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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, October 5, 2015. Open: 6:45P.M./Start: 7:00P.M.  All are welcome! We will not have an LACBA meeting in September. LACBA members will be volunteering at the Bee Booth at the LA County Fair. Come, see us at the fair!

Beekeeping Class 101:
  Our next class is Sunday, October 11, 2015 (9am-Noon) at Bill's Bees Bee Yard. Class #7: More Lessons in Hive Management and Keeping Bees Alive During the Dearth. Learn responsible beekeeping for an urban environment. BEE SUITS REQUIRED. You won't want to miss it! 

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Beekeeping Class 101: Final Class of the 2015 Season, Oct. 11, 9AM-Noon

Hope to see you at Beekeeping Class 101: Final Class of the 2015 Season. Oct. 11, 9AM-Noon at Bill's Bees Bee Yard. Topic: Keeping Your Bees Alive During The Dearth! You won't want to miss it! We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment.

Our 2016 Season of Beekeeping Class 101 will begin sometime in February. Stay tuned at this website Beekeeping Class 101 page for dates. All the information will be posted on the website. As soon as we know, you'll know. Thank you!


LACBA MEETING: Monday, October 5, 2015

Join us for our monthly LACBA Meeting.  Monday, February 2, 2015.
Doors open: 6:30pm/Starts: 7:00pm. 

Come, learn about bees!
All are welcome!


The Cocktail Queen Bees Use To Disease-Proof Their Babies

Healthy Pets  BY Dr. Becker September 29, 2015

Honeybees are amazing creatures of the insect world, helping to pollinate 87 of the top 115 food crops. Bees transfer pollen from plant to plant, which allows the plants to make seeds and reproduce. Without bees, many of the foods we love – from citrus fruits and broccoli to almonds and cantaloupe – would cease to exist. Not to mention raw honey…

Yet, their impressive contribution to the world's food supply is only oneof their many points of intrigue. If you could peek inside a honeybee hive, you'd see a highly organized society with each bee taking on a very specific role for the overall good of the hive.

The queen bee (there is only one per hive) also has the important job of transferring immunity to all of her babies, and a new study uncovered just how this remarkable feat is accomplished.

How Queen Bees 'Vaccinate' Their Babies 

Research published in PLOS Pathogens found that queen bees inoculate all of their young via a process that begins with eating.1 The queen bee spends most of her life inside the hive, being brought meals by worker bees.

She eats a substance known as royal jelly, which is created by digested pollen and nectar the worker bees gather each day. But with the pollen and nectar, the queen also receives exposure to bacteria and pathogens in the worker bees' environment.

When the queen bee ingests this mixture, she digests the bacteria and stores them in an organ similar to the liver (called the "fat body"). The bacteria are then bound to a protein called vitellogenin and carried via the bloodstream to developing eggs. The babies are therefore inoculated before they're born and enter the world already immune to diseases present in their environment.2

The researchers are hopeful their discovery may help them provide protection to bees against diseases known to destroy hives. They hope to replicate the natural process using a "cocktail the bees would eat." Study co-author Gro Amdam of Arizona State University told Discovery News:3

"Because this vaccination process is naturally occurring, this process would be cheap and ultimately simple to implement. It has the potential to both improve and secure food production for humans."

Unfortunately, bees aren't only under attack from bacteria and viruses but also from human activities, including pesticide use. Discovery News further reported:4

"During the past six decades alone, managed honeybee colonies in the United States have declined from 6 million in 1947 to only 2.5 million today."

The Fascinating Caste System In A Beehive

The queen bee represents just one member of the hive, which may number close to 80,000 depending on the season. Worker bees represent the bulk of the hive, and they are all female (although they're sexually immature and not able to reproduce).

While the queen bee may live for several years, a worker bee lives for about six weeks in the summer or up to nine months in the winter. Each takes on a series of "chores" in its lifetime. According to the Backyard Beekeepers Association:5

"The worker bees sequentially take on a series of specific chores during their lifetime: housekeeper; nursemaid; construction worker; grocer; undertaker; guard; and finally, after 21 days they become a forager collecting pollen and nectar.

For worker bees, it takes 21 days from egg to emergence. The worker bee has a barbed stinger that results in her death following stinging, therefore, she can only sting once."

Each hive also has 300 to 3,000 drone bees, which are male bees kept for the purpose of mating with the queen. She only mates once (with several drone bees) and then is fertile for life, laying up to 2,000 eggs per day. If the queen bee dies, the worker bees will choose a new young female to take her place, raising her by feeding her royal jelly. National Geographic reported:6

"This elixir enables the worker to develop into a fertile queen. Queens also regulate the hive's activities by producing chemicals that guide the behavior of the other bees."

While the male drone bees have no stinger, they have a barbed sex organ and will die after mating. The male bees are also expelled from the hive in the autumn, as they're only needed for mating during the summer.7

Honeybees Are At Risk, Here's How You Can Help

Since 2006, US beekeepers have lost a striking 29.6 percent of their honeybee colonies annually due to a disease dubbed colony collapse disorder (CCD). The condition causes bees to become disoriented, leaving their hives, and never returning.

Hives across the country have been decimated, and while there's still no definitive cause, pesticides, viruses, mites, fungi, and antibiotics may play a role.

The widespread use of neonicotinoids, a class of insecticides, appears to be particularly damaging to bees, and last year a Harvard study concluded,"Neonicotinoids are highly likely to be responsible for triggering CCD" in previously healthy honeybee hives.

It's also been suggested that CCD may weaken bees' immunity, leaving them vulnerable to other infections or parasites. If you'd like to help bees in your area, consider planting a bee-friendly garden. The Honeybee Conservancy recommends:8

  • Replacing part of your lawn with flowering plants
  • Selecting single flower tops, such as daisies and marigolds, which produce more nectar and are easier to access than double flower tops (such as double impatiens
  • Planting at least three different types of flowers so you have a longer bloom time. For instance:

    Crocus, hyacinth, borage, calendula, and wild lilac for spring blooms.
    Bee balm, cosmos, echinacea, snapdragons, foxglove, and hosta for the summer.
    Zinnias, sedum, asters, witch hazel, and goldenrod are late bloomers for fall.

    Read at:

OSU Webinar: Honey Bee Foraging in Ohio's Landscapes

Join us on October 7th for our webinar with Doug Sponsler of The Ohio State University: Honey Bee Foraging in Ohio's Landscapes


The foraging of a honey bee colony is one of the most spectacular phenomena in nature. We'll explore the intricate biology of honey bee foraging and then introduce current research into how honey bees forage in Ohio's landscapes.

All webinars are free, and registration is not required. Webinars run fromL
9:00AM to 10:00AM Eastern   -  6:00AM to 7:00AM Pacific

To join the webinar, follow the link below and LOG IN AS A GUEST at about 8:55 the day of the event:

To access via iPad, iPhone or Android device, download the Adobe Connect app.

All webinars will be recorded and archived on the Bee Lab website.


EPA Registers New Biochemical Miticide to Combat Varroa Mites in Beehives

   September 30, 2015

EPA has registered a new biochemical miticide, Potassium Salts of Hops Beta Acids (K-HBAs), which is intended to provide another option for beekeepers to combat the devastating effects of the Varroa mite on honey bee colonies and to avoid the development of resistance toward other products. Rotating products to combat Varroa mites is an important tactic to prevent resistance development and to maintain the usefulness of individual pesticides.

The registrant, a company called Beta Tech Hop Products, derived K-HBAs from the cones of female hop plants, Humulus lupulus. To control mites on honey bees, the product is applied inside commercial beehives via plastic strips.

Varroa mites are parasites that feed on developing bees, leading to brood mortality and reduced lifespan of worker bees. They also transmit numerous honeybee viruses. The health of a colony can be critically damaged by an infestation of Varroa mites. Once infested, if left untreated, the colony will likely die.

This biochemical, like all biopesticides, is a naturally-occurring substance with minimal toxicity and a non-toxic mode of action against the target pest(s). There are numerous advantages to using biopesticides, including reduced toxicity to other organisms (not intended to be affected), effectiveness in small quantities, and reduced environmental impact. 

More information on this registration can be found at in Docket ID EPA-HQ-OPP-2014-0375.

Find out about other EPA efforts to address pollinator loss:

Learn more about biopesticides:

Read at: