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This is the official website for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association established in 1873.



About the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association!


"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." 

Helen Keller

Our Objectives:

  • To promote the interest of bee culture and beekeeping within Los Angeles County.
  • To enhance the education of the general public and of the association members concerning the important roles of honeybees in the natural, rural, and urban worlds.
  • To provide information for the closer cooperation of beekeepers with apiculture researchers and public agencies that they may work together for the promotion of systematic, managed beekeeping in the County of Los Angeles.

Our Beginning:

On Saturday, August 18, 1873, the nine founding members of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association held its first meeting in El Monte, California. A Constitution and By-Laws were adopted and the following officers were elected: President: John T. Gordon, Vice-Presidents: Thomas A. Garvey and W. T. Martin, Secretary: William M. Rasmussen, Treasurer: J.C. Bames.  Members: Henry Beekley, L.M. Rasmussen, Levi Richardson, and A.J. Davidson were in attendance. The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association has met continuously since then. When Robert's Rules of Order were published in 1876 as a "guide to fair and orderly procedures in meetings" they were adopted by the LACBA.

The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association is a California nonprofit public benefit corporation with a principal office in the County of Los Angeles, State of California. 



2018 Officers of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association:  

President: Jon Reese
Jon was born in Culver City and grew up in Canoga Park. He graduated from Chatsworth High School in 1969, then attended SFVSC where he received a BA in Ceramics.  Jon traveled throughout United States and Europe during school summers.  He established pottery in 1976, built kilns, and produced hand-thrown utilitarian ware. In 1981, Jon apprenticed into the tile industry and in 1994 opened his own tile contracting company, Stoneware Tile, that has operated for the past 22 years. From 1998 to the present, Jon has been a signatory to Local Union18.  From 2000 to the present, he has been the management officer of the Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee.  How Jon ‘got into bees’: “In 2011 bees moved into the eaves of our house," he says. Jon contacted Walter McBride, a seasoned beekeeper and member of the Los Angeles Beekeepers Association. Walt helped him move the bees out of the eaves and into a hive box. That was the beginning of Jon’s beekeeping career. Since 2011, Jon has been a hobbyist beekeeper. He presently has 19 hives. In 2016, Jon was awarded the *LACBA Golden Hive Tool Award. Jon is dedicated to service, especially helping beekeepers with their bees. He volunteered countless hours at the Bee Booth at the LA County Fair, educating the public on bees and beekeeping. Jon previously served as Vice President and Assistant Treasurer with the LACBA.

Vice President: Kevin Heydman
Kevin has been taking care of bees for over eighteen years. He's a commercial beekeeper who each year takes his honey bees to pollinate almonds, avocados and oranges in Southern California. Kevin is also a live beehive removal specialist. He's been a member of the LACBA for six years and dedicates his services to club activities. During the month of September, Kevin spends a week in charge of the Bee Booth at the LA County Fair where he supervises volunteers and educates the general public about honey bees. You can find Kevin's Bare Bees honey, pollen and beeswax at the Gardena, Monrovia and San Dimas Farmers Markets.

Secretary: Merrill Kruger
Merrill Kruger is an urban beekeeper and an avid advocate of Nature. Although her first hive was started less than 2 years ago, her beekeeping efforts began many years earlier; when she first began planting nectar and pollen rich gardens and encouraging homeowners to remove their lawns in favor of fragrant, floriferous, non-toxic forage for bees, butterflies, birds, and other wildlife. She is the President and Owner of a local Landscape Design, Construction, and Maintenance company, Design by Nature, that specializes in gardening technologies that support healthy lifestyles. Her home garden is a testament of her life's work; water harvesting systems, native, drought tolerant and edible trees and plants, hens, composting and recycled furniture punctuate the property. When she isn't gardening, she loves reading and training an Afro-Brazilian martial art called 'Capoeira' which incorporates traditional musical instruments and rhythms with modern songs to develop expressive and educational performances.  

Treasurer: Bill Rathfelder
Bill Rathfelder retired from Lockheed as an aeronautical engineer after fifty years of service. Bill's interest in bees goes way back to childhood. He became actively involved with beekeeping over fifty years ago. Bill passed his interest in bees onto his sons when they were kids. He built them an observation hive and they kept it in their room. Bill became a member of the LACBA  in 1999. He's been volunteering at the LA County Bee Booth for over ten years. In 2000 Bill received the LA County Fair Award for Best Hobbyiest Beekeeper and in 2012, he received the *LACBA Golden Hive Tool Award. Although Bill no longer maintains a lot of hives, he heads up to the almonds every year with his fellow beekeepers. For the past nine years has served as the LACBA treasurer. 

*The LACBA Golden Hive Tool Award is our President’s choice of someone who has shown great dedication to the club and thereby improved people’s experience of beekeeping.

Our Community:

We are a diverse community populated by individuals from all walks of life. We are brought together by our interest in and love of the honeybee. We're composed of bee hobbyists, bee enthusiasts, small scale beekeepers, and commercial beekeepers who make our living from working with bees. Whether a new bee or a long time beekeeper we share our experience and knowledge with each other and others. Our members unselfishly give of our time and energy to help ourselves and others better understand and care for the honeybee. We are involved in beekeeping on an individual, group, state, national, and international level.