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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.


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, July 3, 2017. Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6PM.

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
 Class #6, Saturday, July 8, 2017, 9AM-Noon, hosted at The Valley Hive. See our Beekeeping Class 101 page for details & directions. BEE SUITS REQUIRED.

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



National Pollinator Week June 19-25, 2017

National Pollinator Week is a time to celebrate pollinators and spread the word about what you can do to protect them

Ten years ago the U.S. Senate’s unanimous approval and designation of a week in June as “National Pollinator Week” marked a necessary step toward addressing the urgent issue of declining pollinator populations. Pollinator Week has now grown into an international celebration of the valuable ecosystem services provided by bees, birds, butterflies, bats and beetles.

The Pollinator Partnership is proud to announce that June 19-25, 2017 has been designated National Pollinator Week by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Department of the Interior.



It's a Wonderful Time to be a Beekeeper in Los Angeles

KCET     By Clarisssa Wei     May 20, 2017

For the past five years, a very parched California has meant beekeepers have been struggling. The lack of water meant a notable absence of wildflowers and forage, which stressed out the insects.

“The drought had been really hard on beekeepers,” Jeremy Jensen says, president of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association. In the past years, Jensen has had to feed honey to his bees just to keep them alive.

“The flowers haven’t had any nectar and we haven’t be able to produce honey,” he says. “But this year we’re really excited and optimistic about boosting up our bee numbers.” 

Today, new analysis points that nearly half of California is no longer in a drought. And while the holistic effects of the recent rains have yet to be determined, for Jensen and the beekeeping community here in Los Angeles, the benefits are both immediate and noticeable.

“I have seen that nectar and pollen are coming in very early, and that the bees are eager for a bumper year,” he says. 

Clarissa WeiI meet Jensen at his friend’s beekeeping shop, Valley Hive in Chatsworth, where he immediately greets me with a smile and a white beekeeping suit for me to put on.

While the breed that he works with, Italian honeybees, are on the gentler spectrum, Jensen doesn’t take any risks with visitors.

“It’s not fun being stung in the eye,” he says, speaking from experience.

I get in his truck and we drive a couple minutes up the hill to a field of bright yellow and purple wildflowers. On the field is a handful of white bee boxes. Jensen gets his smoker ready, suits up and proceeds to give me a tour.

“Each hive has 60,000 bees,” he says. “One queen, and the rest, 97% of them, are female. There are only a few males. The queen lays 2,000 eggs a day.”

He lightly smokes one of the boxes, which calms the bees, and lifts up a section. It is teeming with hundreds of thousands of bees, crawling around and making honey.

Clarissa WeiBees make honey by chewing collected nectar for about half an hour, then passing it to other worker bees, Jensen mentions. This process is repeated until the nectar turns into the mucilaginous substance known as honey and is then stored in honeycomb cells, which are sealed with wax.

It is their source of food and trained beekeepers are careful not to over-harvest. Not over-harvesting is paramount, Jensen stresses. For him, the bees are more important than the honey and the money.

One out of every three bites of food depends on bees, he notes. Furthermore, between $235 billion and $577 billion worth of annual global food production relies on pollinator contributions, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Unfortunately, 40 percent of invertebrate pollinator species — especially bees and butterflies — are facing extinction. While commercial bee populations aren’t as vulnerable as feral ones, pesticide use has been linked to the the presence of mites on the bees and colony collapse disorder — a phenomenon that happens when the majority of worker bees in a colony disappear and leave behind a queen.

According to honeybee researcher Marla Spivak, in the United States today, we have half the number of managed hives compared to that of 1945 due to altered farming practices. Instead of layering fields with cover crops, natural fertilizers that fix nitrogen in the soil, we have opted for synthetic fertilizers. Cover crops were major sources of food for the bees.


Kate Frey: How to Attract Pollinators

Bug Squad: Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey    June 22, 2017

Pollinator enthusiasts Kate Frey (left) and Annie Hayes, owner of Annie's Annuals and Perennials, receive applause at the bee gardening presentation. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

It's National Pollinator Week and you might be wondering where your pollinators are. 

“I'd love to attract honey bees, bumble bees and other pollinators, but what can I do?" you ask. "Where do I start?"

So we asked world-class garden designer Kate Frey of Hopland, a two-time gold medal winner at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in London, co-founder of the American Garden School, and co-author of The Bee-Friendly Garden (with Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of San Francisco State University) for her advice.

Few people are as passionate about pollinators and pollinator gardens as Kate Frey.

We heard her speak at the Native Bees Workshop last September at the Hopland Research and Extension Center, Mendocino County, and we tagged along on her guided tour of her one-acre spectacular garden at her Hopland home, where she and husband Ben and assorted pets reside. We also heard her speak on "Gardening for Bees, Beauty and Diversity" May 14 at Annie's Annuals and Perennials, Richmond.

Kate is highly sought as a speaker, whether it be at sustainable landscape programs,  gardening seminars,  or at UC workshops. Among her affiliates: University of California entomologists Robbin Thorp, distinguished emeritus professor at UC Davis, and Professor Gordon Frankie of UC Berkeley. (Read what Frankie has to say about native bees.)

So, what to do first? Kate offers these tips:

Create healthy gardens that require no pesticides by using the right plant, right place approach, add quality compost to all plants and irrigate adequately. 

Choose appropriate plants for your water, soils, exposure, climate, and if annuals, season!

Think in terms of abundance, not minimalism. Plant at least a 3-x-3 foot area of each plant, or repeat the same plant throughout your garden. Each honey bee colony needs an estimated one-acre of flowers to support it.

Goal: 12 months of bloom. Plants can be annuals, perennials, shrubs or trees.

Make sure plants do offer floral resources, as many landscape plants don't.

Have patches or repeated plants of the same flower.  Honey bees practice floral constancy.

Include water for honey bees

Sunny spaces are the best.

Provide bee-block nests and mulch-free nest sites for native bees.

All great advice! Indeed, we should think of pollinators as not mere "visitors," but permanent residents. Plant what they like and they will come. To ensure that they will stay stay, leave soil bare for ground-nesting bees, such as bumble bees. And don't forget those bee-block nests, or bee condos, for leafcutter bees and blue orchard bees.

A honey bee forages on the California golden poppy, the state flower. It yields no nectar, only pollen. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)But what to plant to attract pollinators?  These are Kate Frey's top 14 favorites "which are long blooming and easy to grow":

Asclepias milkweeds, all

Asters, Aster x frikartii 'Monch' A. ericoides ‘Monte Casino', A. laterifolius Lady in Black' 

Agastache, ‘Black Adder' ‘'Purple Haze' Rosy Giant' ‘Tutti Frutti' and many more

Arbutus unedo, Strawberry tree

Arctostaphylos, most Manzanita

Calamentha nepetoides, Calamentha

Ceanothus, all California lilac

Epilobium, California fuchsia. There are many good cultivars

Eriogonum fasciculatum, California buckwheat

Gaillardia, Blanket flower

Helianthus bolanderi, native shrubby sunflower

Monardella villosa,  Coyote mint

Nepeta faassenii, all nepetas,  Catmint

Origanum,  flowering oregano, all. Origanum 'Santa Cruz' and 'Bristol Cross' are good.

 "Bee gardens make people happy," Kate Frey and Gretchen LeBuhn write in their book. "Whether you enjoy a brilliant chorus of saturated color, a tranquil sanctuary from the busy world, or a hardworking edible garden, there is a glorious, flower-filled bee garden waiting for you."

Yes, we all need a happy place. And so, too, do the pollinators.

Award-winning garden designer, author and pollinator specialist Kate Frey addresses a recent crowd at Annie’s Annuals and Perennials. Her topic: “Gardening for Bees, Beauty and Diversity.” (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Following her talk at Annie’s Annuals and Perennials, Richmond, Kate Frey (center) answers questions and signs copies of her book, “A Bee Friendly Garden,” (co-authored with Professor Gretchen LeBuhn of San Francisco State University. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)Read and view more photos:


A Lot About Drones


"A Lot about Drones" webinar,
recorded 6/21/2017 (52 minutes)


OhioDrones handout pdf



Tower of Beauty; Tower of Bees

Bug Squad: Happenings in the Insect World    By Kathy Keatley Garvey     June 21, 2017

The Echium wildpretii is commonly known as "The Tower of Jewels" but it ought to be known as "The Tower of Beauty."

That's especially when honey bees gather to collect the blue pollen and sip the sweet nectar.

Or when their wings glisten in the early morning sun.

Or when it's National Pollinator Week.

In our family, we call it "The Christmas Tree" due to two reasons: its height (it's as tall as a Christmas tree) and due to its spiked red blossoms, the color of Christmas.

The plant, in the family Boraginaceae, is biennial and it can reach 10 feet in height. You often see its purple-spiked cousin, the Pride of Madeira (Echium candicans) growing wild in Sonoma, along the roads to Bodega Bay. 

The species is endemic to the island of Tenerife. There they call it "Tenerife bugloss."

Whatever you call the plant, it's good to see it racing up the popularity scale as gardeners seek it for their pollinator gardens. There's even a Facebook page, "We got an Echium through the winter."

Common question: "Anyone got seeds for sale?'

Echium wildpretii is that pretty.

A honey bee packing blue pollen as it forages on the tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)This foraging honey bee can't get enought of the tower of jewels, Echium wildpretii. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)