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Becoming an Urban Beekeeper 


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, August 4, 2014. Open: 6:45P.M./Start: 7:00P.M.  All are welcome!

Next Beekeeping Class 101:  Sunday, July 20, 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!.   



Providing Help for Hurting Pollinators By Rhonda Brooks, Farm Journal Seeds & Production Editor July 26, 2014

Complex problems are rarely, if ever, solved by simple answers. The alarming loss of honey- bees in North America during the past few years is no exception.

One encouraging sign, however, is that stakeholders, including farmers, beekeepers and the crop protection industry, are addressing the problem and looking for ways to solve it. 

"We want everyone to have some skin in the game," says Laurie Adams, executive director of the Pollinator Partnership, an organization intent on finding ways to address the loss of pollinators and encouraging all stakeholders to participate in the process.  

In early 2013, the USDA–Natural Resources Conservation Service stated it will provide close to $3 million in technical and financial assistance for interested farmers and ranchers to improve the health of bees. The focused investment to improve pollinator health will be targeted in Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Michigan and Wisconsin. 

Honeybee pollination supports an estimated $15 billion worth of agricultural production or as much as one-third of all food production, including more than 130 fruits and vegetables such as almonds, blueberries and cantaloupe. 

What’s at stake. Bee die-offs in North America have occurred at an alarming rate in recent years. Preliminary results from the 2013-14 survey by the Bee Informed Partnership, funded by USDA, show losses of managed honeybee colonies have averaged 30.5% for the past eight years.  

A report issued by USDA and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this spring cited a complex list of contributing factors: habitat loss, poor diet, declining genetic diversity, diseases, parasites and pesticide exposure.  

"The neonicotinoids are the main target for beekeepers and environmental groups," says Don Parker, integrated pest management manager for the National Cotton Council. "They’re going after these materials hard."  

bee 1Some scientists contend that contaminated dust from corn seed and other crops treated with neonicotinoid-based insecticides, talc or graphite is a contributing factor in die-offs. The theory claims bees are exposed to the dust when they land on dandelions and other flowering plants, and then they carry the dust back to the colony. 

Parker says EPA has found no evidence of "imminent hazard" to honeybees or other pollinators. 

Canadian farmers were mandated to use Bayer CropScience’s new Fluency Agent this past spring when planting neonicotinoid-treated seed. Use of the product was not required in the U.S.

For the past eight years, overwinter colony loss has averaged 30% from Oct. 1 to April 1. 

The product reduces the amount of insecticide active ingredient released in seed dust during planting therefore reducing risk of exposure to non-target insects, such as bees and other pollinators says Kerry Grossweiler, manager of equipment and coatings, SeedGrowth, Bayer CropScience.

honeybees with comb

Using best management practices, such as cleaning treatment residues off equipment away from fields, using the recommended rate of lubricants and growing strips of native perennial plants around fields to improve habitat, can help preserve pollinators.  
FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - Seed Guide 2014

Bees Physically Transfer Heat to Stay Cool and Protect Their Young Ones From Heat

NewsWala    July 26, 2014

New York, July 26, 2014: To protect their young ones from heat, honey bees can absorb heat from the brood walls just like a sponge and later transfer it to a cooler place to get rid of the heat from their bodies, says a study.

"Moving heat from hot to cool areas is reminiscent of the bio-heat transfer via the cardiovascular system of mammals," said Philip Starks, a biologist at Tufts University in the US.

This is the first study to show that worker bees dissipate excess heat within a hive in process similar to how humans and other mammals cool themselves through their blood vessels and skin.

"This study shows how workers effectively dissipate the heat absorbed via heat-shielding, a mechanism used to thwart localised heat stressors," Starks added.

Previous research has shown that workers bees, among other duties, control the thermostat essential to the hive's survival.

When temperatures dip, worker bees create heat by contracting their thoracic muscles, similar to shivering in mammals.

To protect the vulnerable brood when it is hot, workers fan the comb, spread fluid to induce evaporative cooling, or - when the heat stress is localised - absorb heat by pressing themselves against the brood nest wall (a behaviour known as heat-shielding).

But until this study, scientists did not know how the bees got rid of the heat after they had absorbed it.

For the study, researchers collected data on seven active honey bee hives that were framed by clear Plexiglas walls and using a theatre light, the researchers raised the internal temperature of the hives for 15 minutes.

Using thermal imaging, the scientists observed that bees had physically moved the absorbed heat in their bodies to previously cooler areas of the hive.

The study appeared in the journal Naturwissenschaften, The Science of Nature.


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Bumble Bees and Spiders Don't Mix?

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey

Bumble bees and spiders don't mix, you say?

Well, they will at the Bohart Museum of Entomology's open house from 1 to 4 p.m., Saturday, July 26. The family-centered event, free and open to the public, takes place in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge building on Crocker Lane, UC Davis campus.

Actually the theme is about spiders: "Arachnids: Awesome or Awful?" There you'll see black widow spiders, jumping spiders, cellar spiders and the like. But you don't have to "like" them as...



Jimmy Fallon: Morgan Freeman is a Beekeeper Now

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon   July 24, 2014

Jimmy talks to Morgan Freeman about his new hobby (beekeeping). 


Bee Venom Ointment Relieves Muscle Tension

Apitherapy News    July 25, 2014

Myorelaxant Effect of Bee Venom Topical Skin Application in Patients with RDC/TMD Ia and RDC/TMD Ib: A Randomized, Double Blinded Study

The aim of the study was the evaluation of myorelaxant action of bee venom (BV) ointment compared to placebo. Parallel group, randomized double blinded trial was performed. Experimental group patients were applying BV for 14 days, locally over masseter muscles, during 3-minute massage. Placebo group patients used vaseline for massage. Muscle tension was measured twice (TON1 and TON2) in rest muscle tonus (RMT) and maximal muscle contraction (MMC) on both sides, right and left, with Easy Train Myo EMG (Schwa-medico, Version 3.1).
Reduction of muscle tonus was statistically relevant in BV group and irrelevant in placebo group. VAS scale reduction was statistically relevant in both groups: BV and placebo. Physiotherapy is an effective method for myofascial pain treatment, but 0,0005% BV ointment gets better relief in muscle tension reduction and analgesic effect.