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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.

LA COUNTY FAIR - BEE BOOTH

Equipment, Supplies (Local)


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, November 6, 2017. Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM.

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
 We had our final LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 for the 2017 season. Please check back in January 2018 for info re our 2018 season. For info on our classes see: Beekeeping Class 101.

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:  

Friday
Oct202017

Insectageddon: Farming Is More Catastrophic Than Climate Breakdown

The Guardian   By George Monbiot    October 20, 2017

‘Flying insects are the pollinators without which a vast tract of the plant kingdom, both wild and cultivated, cannot survive.’ Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental issue? Climate breakdownair pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive only a fraction of the attention.

This is not to downgrade the danger presented by global heating – on the contrary, it presents an existential threat. It is simply that I have come to realise that two other issues have such huge and immediate impacts that they push even this great predicament into third place.

One is industrial fishing, which, all over the blue planet, is now causing systemic ecological collapse. The other is the erasure of non-human life from the land by farming.

And perhaps not only non-human life. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, at current rates of soil loss, driven largely by poor farming practice, we have just 60 years of harvests left. And this is before the Global Land Outlook report, published in September, found that productivity is already declining on 20% of the world’s cropland.

The impact on wildlife of changes in farming practice (and the expansion of the farmed area) is so rapid and severe that it is hard to get your head round the scale of what is happening. A study published this week in the journal Plos One reveals that flying insects surveyed on nature reserves in Germany have declined by 76% in 27 years. The most likely cause of this Insectageddon is that the land surrounding those reserves has become hostile to them: the volume of pesticides and the destruction of habitat have turned farmland into a wildlife desert.

It is remarkable that we need to rely on a study in Germany to see what is likely to have been happening worldwide: long-term surveys of this kind simply do not exist elsewhere. This failure reflects distorted priorities in the funding of science. There is no end of grants for research on how to kill insects, but hardly any money for discovering what the impacts of this killing might be. Instead, the work has been left – as in the German case – to recordings by amateur naturalists.

But anyone of my generation (ie in the second bloom of youth) can see and feel the change. We remember the “moth snowstorm” that filled the headlight beams of our parents’ cars on summer nights (memorialised in Michael McCarthy’s lovely book of that name). Every year I collected dozens of species of caterpillars and watched them grow and pupate and hatch. This year I tried to find some caterpillars for my children to raise. I spent the whole summer looking and, aside from the cabbage whites on our broccoli plants, found nothing in the wild but one garden tiger larva. Yes, one caterpillar in one year. I could scarcely believe what I was seeing – or rather, not seeing.

Insects, of course, are critical to the survival of the rest of the living world. Knowing what we now know, there is nothing surprising about the calamitous decline of insect-eating birds. Those flying insects – not just bees and hoverflies but species of many different families – are the pollinators without which a vast tract of the plant kingdom, both wild and cultivated, cannot survive. The wonders of the living planet are vanishing before our eyes.

Well, I hear you say, we have to feed the world. Yes, but not this way. As a UN report published in March explained, the notion that pesticide use is essential for feeding a growing population is a myth. A recent study in Nature Plants reveals that most farms would increase production if they cut their use of pesticides. A study in the journal Arthropod-Plant Interactions shows that the more neonicotinoid pesticides were used to treat rapeseed crops, the more their yield declines. Why? Because the pesticides harm or kill the pollinators on which the crop depends.

Farmers and governments have been comprehensively conned by the global pesticide industry. It has ensured its products should not be properly regulated or even, in real-world conditions, properly assessed. A massive media onslaught by this industry has bamboozled us all about its utility and its impacts on the health of both human beings and the natural world.

The profits of these companies depend on ecocide. Do we allow them to hold the world to ransom, or do we acknowledge that the survival of the living world is more important than returns to their shareholders? At the moment, shareholder value comes first. And it will count for nothing when we have lost the living systems on which our survival depends.

To save ourselves and the rest of the living world, here’s what we need to do:

1 We need a global treaty to regulate pesticides, and put the manufacturers back in their box.

2 We need environmental impact assessments for the farming and fishing industries. It is amazing that, while these sectors present the greatest threats to the living world, they are, uniquely in many nations, not subject to such oversight.

3 We need firm rules based on the outcomes of these assessments, obliging those who use the land to protect and restore the ecosystems on which we all depend.

4 We need to reduce the amount of land used by farming, while sustaining the production of food. The most obvious way is greatly to reduce our use of livestock: many of the crops we grow and all of the grazing land we use are deployed to feed them. One study in Britain suggests that, if we stopped using animal products, everyone in Britain could be fed on just 3m of our 18.5m hectares of current farmland (or on 7m hectares if all our farming were organic). This would allow us to create huge wildlife and soil refuges: an investment against a terrifying future.

5 We should stop using land that should be growing food for people to grow maize for biogas and fuel for cars.

Read at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/20/insectageddon-farming-catastrophe-climate-breakdown-insect-populations?CMP=share_btn_fb

Related: Warning Of 'Ecological Armageddon' After Dramatic Plunge In Insect Numbers

Friday
Oct202017

Warning Of 'Ecological Armageddon' After Dramatic Plunge In Insect Numbers

The Guardian    By Damian Carrington   October 18, 2017

Three-quarters of flying insects in nature reserves across Germany have vanished in 25 years, with serious implications for all life on Earth, scientists say

Flying insects caught in a malaise trap, used by entomologists to collect samples. Photograph: Courtesy of Entomologisher Verein Krefeld

The abundance of flying insects has plunged by three-quarters over the past 25 years, according to a new study that has shocked scientists.

Insects are an integral part of life on Earth as both pollinators and prey for other wildlife and it was known that some species such as butterflies were declining. But the newly revealed scale of the losses to all insects has prompted warnings that the world is “on course for ecological Armageddon”, with profound impacts on human society.

The new data was gathered in nature reserves across Germany but has implications for all landscapes dominated by agriculture, the researchers said.

The cause of the huge decline is as yet unclear, although the destruction of wild areas and widespread use of pesticides are the most likely factors and climate change may play a role. The scientists were able to rule out weather and changes to landscape in the reserves as causes, but data on pesticide levels has not been collected.

“The fact that the number of flying insects is decreasing at such a high rate in such a large area is an alarming discovery,” said Hans de Kroon, at Radboud University in the Netherlands and who led the new research.

“Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth [but] there has been some kind of horrific decline,” said Prof Dave Goulson of Sussex University, UK, and part of the team behind the new study. “We appear to be making vast tracts of land inhospitable to most forms of life, and are currently on course for ecological Armageddon. If we lose the insects then everything is going to collapse.”

The research, published in the journal Plos One, is based on the work of dozens of amateur entomologists across Germany who began using strictly standardised ways of collecting insects in 1989. Special tents called malaise traps were used to capture more than 1,500 samples of all flying insects at 63 different nature reserves.

The malaise traps set in protected areas and reserves, which scientists say makes the declines even more worrying. Photograph: Courtesy of Courtesy of Entomologisher Verein Krefeld

When the total weight of the insects in each sample was measured a startling decline was revealed. The annual average fell by 76% over the 27 year period, but the fall was even higher – 82% – in summer, when insect numbers reach their peak.

Previous reports of insect declines have been limited to particular insects, such European grassland butterflies, which have fallen by 50% in recent decades. But the new research captured all flying insects, including wasps and flies which are rarely studied, making it a much stronger indicator of decline.

The fact that the samples were taken in protected areas makes the findings even more worrying, said Caspar Hallmann at Radboud University, also part of the research team: “All these areas are protected and most of them are well-managed nature reserves. Yet, this dramatic decline has occurred.”

The amateur entomologists also collected detailed weather measurements and recorded changes to the landscape or plant species in the reserves, but this could not explain the loss of the insects. “The weather might explain many of the fluctuations within the season and between the years, but it doesn’t explain the rapid downward trend,” said Martin Sorg from the Krefeld Entomological Society in Germany, who led the amateur entomologists.

The amateur entomologists also collected detailed weather measurements and recorded changes to the landscape or plant species in the reserves, but this could not explain the loss of the insects. “The weather might explain many of the fluctuations within the season and between the years, but it doesn’t explain the rapid downward trend,” said Martin Sorg from the Krefeld Entomological Society in Germany, who led the amateur entomologists.

Goulson said a likely explanation could be that the flying insects perish when they leave the nature reserves. “Farmland has very little to offer for any wild creature,” he said. “But exactly what is causing their death is open to debate. It could be simply that there is no food for them or it could be, more specifically, exposure to chemical pesticides, or a combination of the two.”

In September, a chief scientific adviser to the UK government warned that regulators around the world have falsely assumed that it is safe to use pesticides at industrial scales across landscapes and that the “effects of dosing whole landscapes with chemicals have been largely ignored”.

The scientists said further work is urgently needed to corroborate the new findings in other regions and to explore the issue in more detail. While most insects do fly, it may be that those that don’t, leave nature reserves less often and are faring better. It is also possible that smaller and larger insects are affected differently, and the German samples have all been preserved and will be further analysed.

In the meantime, said De Kroon: “We need to do less of the things that we know have a negative impact, such as the use of pesticides and the disappearance of farmland borders full of flowers.”

 As well as being pollinators insects provide food for birds and other animals and help control pests. Photograph: Kevin Elsby/Alamy

Lynn Dicks at the University of East Anglia, UK, and not involved in the new research said the work was convincing. “It provides important new evidence for an alarming decline that many entomologists have suspected is occurring for some time.”

“If total flying insect biomass is genuinely declining at this rate – about 6% per year – it is extremely concerning,” she said. “Flying insects have really important ecological functions, for which their numbers matter a lot. They pollinate flowers: flies, moths and butterflies are as important as bees for many flowering plants, including some crops. They provide food for many animals – birds, bats, some mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Flies, beetles and wasps are also predators and decomposers, controlling pests and cleaning up the place generally.”

Another way of sampling insects – car windscreens – has often been anecdotally used to suggest a major decline, with people remembering many more bugs squashed on their windscreens in the past.

“I think that is real,” said Goulson. “I drove right across France and back this summer – just when you’d expect your windscreen to be splattered all over – and I literally never had to stop to clean the windscreen.”

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/oct/18/warning-of-ecological-armageddon-after-dramatic-plunge-in-insect-numbers#img-2

Wednesday
Oct182017

Pollination Conservation in Cities with Kevin Matteson

Ohio State University     Octoer 18, 2017

Pollinator Conservation in Cities webinar, recorded 10/18/2017 (63m)

http://u.osu.edu/beelab/pollinator-conservation-in-cities-with-kevin-matteson/

Matteson OSU Webinar_2017 PDF handout

Join Ohio State University’s next month's webinar: November 15 at 9AM Eastern/6AM Pacific
Bee City USA & Bee Campus USA: Making the World Safer for Pollinators
Phyllis Stiles, Founder & Director, Bee City USA & Bee Campus USA

For more info: http://u.osu.edu/beelab/

Sunday
Oct152017

Samuel Ramsey - University of Maryland

Project Apis m.

(Note from LACBA: "Through our volunteer efforts at the Bee Booth at the LA County Fair the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association supports research through Project Apis m. Take a few minutes and vote for Samuel Ramsey @http://www.u213mt.com/." Note from Project Apis m.: "Thank you for your support! This project alone has pretty big implications for our understanding of Varroa mites- beekeeper enemy #1!)

Project Apis m. funded this important project, please vote and help Samuel Ramsey win this contest for his great work!

"Vote for me! This April I won a national competition where you're judged on how well you can present your entire Doctoral Thesis in 3 minutes (called the 3MT). I was told that I would have the distinct honor of representing the University of Maryland and, more broadly, the US in the International Competition in October! Well, October kind of snuck up on me here in Thailand!!! A big part of that competition started on Sunday: "The People's Choice Vote" and apparently my video is doing pretty well!! The University of Maryland has been really excited about it! They think I've got a shot at winning the International round and they want me to take home the People's Choice Title too! The only problem is that it's kind of difficult for me to rally the troops and get the word out while I'm in another time zone 8,431 miles away from home (approximately). So how about this: I'll rally the troops here at Chiang Mai University (after all, this project is the whole reason why I'm here); could you guys help me rock the vote in the ole US of A?"

Post this link wherever you can and tell everyone to Vote for Samuel Ramsey, "The Curious Case of the Bee Mite's Bite" at www.u213mt.com
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dq52ug3HTxY

Tuesday
Oct102017

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 (Class #8): October 14, 2017, 9am-Noon

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 (Class #8) Saturday, October 14, 2017, 9am-noon
BEE SUIT REQUIRED FOR THIS CLASS.

 THE VALLEY HIVE
9633 BADEN AVENUE
CHATSWORTH, CA 93063
(818) 280-6500

BRING A FOLDING CHAIR. Seating is limited.

For directions and day of class updates contact: The Valley Hive

Click here for more information about our
Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association
Beekeeping Class 101
.

TOPIC: Getting your bees through the winter.

Note from The Valley Hive: Even though The Valley Hive has moved to a new location, LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 will continue at 9633 Baden Avenue from 9-12pm. Our new shop at 10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd will open at 8am on Saturday if anyone needs to purchase a suit or other beekeeping equipment. Suits are required. We will be working inside the hive, so if you have beekeeping tools – smoker, hive tool, bee brush – please bring them to class, along with smoker fuel and a lighter.

Calling all LACBA experienced beekeepers - The Valley Hive could use your help with bee class this year. Thank you!