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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.

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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, February 5, 2018. General Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM.  

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
3rd Sunday of the month beginning February 18, 2018, 9AM-Noon.

Check out our Facebook page for lots of info and updates on bees; and please remember to LIKE US: 



WAS Blog | FDA, VFD, and VCPR – What Does this All Mean to Beekeepers?


By Jerry J. Bromenshenk, Ph.D.; 10/18/2017

Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD), January 1, 2017 Proposed in 2013, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a revised Veterinary Feed Directive (VFD) on January 1, 2017. This new Act applies to any food-producing animals (cattle, pigs, poultry, fish, etc.), including honey bees! The overall goal is to limit and decrease the amount of antibiotics in the food that we consume. Simply stated: (1) Bees and their beekeepers now need veterinarians, (2) Antibiotics can only be obtained by prescription or a veterinary food directive on written order by a veterinarian, (3) Over-the-counter sales of antibiotics have more or less been removed (antibiotics are no longer available at farm and ranch supply stores), and (4) Advertising of antibiotics and claims of growth promotion are prohibited.

The VFD applies specifically to three antibiotics used to treat bees, other animals, and humans. These include: (a) oxytetracycline for control of European Foul brood, (2) tylosin for treatment to control oxytetracycline-resistant foul brood, and (3) lincomycin. Depending on individual state regulations, beekeepers may be able to use antibiotics to treat colonies with low levels of American Foul Brood, or they may be required to burn affected colonies. Although previously little used by beekeepers, the third listed antibiotic, lincomycin apparently has been approved for use in beehives since 2012. Depending on the antibiotic and method of administration, a beekeeper either needs a prescription for water soluble forms (oxytetracycline, tylosin, or lincomycin) or a Veterinary Feed Directive for dry, powdered forms (oxytetracyline as a sugar dust) of the antibiotic. The prescription or VFD must be issued by a licensed veterinarian. The actual antibiotic products can only be obtained from the veterinary clinic, a licensed pharmacist, or a licensed and approved supplier. Montana beekeepers can have their prescription or VFD filled by Western Bee in Polson, which is especially useful to large scale beekeepers.

What is not commonly known or clearly explained in the FDA Directive is that each beekeeper needs to set up a formal patient relationship with a veterinarian (VCPR). FDA says: In “order for a VFD to be lawful, the veterinarian issuing the VFD must: (I) Be licensed to practice veterinary medicine; and (2) Be operating in the course of the veterinarian’s professional practice and in compliance with all applicable veterinary licensing and practice requirements, including issuing the VFD in the context of a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship (VCPR) as defined by the State.

Clearly, most beekeepers, as well as veterinarian’s and the state licensing boards never anticipated having bees as patients. Typically, veterinarians providing service for herd animals like cattle use VCPRs. We found that others often asked – what should be in a VCPR for bees? Ohio has an online example for all animals, and I obtained permission to modify it to better fit Montana state directives. I have asked that my example VCPR be posted on the WAS Facebook and Web page. Please note, neither beekeepers nor veterinarians anticipated that the federal directive would include bees. Regardless, it is unlikely to be rescinded, changed, or modified to exclude bees. The goal is to ensure that antibiotics, and only the proper antibiotic, at correct dosage and application, for the appropriate bacterial disease are authorized by a licensed veterinarian; when needed, for the proper purpose, and in the amounts needed. Hoarding of antibiotics and carry-over from year to year should not occur. The beekeeper receives the amount needed for the time specified and for the number of colonies that require treatment. To meet the requirements of the FDA directive, each and every beekeeper needs to establish a patient (client) relationship with a veterinarian. Finding a veterinarian to provide service to bees can be difficult, especially in rural areas. All of this is new to them, and many are justifiably concerned that their license could be suspended or revoked if they inadvertently break the rules. For all small scale beekeepers and for the local bee clubs and associations, I recommend visits to local veterinarians by your more experienced beekeepers, each taking along a copy of an example VCPR. Use that as a starting point toward establishing a veterinarian-client-patient-relationship. In addition, our Montana Board of Veterinary Medicine emphasized: Do not call a veterinarian and start the conversation by stating that you ‘need a prescription or a VFD for antibiotics for your bees and you need it right away’. In essence, you are asking the veterinarian to violate the new FDA directive, especially if the veterinarian doesn’t know you.

Finally, few veterinarians have any training in bees, bee diseases, bee colony inspection, or how to safely work bees. The advice from our state Veterinary Board was that the beekeeping community may have to ‘train’ the veterinarian. That seems to be a rather risky approach – having beekeepers of unknown experience teach their veterinarians. As such, in Montana the I, the University of Montana’s School of Extended and Lifelong Learning, the State Board of Veterinary Medicine, and the State Veterinary Association are working to develop and provide appropriate training to veterinarians willing to provide their services to bees and beekeepers. I’ve always thought that bees need veterinarians – I just didn’t think this was how it would happen.


Kim and Jim's Live Episode: Wed, Jan. 24, 9AM Pacific, Noon Eastern

Kim Flottum, Editor-in-Chief, Bee Culture Magazine and Dr. James "Jim" Tew, Emeritus Professor, Entomology, OSU will be bringing you their 13th "Live" show. Click Here to Register

You don't want to miss: Meet The Best Informed Beekeepers On The Planet. The Bee Informed Partnership Crew


2 Boys Charged With Felonies After Half-Million Bees Killed

MSN / USA Today    Stephen Gruber-Miller     January  18, 2017

© Sioux City (Iowa) Police DepartmentDES MOINES — Two minors are facing charges after an Iowa honey farm was vandalized last month, killing a half-million bees.

The Sioux City (Iowa) Police Department said in a news release Wednesday that the incident happened Dec. 27 at Wild Hill Honey in Sioux City. Sioux City is about 156 miles northwest of Des Moines.

"All of the beehives on the honey farm were destroyed and approximately 500,000 bees perished in the frigid temperatures," the release said.

The estimated cost of the damage was $60,000, police said.

On Wednesday, police arrested two boys, ages 12 and 13, each of whom faces charges of first-degree criminal mischief and agricultural animal facilities offenses, both felonies; third-degree burglary, a felony; and possession of burglar's tools, an aggravated misdemeanor.

Police have not released the names of the juveniles. No further arrests are expected.


UPDATE FROM Wild Hill Honey


200,000 Honey Bees Killed In Prunedale

KSBW US     Reporter Sierra Starks    January 17, 2018

PRUNEDALE, Calif. — A bee killer toppled 100 beehives in Prunedale and sprayed hundreds of thousands of honey bees with gasoline over the weekend.

The honey bees were being kept on Mike Hickenbottom's Prunedale property along Echo Valley Road during the winter. The bees are owned by a man who lives in the Central Valley, where it's too cold during winter months, and they like feeding from eucalyptus trees that flower on the Central Coast during this time of year.

Hickenbottom believes his neighbors were behind the incident, partially because they had complained to him three times.

The bees are allowed to fly freely around the property, and Hickenbottom's neighbors said their children were too scared to go outside.

Hickenbottom said the Italian and Russian honey bees are not aggressive.

"I go up around the bee boxes without any protective clothing on. I've never been stung," he said. 

The vandals struck sometime between 10:30 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday.

"Somebody came here, and tipped over all the boxes, and sprayed them with diesel fuel. It killed a whole bunch of bees," beekeeper Alfonzo Perez.

An estimated 200,000 bees died.

Perez leases the hives to pollinate almond trees growing on farms across Californian.

The bee killing cost Perez more than $50,000, a huge chunk of his annual salary.


"I just feel really bad for Alfonzo because he work so hard to support his family. Then somebody goes and does something like this," Hickenbottom said.

DONATE: If you want to donate to beekeeper Alfonzo Perez, click here

A police report was filed with the Monterey County Sheriff's Office. No arrests have been made.


Accidental Discovery Could Save Bees From Their Greatest Threat

Real Clear Science     By Ross Pomeroy     January 15, 2018

Agricultural Research ServiceGerman scientists primarily based out of the University of Hohenheim have stumbled upon a simple solution that could deal a blow to honeybees' greatest threat. They've found that a tiny dose of the compound lithium chloride kills Varroa destructor mites without harming bees.

The scientists detailed their incredible findings in the January 12th publication of Scientific Reports.

V. destructor, more commonly known as the Varroa mite, is a scourge of honeybees across the globe. Upon infiltrating a colony, the mites latch on to bees, sucking their hemolymph (essentially blood) and spreading the diseases they carry. According to the USDA, 42 percent of commercial hives in the U.S. were infested in summer 2017, and 40 percent of beekeepers said the parasite seriously harmed their colonies. By comparison, only 13 percent reported harm from pesticides.

Chemical compounds exist to combat the parasites but they are outdated and growing increasingly ineffective, the researchers write, adding that no new active compounds have been registered in the last 25 years.

The dearth of options prompted scientists at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem to experiment with a technique called RNA interference. In their study, they fed bees double-stranded RNA via a sugar solution to knockout vital genes in Varroamites. The mites ingested the lethal RNA via bees' hemolymph and subsequently died.

Inspired by those results, the German researchers sought to replicate them by repeating the experiment with slightly tweaked methods. Indeed, mites infesting bees that were fed sugar water with the designed RNA rapidly died, but so did mites in a control group given another RNA that should have been ineffective. The astonishing results prompted the researchers to suspect that the lithium chlorideused to produce the RNA – and thus present in the sugar water – was actually killing the parasites. A battery of subsequent examinations confirmed their hypothesis.

The scientists then carried out numerous experiments testing lithium chloride against Varroa mites, including ones that approximated field studies. They found that feeding honeybees minuscule amounts of lithium chloride (at a concentration of no more than 25 millimolar) over 24 to 72 hours wiped out 90 to 100 percent of Varroa mites without significantly increasing bee mortality. (Below: The figure shows the surviving proportion of bees and mites fed lithium chloride compared to those not fed lithium chloride.) Ziegelmann et al. / Scientific Reports

According to the researchers, lithium chloride could be put to use very quickly as it is easily applied via feeding, will not accumulate in beeswax, has a low toxicity for mammals, and is reasonably priced. However, wider studies on free-flying colonies testing long-term side effects are required first, as well as analyses of potential residues in honey.

Francis Ratnieks, a Professor of Apiculture at the University of Sussex, expressed skepticism about the new finding.

"We can kill 97% of the Varroa in a brood less hive with a single application of oxalic acid, which takes five minutes to apply and is already registered and being used by beekeepers," he told RCScience via email. "I think it will be difficult in practice to apply lithium salts to colonies to kill varroa and get the same level of control... There are also the wider issues of registration and potential contamination of the honey with a product that would not normally be there."

It should be noted that studies have shown oxalic acid to be inconsistent at managing mites during the summer months as well as in colonies with capped broods

Regardless, the Hohenheim researchers are pressing forward. They're already speaking with companies to get a lithium chloride treatment refined, approved, and in the hands of beekeepers.

"Lithium chloride has potential as an effective and easy-to-apply treatment for artificial and natural swarms and particularly for the huge number of package bees used for pollination in the United States," they conclude.

Source: Bettina Ziegelmann, Elisabeth Abele, Stefan Hannus, Michaela Beitzinger, Stefan Berg & Peter Rosenkranz. "Lithium chloride effectively kills the honey bee parasite Varroa destructor by a systemic mode of action." Scientific Reports 8, Article number: 683 (2018) doi:10.1038/s41598-017-19137-5

*Article updated 1/15 to include Professor Ratnieks' statement and to include information about oxalic acid.

*An earlier version of this article mistakenly reported that the researchers are based out of the University of Hoffenheim. They are from the University of Hohenheim.