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URBAN BEEKEEPING

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Legalization
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 2014 CSBA Convention
November 18-20, 2014
Hyatt Regency in Valencia, CA 

2014 Bee Calendar 
 @Kodua Photography


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 5, 2014. Open: 6:45P.M./Start: 7:00P.M.  All are welcome!

Next Beekeeping Class 101:  Sunday, May 11, 2014. Time: 9:00am-noon.  Location:  Bill's Bees Bee Yard. Topic: Hive Management.  BEE SUITS REQUIRED. Come, learn responsible beekeeping for an urban environment.  Everyone welcome!.   

THE LATEST BUZZ:  

Friday
Apr182014

Decoding Waggle Dances to Determine Where Honey Bees Forage

University of Sussex     4/17/14

The number of bee hives in the UK has declined by nearly 75 per cent in the past century, from approximately one million to 280,000. One major reason for this is change in land use leading to fewer flowers. Fields of wheat and barley now have few weeds. Fields of grass now have few wild flowers and clover is less used. hay meadows are increasingly rare and much of the heather moorland has been ploughed up or lost to urbanisation. To stay in business, commercial beekeepers need hives to produce reasonable honey crops.

Successful honey bee foragers make waggle dances when they return to the hive. These dances tell nestmates the direction and distance of profitable flower patches. The dances can also be decoded by researchers, using observation hives and video cameras. Honey bees literally tell the researchers where they have been foraging - they are the only animals doing this. Decoding dances provide an effective means of investigating honey bee feeding ecology. Previous LASI research has shown that honey bees fly up to 14km to highly rewarding patches of heather. By decoding waggle dances we will be able to determine which parts of the landscape are good for honey bees, and how this varies in different seasons and months. This information will be of value to people who are responsible for growing plants and who want to make Britain a more bee and insect friendly country, including farmers, land managers, parks departments, and gardeners. Because honey bees are generalist foragers, foraging on plants also visited by other pollinating insects, the results of this project will help other insect species including bumble bees, other wild bees, butterflies and hoverflies.

Decoding bee dances will also be used to investigate the stress caused by moving hives. Beekeepers often move hives by truck, and it is suggested that the stress caused by moving hives can be harmful. One form of stress on the bees will be the need to “relearn” where to forge in a new location.

Main aims

To determine the habitats and distances from the hive that honey bees collect food, the plants that they visit, and to make recommendations for land use in both rural and urban areas that benefit honey bees and beekeepers.

Read more...

Related article: The Argus News
http://m.theargus.co.uk/news/11157720.Summer_blues_for_bees/

Friday
Apr182014

Summer Blues for Bees According to University of Sussex Research

The Argus News   4/18/14

Summer is the most challenging season for honey bees to collect nectar and pollen, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Sussex Laboratory of Apiculture and Social Insects (LASI) spent two years filming honey bees in its glass-fronted observation hives.

They then decoded their waggle dances to discover how far the bees were having to fly to find sources of food during different seasons.

The waggle dance, in which the bee waggles its abdomen while moving in a figure of eight pattern, is performed by returning forager bees in the hive to tell its nest mates where to find good sources of pollen and nectar.

The dance indicates the distance to a patch of flowers from the hive and the direction from the hive.

The bees were able to access the surrounding downland countryside and Brighton and Hove through tube tunnels that opened to the outside of the lab.

By examining the waggle dance data, researchers found that in summer, honey bees were covering areas 22 times greater than in spring and six times greater than in the autumn.

The study also showed summer is probably a harder season both because there are fewer flowers but also because there are more insects active at that time, competing with each other for nectar and pollen.

Margaret Couvillon, who led the research, said: “We eavesdropped on what the bees were communicating to each other about where to find good food.

“What they told each other shows that they are finding it harder to find food in the summer than in the spring or autumn.

“In any conservation work, it is important to know where the animal collects its food.

“Some researchers attach tracking devices to the animals they study, which we cannot do because the honey bees are too small.

“But we also don’t have to because the honey bee is the only animal that tells you directly where it has collected food.”

The results could be used to focus efforts to help bees better, researchers say.

Read at...

Source: University of Susses: Decoding waggle dances to determine where honey bees forage

http://www.sussex.ac.uk/lasi/sussexplan/dances

Friday
Apr182014

East African Honeybees Safe from Invasive Pests...for now

Science Daily     Source: Penn State    4/17/14

Several parasites and pathogens that devastate honeybees in Europe, Asia and the United States are spreading across East Africa, but do not appear to be impacting native honeybee populations at this time, according to an international team of researchers.

The invasive pests include including Nosema microsporidia and Varroa mites.

"Our East African honeybees appear to be resilient to these invasive pests, which suggests to us that the chemicals used to control pests in Europe, Asia and the United States currently are not necessary in East Africa," said Elliud Muli, senior lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences, South Eastern Kenya University, and researcher at the International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology, Kenya.

The team first discovered Varroa mites in Kenya in 2009. This new study also provides baseline data for future analyses of possible threats to African honeybee populations.

"Kenyan beekeepers believe that bee populations have been experiencing declines in recent years, but our results suggest that the common causes for colony losses in the United States and Europe -- parasites, pathogens and pesticides -- do not seem to be affecting Kenyan bees, at least not yet...

Read more...

PLOS ONE: Evaluation of the Distribution and Impacts of Parasites, Pathogens, and Pesticides on Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) Populations in East Africa

Friday
Apr182014

Honey Feast Recipe News from the National Honey Board

Thursday
Apr172014

The Beauty of Pollination

TedTalks  By Louie Schwartzburg  'The Beauty of Pollination' from Disney's film, "The Wings of Life."

  Watch this on the largest computer screen you have (HD if possible) with your sound turned on.

*The hummingbird doing rolls chasing a bee is not to be missed.
*Be sure and watch closely (around 2 min 40 sec) and check out the baby bat under its mother. 
*If you never knew what goes on in the garden when you aren't paying attention, watch this - some of the finest photography you will ever see. 

4.23 min. (Shorter version on youtube)  The Beauty of Pollination 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xHkq1edcbk4

7.36 min: (Full version on TedTalks)  The Hidden Beauty of Pollination http://www.ted.com/talks/louie_schwartzberg_the_hidden_beauty_of_pollination

[Note: We've posted this beautiful film before, but it's springtime - Enjoy once more!]