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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, June 5, 2017. Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6PM.

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
 Class #5, Saturday, June 10, 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: 



The 10 Most Amazing Honey Bee Facts Ever

Glory Bee    May 2, 2017

The 10 Most Amazing Honey Bee Facts Ever

You don’t have to be a beekeeper to appreciate the honey bee! This fascinating insect is one of Nature’s most social creatures, and also one of the most unique living organisms on our planet. In the past three decades, honey bees have been dying off. No one is sure of the exact cause for their disappearance. Pesticides, genetically modified crops, parasites and changing climate patterns are all being considered as contributing factors, but more scientific research is needed.

Knowledge is power. The more people learn about the honey bee, the more they will be motivated to take action and protect our pollinators. Here are ten amazing honey bee facts to share with your family and friends to help them truly appreciate the hard-working honey bee. Discover more ways to help honey bees at


  1. Honey Bees have 5 eyes- 2 large compound eyes and 3 small simple eyes.
  2. Honey Bee queens lay 1,500 eggs A DAY.
  3. A single bee makes 1/12 teaspoon of honey in its entire lifetime. A typical little 12-ounce honey bear squeeze bottle takes 864 bees to make all the honey that goes inside it.
  4. Bees flap their wings 190 times a second. (That’s over double the 70 times a second the hummingbird flaps its wings)
  5. A honey bee flies 15 miles per hour.
  6. Honey bees keep the inside of their hives at 93 degrees Fahrenheit. (If it’s cold outside, all the bees vibrate their bodies and create body heat to warm up their hive to 93°, and when it’s hot outside, they flap their wings like fans to create a breeze and cool it off.)
  7. Honey bees never sleep!
  8. It takes approximately 1,100 bee stings to be fatal to a healthy adult human.
  9. Honey bees are the ONLY insect that produces food for humans to eat.
  10. Honey bees pollinate approximately 80% of all vegetables, fruit and seed crops in the USA.

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101: Class #4 Saturday, May 13, 2017

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 (Class #4) Saturday, May 13, 2017, 9am-noon

(818) 280-6500

BRING A FOLDING CHAIR. Seating is limited.

Note from The Valley Hive: Even though The Valley Hive has moved to a new location, Beekeeping 101 will continue at 9633 Baden Avenue from 9-12pm. Our new shop at 10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd will open at 8am on Saturday if anyone needs to purchase a suit or other beekeeping equipment. Suits are required. We will be continuing hive inspections. If you have beekeeping tools – smoker, hive tool, bee brush – please bring them to class, along with smoker fuel and a lighter.


Africanized Honey Bees

University of Georgia Extension By Keith S. Delaplane


Honey Bees in the New World

History of Africanized Honey Bees

Differences Between Africanized and European Bees

Potential Range of Africanized Bees in the United States

Safety Precautions

If You Are Attacked

After an Attack

The Role of Beekeepers

Tips for Beekeepers

Honey bees are among the most well-known and economically important insects. They produce honey and beeswax, and pollinate many crops. In Georgia, a large segment of the beekeeping industry produces queens and package bees for sale to other beekeepers. Although many people make a living from bees, most beekeepers are hobbyists with only a few hives.

Honey Bees in the New World
Honey bees are not native to the New World. Most of them are descendants of bees brought to North America and South America by European settlers beginning in the 1600s. Bees from Europe did well in North America, so most areas of the United States today have managed and wild honey bee colonies of European descent. European honey bees were not as well adapted to tropical and subtropical Latin America and can be maintained there only with special care.

History of Africanized Honey Bees
In 1956, researchers imported honey bees from Africa into Brazil in an effort to improve beekeeping in the New World tropics. These African bees were well suited to conditions in Brazil, and they began colonizing South America, hybridizing with European honey bees (hence the name “Africanized” honey bees) and displacing European bees. Compared to European bees, Africanized honey bees are much more defensive. Large numbers of them sometimes sting people and livestock with little provocation. They are also occasionally known to take over European bee colonies by entering them and killing the resident queen. Because of these noxious behaviors, many beekeepers abandoned beekeeping, and the media widely publicized these so-called “killer bees.”

The bees spread northward at a rate of about 200 to 300 miles per year, and today every country in Latin America except Chile has established populations of Africanized honey bees. In October 1990, the first natural colony of Africanized honey bees was found in the United States near Hidalgo, Texas. In subsequent years the bees moved in a westerly manner, eventually occupying much of the American Southwest and the southern counties of Nevada and California. By the summer of 2005, Africanized bees were confirmed east of the Mississippi with established populations in Florida.

In spite of the alarm surrounding Africanization, these bees have not caused widespread or permanent chaos. Dramatic stinging incidents do occur, but the quality of life for most people is unaffected. Typically, the commercial beekeeping industries of Africanized areas suffer temporary decline and then eventually recover.

Differences Between Africanized and European Bees
European honey bees are adapted to winter survival, largely because of their ability to collect large honey supplies. Africanized bees, on the other hand, do not overwinter well and respond to food shortages by migrating. European bees make large, permanent colonies whereas Africanized bees make small to large colonies that reproduce (swarm) often. The table outlines some of the differences between the two types of bees.




open, exposed nests



location of nests

variable; any kind of cavity including in-ground animal nests, which increases likelihood of human contact

prefer larger cavities, bee hives, hollow trees, hollow walls; rarely in ground

tendency to abandon nest



swarming rate



stinging behavior

intense; can defend nest at distances of up to 100 yards

moderate to mild; defend nest from 1-20 yards

body size

about 10-20% smaller than European


development time for worker bee

19-20 days

21 days

honey production

acceptable once beekeepers adapt

industry standard


effective pollinators but risky for farm laborers

industry standard

tolerance of mechanized handling

acceptable if beekeeper limits hives to one per stand or pallet; netting essential

industry standard

Potential Range of Africanized Bees in the United States

As Africanized bees expand into temperate areas, their tropical adaptations are less advantageous. Cold weather seems to limit both their defensiveness and overwintering capacity. Africanized bees are more defensive in warm tropical regions and less so in cooler zones. In South America the bees do not overwinter south of 34 degrees S latitude, which corresponds roughly to Atlanta, Georgia. (Please note, however, that Africanized bees are found north of this latitude in the American West.)

In areas where their ranges overlap, African- and European-derived bees interbreed, causing “hybrid zones” where bees share African and European traits. In Argentina, Africanized bees dominate in the northern semitropical regions but European bees dominate in the southern temperate areas; the area in between (ca. 32-34 degrees latitude) is a hybrid zone where bees have varying degrees of African or European traits. A similar pattern may occur in the United States, with African traits dominating in southern regions.

Safety Precautions
If and when Africanized bees reach your area, don’t panic. Just as you should look out for fire ants and poisonous snakes, however, stay alert for wild bee colonies when you are outdoors. Remember these points:

Never knowingly approach an occupied bee nest. During daylight hours bees can be seen flying to and from their entrance.

Do not disturb a swarm of bees. Call a professional bee removal service, the fire department, or your county Extension agent for help removing it.

Never climb a tree, kick a log or stump, or move trash until you first check if bees are flying in and out.

Keep an escape route in mind. Never crawl into an enclosed place from which you cannot quickly exit.

Operators of open-cab tractors are especially at risk from hidden in-ground colonies. Keeping a veil on hand is a good safety precaution.

If You Are Attacked
Run away or get indoors as fast as possible if you are attacked. Never stand in one spot and swat because this only aggravates bees further and increases the number of stings you may receive. Be aware that bees may follow you for hundreds of yards. Do not stop running to hide yourself under water or in leaves, brush or a crevice because bees are likely to find you and inflict numerous stings. The single most important thing is to get away from the colony!

After an Attack
When a bee stings, the stinger and poison sack remain in the skin of the victim, even after the bee flies away, and venom continues to be pumped into the skin. After you have safely escaped the bees, remove stingers from your skin by scraping or brushing them out. The venom of a single Africanized bee sting is no more toxic than a European bee sting (in fact, it’s a little less so). The difference is a matter of dose. Instead of a dozen or so stings, victims of Africanized bees can sustain hundreds of stings. Most people can tolerate 15-25 stings without requiring special medical treatment. Pain, redness and swelling are normal at a sting site and this does not constitute an allergic reaction. People with a history of systemic allergic reactions (fainting, trouble breathing), however, should always carry with them an emergency kit of injectable epinephrine, use it if they are stung, and then immediately see a physician. Anyone who receives more than 15-25 stings should seek medical supervision for possible delayed systemic complications.

The Role of Beekeepers
Beekeepers are the best defense Americans have against Africanized honey bees. Citizens and lawmakers need to understand this. In the fear that accompanies the arrival of Africanized bees, some groups may want to ban beekeeping in their municipalities. Without beekeepers, the density of docile European bees in an area will decrease, leaving that area open to infestation by Africanized bees. It is equivalent to “abandoning territory to the enemy.” Only beekeepers have the knowledge and resources to maintain high densities of European bees that can genetically dilute Africanized populations.

Tips for Beekeepers
If Africanized bees move into an area, beekeepers will have to change their management habits. If you keep bees in an Africanized area, observe the following precautions:

Register every colony with the state Department of Agriculture.

Re-queen a colony with European stock any time it becomes unusually defensive.

Mark queens so you can later confirm their identity.

Do not place hives near penned animals, sidewalks, playgrounds or similar high-traffic areas.

Plant bushes or place barricades around the edges of apiaries. This forces bees to fly above head level and reduces the chance of them flying into people or livestock.

Keep colonies at least 2 yards apart to discourage disturbed bees from exciting neighboring colonies.

Beekeepers may need to re-think the practice of combining several hives on a pallet because the vibration from working one hive disturbs them all. For this reason, beekeepers in Latin America have switched to single hive stands.

Use plastic-coated gloves instead of leather; bees will sting leather and the embedded stingers contain alarm chemicals that further aggravate the bees.

Use white-faced veils instead of black. Africanized bees are attracted to dark objects, and a white outer surface minimizes bees massing on the veil and obstructing your vision. The interior side of the netting should be black to minimize glare.

Smoke hives heavily before entering them; the bees are difficult to calm once angered.

Acknowledgments: Gratitude is expressed to David De Jong, Ph.D., University of São Paulo, Brazil, and Eric Mussen, Ph.D., University of California, who made useful comments on this document. 1Professor of Entomology

Status and Revision History
Published on Mar 15, 2006
In review as of Jan 5, 2010
Re-published on Mar 25, 2010
Reviewed on Jan 27, 2013
Reviewed on Jan 27, 2014


Two Women Stung By Swarm of Bees While Hiking in Mission Trails

FOX 5 News    By Shelly Wilford    May 11, 2017

Two women hiking Mission Trail were stung by a swarm of bees on May 11, 2017.SAN DIEGO – Two women hiking in Mission Trails Regional Park were repeatedly stung by a swarm of bees Thursday morning.

The women were hiking in the western area of the park near Tierrasanta with a dog when they were stung.

Paramedics were at the scene assisting the women. It’s not known if the dog was also stung.

Check back for more information on this developing story.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture lists the following precautions to protect yourself from bees:

Stay away from honey bee colonies.

Africanized honey bees sting to defend themselves or their nest.

If you can avoid disturbing them in any way, they usually will not sting.

To avoid approaching a nest by accident, listen for the steady buzz produced by a colony and look for flying insects

Look for bees to nest in cavities such as holes in the ground, crevices in rocks, hollow trees, discarded tires, saguaro cactus cavities, or water meter boxes.

Homeowners commonly encounter colonies when doing yard work.

Do not climb a tree, kick over a log or roll over a rock without checking first for bees.

If you do see a colony, do not stand in front of the entrance or in the flightpath.

Treat honey bee colonies as you would any other venomous creature, such as a snake or a scorpion.

Be alert and stay away!

Wear appropriate clothing.

When hiking or hunting in the wilderness, wear light-colored clothing.

The animals most likely to attack a bee colony are skunks and bears, so honeybees respond most violently to anything that is dark-colored or fuzzy.

Wear white socks, because honey bees are known to sting the ankles of persons wearing dark socks.

Always wear full-length pants when hiking and long-sleeved shirts if possible.

Avoid wearing shiny jewelry and leather, which attract bees.

Avoid wearing perfumes or scents.

Bees are sensitive to odors such as perfumes, soaps, after-shave lotions, and hair spray. These odors may either attract or provoke bees. Even sunscreens may have odors that increase your chances of an attack.

Avoid excessive motion when near a colony.

Bees are able to detect movement, and are much more likely to respond to an object in motion than one that is stationary.

Avoid flailing your arms or swatting at bees.

Do not panic if you spot a bees’ nest, just move away slowly and deliberately.

Avoid operating any machinery (mowers, line-trimmers or chain saws) near nests.

If you are attacked by several bees, then the best strategy is to run to shelter as quickly as possible.

(Note: For more information on Africanized Honey Bees see our LACBA Africanized Honey Bees Page:


Genes Key to Killer Bee's Success     Provided by Uppsala University    April 5, 2017

Credit: Lilla Frerichs/public domainIn a new study, researchers from Uppsala University sequenced the genomes of Africanized bees that have invaded large parts of the world to find out what makes them so extraordinarily successful. One particular region in the genome caught the researchers' attention and the genes found there could be part of the explanation for the aggressive advances of these hybrid bees.

In 1956, a small number of honeybees from Africa were accidentally released in Brazil. What followed was a biological invasion of unprecedented magnitude. The bees hybridized with strains kept by local beekeepers and these hybrid bees - called Africanized or "killer" bees and known for their highly aggressive stinging behaviour - rapidly spread and now occupy much of north and south America. Africanized bees cause problems for beekeeping and pose significant risks to human health.

The precise genetic composition of Africanized bees and the reasons for their extraordinary success are not known. A new study by Matthew Webster's research group at Uppsala University together with colleagues from UK and Brazil has addressed these questions by sequencing the genomes of 32 Africanized bees and comparing them with the genomes of honeybees collected from all over the world in their previous studies. This allowed the team to reconstruct the evolutionary history of Africanized bees and identify genes that were important for their adaptation and dispersal.

One particular region of the genome stood out in the study. Although most of the Africanized bee genome is similar to bees from Africa, this region more closely matched bees from Europe, which were present in Brazil before the release of African bees. This suggests that the European version of this part of the bee genome gave the Africanized bees a selective advantage. Previous studies have linked genes in this region to ovary size and foraging strategy, indicating that these traits have been important for the success of Africanized bees.

This study highlights how hybridization between different populations, leading to the mixture of genetic variation, is an important process in evolution. Hybridization produces new combinations of genetic variants for natural selection to act on. This appears to have been an important factor in adaptation of Africanized bees.

 Explore further: Study shows Africanized bees continue to spread in California

More information: Genome-wide analysis of admixture and adaptation in the Africanized honeybee, Molecular Ecology, DOI: 10.1111/mec.14122

Read more at:

(Note: For more information on Africanized Honey Bees see our LACBA Africanized Honey Bees Page: