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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)


 

LA COUNTY FAIR - BEE BOOTH


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, April 3, 2017. Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:00PM.

Beekeeping Class 101:
 Class #3, April 8, 2017, 9AM-Noon, 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: https://www.facebook.com/losangelesbeekeeping 

THE LATEST BUZZ:  

Friday
Mar172017

New Video Series: Planting Flowering Habitat for Bees

Integrated Crop Pollination Project    March 13, 2017

Many specialty crop growers are looking to incorporate pollinator habitat plantings on their farms to support bees, crop pollination, and yields. A new video series produced by the Integrated Crop Pollination Project will guide farmers through the process of establishing new flowering habitat for bees, from selecting and preparing a good site to seeding and maintaining a successful, diverse, weed-free stand of wildflowers.

The first video in the series, “Pollinator Habitat 101,” provides background information on bee habitat requirements and highlights different options for integrating flowering plants on farms, including field border plantings, riparian buffers, filter strips, and flowering cover crops.

The second video in the series, “Five Steps to Success for Establishing Perennial Wildflower Plantings for Pollinators,” goes into more detail on the step-by-step process for establishing a bloom-rich, long-lived perennial wildflower strip or meadow. The video emphasizes the need for careful weed eradication before and after seeding to control highly competitive weed species and allow the native wildflower seeds to germinate and persist.

Future videos in this series will include more detailed overviews of different site preparation and seeding techniques. Visit the Integrated Crop Pollination Project’s Youtube page for playlists of videos about bees, pollination, and pollinator habitat. To learn more about planting wildflowers to support crop pollinators and other strategies to support bees and the pollination they provide, visit http://www.projecticp.org.

This research is supported by the USDA-NIFA Specialty Crop Research Initiative Coordinated Agricultural Project (Award #2012-51181-20105). These videos were produced on behalf of the Integrated Crop Pollination Project by Emily May and Katharina Ullmann (The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation).

http://icpbees.org/new-video-series-planting-flowering-habitat-for-bees/

 

Friday
Mar172017

Poppy Day Spring Plant Sale is Saturday, March 18, 2017

Theodore Payne Foundation

POPPY DAY SPRING PLANT SALE is tomorrow: MARCH 18, 2017! Special sale items include Trichostema lanatum (woolly blue curls), Dendromecon harfordii (Channel Islands bush poppy), Romneya coulteri (Matilija poppy) and more sought-after native beauties. Quantities are limited! Shop early for best selection.
Discounts to TPF members all day and discounts to non-members after 11:00am (Not yet a member?
Join at the door!), Before you come, see our online nursery inventory:
 
http://tinyurl.com/leevvww
#CANativePlants #TheodorePayne 
#NativePlantSale #Sustainable#HabitatGardening
http://theodorepayne.org/

Tuesday
Mar142017

Vanishing Act: Scientists Find Possible Clue to Disappearing Bees

University of Texas at Austin      By Nancy Moran     March 14, 2017

In the winter of 2004/05, many beekeepers across America went to check on their honeybee hives and were shocked to find most of the adult bees had vanished, leaving behind the queen and immature bees. Millions of bees mysteriously disappeared, leaving farms with fewer pollinators for crops.

Colony collapse disorder, as it was later dubbed, has continued to vex beekeepers year after year — and there’s still no effective solution. Explanations for the phenomenon have included exposure to pesticides, habitat loss and bacterial infections. But now, a new study from The University of Texas at Austin suggests that antibiotics could play a role.

Researchers found that honeybees treated with a common antibiotic were half as likely to survive the week after treatment as a group of untreated bees. The antibiotics cleared out beneficial gut bacteria in the bees, making way for a harmful pathogen, which also occurs in humans, to get a foothold. The research is the latest discovery to indicate overuse of antibiotics can sometimes make living things, including people, sicker.

Vanishing bees is cause for concern because many of our most cherished food crops are pollinated by honeybees including almonds, apples, avocados, blueberries, carrots, cranberries, onions, squash, and watermelon. And that’s not to mention honey itself.

In large-scale U.S. agriculture, beekeepers typically apply antibiotics to their hives several times a year. The strategy aims to prevent bacterial infections that can lead to a widespread and destructive disease that afflicts bee larvae, called foulbrood.

“Our study suggests that perturbing the gut microbiome of honeybees is a factor, perhaps one of many, that could make them more susceptible to declining and to the colony collapsing. Antibiotics may have been an underappreciated factor in colony collapse.” 

-Nancy Moran, professor of integrative biology at UT Austin and co-author of the study published March 14 in the journal PLOS Biology.

To learn more, read the press release: “Overuse of Antibiotics Brings Risks for Bees — and for Us

https://news.utexas.edu/2017/03/14/scientists-find-possible-clue-to-disappearing-bees-1

Tuesday
Mar142017

Overuse of Antibiotics Brings Risks for Bees, And For Us

Science Daily    Source: University of Texas at Austin    March 14, 2017

Honeybees treated with a common antibiotic were half as likely to survive the week after treatment compared with a group of untreated bees, a finding that may have health implications for bees and people alike.

Researchers from The University of Texas at Austin have found that honeybees treated with a common antibiotic were half as likely to survive the week after treatment compared with a group of untreated bees, a finding that may have health implications for bees and people alike.

The scientists found the antibiotics cleared out beneficial gut bacteria in the bees, making way for a harmful pathogen, which also occurs in humans, to get a foothold. The research is the latest discovery to indicate overuse of antibiotics can sometimes make living things, including people, sicker.

The UT Austin team, led by professor Nancy Moran and postdoctoral researcher Kasie Raymann, found that after treatment with the common antibiotic tetracycline, the bees had dramatically fewer naturally occurring gut microbes -- meaning healthy bacteria that can help to block pathogens, break down toxins, promote absorption of nutrients from food and more. They also found elevated levels of Serratia, a pathogenic bacterium that afflicts humans and other animals, in the bees treated with antibiotics, suggesting that the increased mortality might have been a result of losing the gut microbes that provide a natural defense against the dangerous bacteria.

The discovery has relevance for beekeepers and the agriculture industry. A decade ago, U.S. beekeepers began finding their hives decimated by what became known as colony collapse disorder. Millions of bees mysteriously disappeared, leaving farms with fewer pollinators for crops. Explanations for the phenomenon have included exposure to pesticides, habitat loss and bacterial infections, but the scientists now say antibiotics given to bees could also play a role.

"Our study suggests that perturbing the gut microbiome of honeybees is a factor, perhaps one of many, that could make them more susceptible to declining and to the colony collapsing," Moran said. "Antibiotics may have been an underappreciated factor in colony collapse."

The results are reported in the online journal PLOS Biology.

Bees are a useful model for the human gut microbiome for several reasons. First, bees and humans both have a natural community of microbes in their guts, called a gut microbiome, which aids a number of functions including modulating behavior, development and immunity. Second, both have specialized gut bacteria -- ones that live only in the host gut -- that are passed from individual to individual during social interactions.

According to this study, overuse of antibiotics might increase the likelihood of infections from pathogens.

"We aren't suggesting people stop using antibiotics," Moran said. "Antibiotics save lives. We definitely need them. We just need to be careful how we use them."

In large-scale U.S. agriculture, beekeepers typically apply antibiotics to their hives several times a year. The strategy aims to prevent bacterial infections that can lead to a widespread and destructive disease that afflicts bee larvae.

"It's useful for beekeepers to use antibiotics to protect their hives from foulbrood," said Raymann, referring to the disease. "But this work suggests that they should also consider how much and how often they're treating hives."

To conduct the study, researchers removed hundreds of bees from long-established hives on the rooftop of a university building and brought them into a lab where some were fed a sweet syrup with antibiotics and some were fed syrup only. The researchers painted small colored dots on the bees' backs to indicate which had received antibiotics and which had not. After five days of daily treatment, the bees were returned to their hives. In subsequent days, the researchers collected the treated and untreated bees to count how many were still living and to sample their gut microbes.

About two-thirds of the untreated bees were still present three days after reintroduction to the hive, while only about a third of the antibiotic-treated bees were still present.

Adding further weight to the hypothesis that antibiotic-treated bees suffered a higher mortality due to a lower resistance to the pathogenic bacteria Serratia, the researchers conducted a follow-on experiment in which they exposed antibiotic-treated bees to Serratia and observed a much higher mortality than untreated bees.

"This was just in bees, but possibly it's doing the same thing to you when you take antibiotics," Raymann said. "I think we need to be more careful about how we use antibiotics."

Story Source:

Materials provided by University of Texas at Austin. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Journal Reference:

Kasie Raymann, Zack Shaffer, Nancy A. Moran. Antibiotic exposure perturbs the gut microbiota and elevates mortality in honeybees. PLOS Biology, 2017; 15 (3): e2001861 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.2001861

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/03/170314150933.htm

Tuesday
Mar142017

At Mealtime, Honey Bees Prefer Country Blossoms to City Blooms

The Ohio State University     By Misti Crane     March 14, 2017

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Hungry honey bees appear to favor flowers in agricultural areas over those in neighboring urban areas.

The discovery has implications for urban beekeepers and challenges assumptions that farmland and honey bees are incompatible, said authors of a new study from The Ohio State University.

The team positioned honey bee colonies in an apiary in a central Ohio cemetery smack in the middle of where urban residential development transitions into farmland. They left the colonies to forage for nectar and pollen wherever they preferred.

The bees, studied from late summer to early fall, overwhelmingly went for the agricultural offerings instead of the assorted flowering plants in and around the urban neighborhoods nearby, said lead author Douglas Sponsler, who was a graduate student in entomology at Ohio State when the research was conducted in 2014. The study appears in the Journal of Urban Ecology.

Throughout the study, the honey bees’ haul always favored plants from the agricultural area, and hit a high of 96 percent of the pollen collected at one point.

“Honey bees didn’t seem to care that much what the floral diversity was. What they wanted was large patches of their favorite stuff,” said Sponsler, who now works at Penn State University.

Goldenrod was particularly popular, the researchers found. The bees’ agricultural foraging preference was especially pronounced at the end of the season, as the colonies prepared to overwinter.

While farm fields themselves aren’t attractive to the bees, the countryside features wide swaths of unmowed wild plants (also known as weeds) along roadsides and in field margins, Sponsler said.

Senior author Reed Johnson, an assistant professor of entomology at Ohio State, said the discoveries made in this study help explain the ongoing hardships of urban beekeepers, who are growing in number in Ohio and elsewhere.

“When the bees have a choice, they go to the farmland. We’ve had trouble keeping our urban colonies alive, so this makes a lot of sense to us,” Johnson said.

“There’s this popular perception that urban places are better for bees because of the diversity of plants. This is showing that, at least in Ohio, the agricultural areas are actually superior and that’s despite the pesticide use that’s out there,” he said.

“Apparently, farmland isn’t desolate at all – at least not for honey bees.”

Uncovering where the bees had been and what exactly captured their attention was a two-part process.

First, researchers videotaped then analyzed the tell-tale dance patterns of bees returning to the three study colonies. Translated by scientists, these dance moves explain what direction the foraging bee has been in relation to the hive and how far in that direction.

“These things can be pretty easily decoded by the human observer, thankfully. You can map the locations that are being referred to in the dance,” Sponsler said.

The second part of the analysis – pollen identification – confirmed the dance-derived findings. When the honeybees came back to the cemetery, they flew through a screen that allowed their bodies in but scraped the pollen off their hind legs and into a collection chamber.

Sponsler and his colleagues then sorted through the bees’ collection, separating the grains of pollen by color and shape and then cross-referencing to determine what exactly the bees were foraging.

They examined pollen from five sampling dates. Agricultural foraging outweighed urban foraging in every sample and hit a high of 96 percent on the Sept. 19 collection date and a low of 62 percent of the honey bees’ haul on Sept. 4.

For urban beekeepers and others interested in a thriving honey bee population, it could be prudent to think about supplementing the bees’ diets at summer’s end, the researchers said.

Honey bee populations could also become more stable in urban areas with more careful landscaping choices in and around cities, the researchers said.

“The focus is how can we make urban spaces better for bees so we can attract them back into the city?” Johnson said.

He suggested that planting certain trees could serve the honey bee population well. Linden trees, for instance, are “phenomenal” nectar producers, Johnson said.

Sponsler said there’s plenty of room to improve urban plant diversity and keep honey bees satiated there as well as in the country.

“There’s no reason why our urban landscapes cannot be full of flowers. It’s just that we’ve inherited a certain preference toward things that look like golf courses rather than things that look like prairies.”

Other Ohio State researchers who worked on the study were Emma Matcham, Chia-Hua Lin and Jessie Lanterman.

The study was supported by the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

https://news.osu.edu/news/2017/03/14/bees-and-farms/