Education & Research
Books/Magazines
Film/TV/Video
Website Photography
News Archives
Search

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, January 8, 2018.  Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM. On Monday, December 4, 2017 we celebrate the season with our LACBA Annual Holiday Banquet.

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:  

Saturday
Dec092017

Bee Research May Redefine Understanding Of Intelligence

The Japan Times     By Rowan Hooper    November 28, 2017

Honeybees have the ability to tell other bees in the hive where flowers bearing nectar and pollen are located. | ISTOCKThe brain of a honeybee is tiny — the size of a pin head — and contains less than a million neurons, compared to the 85 billion in our own brains. Yet with that sliver of brain, bees can do some extraordinary things. They can count and interpret abstract patterns. Most famously, bees have the ability to communicate the location of flowers to other bees in the hive.

When a foraging bee has found a source of nectar and pollen, it can let others in the hive know by performing a peculiar figure-of-eight dance called the waggle dance. The information contained in the waggle dance was first decoded by Austrian biologist Karl von Frisch, who picked up a Nobel Prize for his discovery in 1973. The dance in itself is not as complex as true language, but it’s remarkable in that it’s a symbolic form of communication.

Recently, Hiroyuki Ai at Fukuoka University has made another breakthrough in our understanding of this extraordinary behavior, by investigating the neurons that allow bees to process the dance information. Bees get information from hearing the dance, as well as seeing it. During the dance, bees vibrate their abdomens as they run in a figure-of-eight pattern. These vibrations send out pulses that are picked up by an organ on the antennae called Johnston’s organ. Johnston’s organs are equivalent to our ears.

Ai maintains hives of honeybees on the campus of Fukuoka University. (Incidentally, he says they have monthly meetings to discuss their research with students, after which they have tea parties and eat the honey produced by their bees.) Until recently, there has been very little understanding of how the bee brain deciphers the information encoded in the waggle dance. The reason, he says, is that bees only perform the dance in the hive, and it’s difficult to get them to do it in the laboratory.

It makes sense that the bees pay attention to sound. “In a dark hive, they can’t see the dance,” Ai says. “Honeybees hear the dance.” Honeybees are very sensitive to vibration, so mimicking the noise of a waggle dance can cause bees to journey to the same place indicated by a real dance.

Ai and his team recorded the vibrations made by the waggle dance, simulated the noises and applied the vibrations to the antennae of bees in the lab. This allowed them to track which neurons fired in response to the waggle dance, and follow their route in the insect brain.

The team discovered three different types of “interneurons.” These are connecting neurons that allow communication between different parts of the brain. Ai, along with team members that include Thomas Wachtler at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany, and Hidetoshi Ikeno of the University of Hyogo in Himeji, traced the path of interneurons in the part of the brain concerned with processing sound. They found that the way the interneurons turn on and off is key to encoding information contained in the waggle dance about distance.

This mechanism of turning on and off — in neuroscience it is called “disinhibition” — is similar to one used in other insects. For example, it’s how crickets listen to the songs of other crickets as well as how moths assess the distance from the source of a smell their antennae have picked up. Ai and his team suggest there is a common neural basis in the way these different species do things.

Communication is the key to forming complex societies. It’s what allows the honeybee to perform such extraordinary behaviors. And, naturally, language is a key factor in human success. Intelligence is required for both these things, so does this mean honeybees, with a minuscule brain, are intelligent? It’s a tricky quality to define. One attempt, from the American Psychological Association Task Force on Intelligence, defines it as the ability “to adapt efficiently to the environment and to learn from experience.” Bees are able to do this.

There are six different kinds of dance, for example, and bees are able to learn and change their behavior accordingly. If bees encounter a dead bee at a flower, they change the pattern of dancing they perform back at the hive, suggesting they can perform a risk/benefit analysis.

Both bee and human language are a consequence of intelligence, and research such as Ai’s forces us to rethink what we mean by intelligence. “There might be a common brain mechanism between humans and honeybees,” he says.

What it certainly shows is that you don’t need a big brain to be smart. As with many things, Charles Darwin realized this, writing in 1871: “The brain of an ant is one of the most marvellous atoms of matter in the world, perhaps more so than the brain of man.”

https://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/11/28/national/science-health/bee-research-may-redefine-understanding-intelligence/#.WiydclWnHIU

Wednesday
Nov292017

REMINDER: LACBA Annual Holiday Banquet - December 4, 2017

LOS ANGELES COUNTY BEEKEEPERS ASSOCIATION ANNUAL HOLIDAY DINNER

WHERE: Pickwick Gardens
1001 Riverside Dr.
Burbank, CA 91506
Conference Center 

WHEN: Monday, December 4, 2017
TIME: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM  (Doors open at 6, we dine about 6:30)

 

 

PLEASE RSVP: LOOK FOR YOUR EVITE IN YOUR EMAIL INBOX. IF YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED AN EVITE, PLEASE CONTACT OUR LACBA SECRETARY, MERRILL KRUGER, AND REQUEST SHE SEND YOU AN EVITE: lacba.secretary@gmail.com. Thank you!

WHO: This is a family-friendly open event - feel free to bring your spouse, partner, kids, and friends.

HOW MUCH: $10/person.  

WHAT TO BRING: Please bring either an appetizer or dessert to share (6-8 servings is plenty).
Potluck by last name: A-M Desserts  N-Z Appetizers    

RAFFLE: Tickets are $1. Members renewing for 2018 get 5 free tickets. (2018 Membership dues are $20.) Please bring any items you'd like to contribute to the raffle on the night of the dinner.

CATERING: Once again, we are so pleased to announce our wonderful dinner will be provided by Outback Catering (LACBA Member, Doug Noland).  Beverages will be provided by Pickwick Gardens. 

Tuesday
Nov282017

Honey Bees Fill ‘Saddlebags’ With Pollen. Here’s How They Keep Them Gripped Tight

ScienceMagazine.org     By Katherine Kornei     November 27, 2017

Heidi and Hans-Juergen Koch/Minden PicturesBees don’t just transport pollen between plants, they also bring balls of it back to the hive for food. These “pollen pellets,” which also include nectar and can account for 30% of a bee’s weight, hang off their hind legs like overstuffed saddlebags (pictured). Now, researchers have investigated just how securely bees carry their precious cargo. The team caught roughly 20 of the insects returning to their hives and examined their legs and pollen pellets using both high-resolution imaging and a technique similar to an x-ray. Long hairs on the bees’ legs helped hold the pollen pellets in place as the animals flew, the team reported last week at the 70th Annual Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics in Denver. The researchers then tugged on some of the pollen pellets using elastic string. They found that the pellets, though seemingly precarious, were firmly attached: The force necessary to dislodge a pellet was about 20 times more than the force a bee typically experiences while flying. These findings can help scientists design artificial pollinators in the future, the team suggests.

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/11/honey-bees-fill-saddlebags-pollen-here-s-how-they-keep-them-gripped-tight

Wednesday
Nov222017

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Wednesday
Nov222017

Samuel Ramsey - 2017 UMD Three Minute Thesis Winner

(Note from LACBA: Back in October 2017, we posted this note: "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!")

UPDATE and CONGRATULATIONS TO SAMUEL RAMSEY.

2017 UMD Three Minute Thesis Winner is Samuel Ramsey

Interesting new research concerning Varroa mites. They seem to feed primarily on the fat body rather than on hemolymph (bee blood). This may influence control strategies in the future.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=20&v=Fyfyj-2O47Q