celebrated late last month when the bill cleared the state legislature and headed to the Governor's office, where it now awaits a signature.

And, in Minnesota, farmers, beekeepers and pollinator advocates have partnered on a bill that would provide grants to farmers who want to transition away from bee-harming pesticides and plant pollinator habitat on their farms. This bill has gathered momentum and passed through multiple state Senate committees.

Stay tuned for more updates as the sessions continue.

Companies doing the right thing? 

Momentum is building in the private sector as well. Last year, Lowe's agreed to phase out neonic products on its store shelves. And, while Home Depot initially agreed to just label plants treated with neonics, late last year they announced their commitment to pull neonics from their stores as well.

Just last week, the chemical company Ortho announced plans to voluntarily "transition away" from including neonics in their products at all. Citing harm to pollinators, an Ortho spokesperson said:

“While agencies in the United States are still evaluating the overall impact of neonics on pollinator populations, it’s time for Ortho to move on. We encourage other companies and brands in the consumer pest control category to follow our lead.”

Time to get in gear

The science connecting neonicotinoids to bee declines is strong and clear. The challenges pollinators face are multifaceted, including habitat loss and disease, but exposure to harmful pesticides is a clear part of the problem — and something decisionmakers can take action on right away. 

Bees and other pollinators are incredibly important, from sustaining environmental health to supporting our food system. Bees alone pollinate one in three bites of our food, and their contributions to farming are estimated at over $19 billion annually. They're also an indicator species; trouble for them heralds trouble for our ecosystems more broadly.

As we keep the heat on federal policymakers to enact strong, meaningful protections for pollinators, it's heartening to see progress in other sectors. Bees need all the help they can get, at every level. But until we shift the agricultural status quo in this country and stop the widespread use of bee-harming pesticides, pollinators will continue facing serious trouble.

http://www.panna.org/blog/have-you-heard-latest-bee-buzz?utm_source=groundtruth&utm_medium=alert&utm_campaign=gt-04-22

Saturday
Apr162016

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101: Class #3 

Class #3 of the 2016 Season of LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 is Sunday, April 17, 9AM-Noon at Bill's Bees Bee Yard. Topics covered will be: 1) properly wearing bee suit, 2) lighting a smoker (bring your hive tool, smoker, and smoker fuel), 3) package bee introduction to bee hive demonstration, 4) tour through the inside of a bee hive. BEE SUITS REQUIRED. Look forward to seeing you at BEE CLASS! All are Welcome! All you need to know about the class is listed below. http://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/beekeeping-classes-losangeles/

Wednesday
Apr132016

When Can I Pick Up My Bees???

From Bill's Bees: We've been receiving a lot of inquiries as to: When can I pick up my bees? If you purchased your 'packaged' bees from Bill's Bees, you will receive an email by April 16th with date and time as to when you can pick up your bees. Nucs and complete hives will arrive later in May. Thank you! http://billsbees.com/collections/bees

Wednesday
Apr132016

Rising CO2 Levels Reduce Protein in Crucial Pollen Source for Bees

CATCH THE BUZZ - Bee Culture Blog     April 13, 2016

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide have reduced protein in goldenrod pollen, a key late-season food source for North American bees, a Purdue University study shows.

Researchers found that the overall protein concentration of goldenrod pollen fell about one-third from the onset of the Industrial Revolution to the beginning of the 21st century.

Previous studies have shown that increases in carbon dioxide can lower the nutritional value of plants such as wheat and rice – staple crops for much of the global human population – but this study is the first to examine the effects of rising CO2 on the diet of bees.

“Bee food is less nutritious than it used to be,” said Jeffrey Dukes, study co-author and professor of forestry and natural resources and biological sciences. “Our findings also suggest that the quality of pollen will continue to decline into the future. That’s not great news for bees.”

Native bee species and honeybees rely on flowering plants for energy and nutrition. While nectar is the primary energy source for bee colonies, pollen is the sole source of protein for bees. Pollen is essential for the development of bee larvae and helps maintain bees’ immunity to pathogens and parasites.

Goldenrod, a common North American perennial that blooms from late July through October, offers bees some of the last available pollen before winter. Bees that overwinter must store substantial amounts of pollen to rear their winter young. Declines in pollen protein could potentially threaten bee health and survival and weaken bees’ ability to overwinter on a continental scale, said Jeffery Pettis, study co-author and research entomologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.

“A poor diet sets bees up for failure,” he said. “Previous research shows bees have shorter lifespans when fed lower quality pollen.”

The researchers noted, however, that this study only assessed pollen protein levels and did not look at the impact of protein reductions on bee health and populations.

“Our work suggests there is a strong possibility that decreases in pollen protein could contribute to declines in bee health, but we haven’t yet made that final link,” said Dukes, who is also director of the Purdue Climate Change Research Center housed in Discovery Park.

Dukes collaborated with a team led by USDA-ARS researchers to examine protein levels in historical and experimental samples of goldenrod pollen. They found that pollen protein levels dropped about a third in samples collected from 1842-2014, a period during which the amount of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere rose from about 280 parts per million to 398 ppm. The greatest drop in protein occurred during 1960-2014, a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels rose dramatically.

A 2-year controlled field experiment that exposed goldenrod to a gradient of carbon dioxide levels from 280 to 500 ppm showed strikingly similar decreases in pollen protein, Dukes said.

“These data provide an urgent and compelling case for establishing CO2 sensitivity of pollen protein for other floral species,” the researchers concluded in their study.

Bees provide a valuable service to U.S. agriculture through pollination, contributing more than $15 billion in added crop value each year.

But a number of new and mounting pressures are crippling colonies and endangering bee populations. These threats include emerging diseases and parasites such as deformed wing virus, Varroa mites and Nosema fungi; a lack of diversity and availability of pollen and nectar sources; and exposure to a wide variety of pesticides. From 2006 to 2011, annual losses of managed honeybee colonies averaged about 33 percent per year, according to the USDA-ARS.

“Bees already face a lot of factors that are making their lives hard,” Dukes said. “A decline in the nutritional quality of their food source going into a critical season is another reason to be concerned.”

Elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide – a building block for plant sugars -have allowed many plants to grow faster and bigger. But this growth spurt can dilute plants’ total protein, rather than concentrating it in the grain, resulting in a less nutritious food source.

Slowing the degrading effects of rising carbon dioxide levels on plant nutrition hinges on reducing carbon emission rates from deforestation and burning fossil fuels, Dukes said.

“The impact of carbon emissions on the nutritional value of our food supply is something people need to be aware of. This issue isn’t just relevant to honeybees and people – it will probably affect thousands or even millions of other plant-eating species around the world. We don’t yet know how they’ll deal with it.”

The study was published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B on Wednesday (April 13) and is available to journal subscribers and on-campus readers at http://dx.doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2016.0414.

Researchers from Williams College, the Smithsonian Institution and the University of Maryland also co-authored the study.

The work was funded by the USDA-ARS.

http://www.beeculture.com/catch-buzz-rising-co2-levels-reduce-protein-crucial-pollen-source-bees/#.Vw8QLt9FeU4.facebook

Wednesday
Apr132016

Major Pest Control Company Announces a Huge Change to Protect Bees

Huffington Post    By Chris D'Angelo    April 12, 2016 

A commonly used insecticide is suspected of contributing to the collapse of bee populations.

In an effort to better protect the planet’s most important pollinators, pest control company Ortho says it will remove from its products a class of chemicals thought to be linked to declining bee populations.

via GIPHY

The company, a division of Scotts Miracle-Gro, said in an announcement Tuesday it would “immediately begin to transition away from the use of neonicotinoid-based pesticides for outdoor use.” 

Tim Martin, general manager of the Ortho brand, says the decision came after carefully considering the potential threats of the chemicals, called neonics for short, to honey bees.

“While agencies in the United States are still evaluating the overall impact of neonics on pollinator populations, it’s time for Ortho to move on,” Martin said in a statement. “We encourage other companies and brands in the consumer pest control category to follow our lead.”

The decline in bee populations, both in North America and around the world, is well-established. A nationwide survey last year by researchers at the University of Maryland, for example, found that U.S. beekeepers lost 42 percent of honey bee colonies between April 2014 to April 2015. This is an especially alarming statistic considering bees pollinate 75 percent of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the United States.

Today, bees face a host of threats, including the parasitic varroa mite, disease, poor nutrition from the loss of foraging habitat, and a lack of genetic diversity, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

Neonicotinoids, a common insecticide used to fight off a variety of pests, are also suspected of playing a role in the pollinators’ collapse. The EPA is currently reviewing the neonic class of pesticides to assess its risk to bees and other pollinators, but a study last year found that chronic exposure to the chemicals, which are believed to attack the central nervous system in bees, can impair bumblebees’ learning and memory.

second study, published last month in the journal Functional Ecology, found neonics can impact a bumblebee’s ability to forage. “If exposure to low levels of pesticide affects their ability to learn, bees may struggle to collect food and impair the essential pollination services they provide to both crops and wild plants,” Nigel Raine, a senior author of the paper, said in a statement.

Honey bees, seen here, pollinate 75 percent of the fruits, nuts and vegetables grown in the U.S. Photo: Bjorn Holland via Getty Images

The Associated Press reports that Ortho plans to eliminate neonicotinoids from three of its products by 2017 and from another five by 2021.

Larissa Walker, pollinator program director at the Center for Food Safety, called Ortho’s announcement a “much needed win for bees and other pollinators.”

“Research continues to point to neonics as a prime culprit in bee population losses and poor colony health,” Walker said in a statement. “We are glad to see that Ortho is moving away from using these bee-toxic chemicals, and we hope that other garden and nursery companies will follow suit.”

While Ortho’s decision is good news for bees, parent company Scotts Miracle-Gro has not always protected the world’s vulnerable critters. In 2012, Scotts was ordered to pay $12.5 million after pleading guilty to illegally applying toxic insecticides to bird seed.

Ortho’s recent announcement comes less than a week after Maryland lawmakers voted in favor of a measure that would ban the consumer use of such products. While the bill has been hailed by beekeepers and environmental groups, others say it falsely blames homeowners and ignores science. It remains unclear whether Maryland’s governor will sign the bill.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/ortho-neonicotinoid-bees_us_570d5e46e4b01422324a76cf?utm_hp_ref=tw