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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.

LA COUNTY FAIR - BEE BOOTH

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, January 8, 2018.  Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM. On Monday, December 4, 2017 we celebrate the season with our LACBA Annual Holiday Banquet.

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
 We had our final LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 for the 2017 season. Please check back in January 2018 for info re our 2018 season. For info on our classes see: Beekeeping Class 101.

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:  

Tuesday
Oct312017

Happy Halloween!

Halloween: The Haunted History Of Beekeeping
Via Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

Pumpkin was Possessed by Bees

Caldwell, N. J. 1921. - Ted Farrand is a building inspector and an amateur pumpkin raiser. After the frost three nights ago he went out to the garden and selected a sixty-pounder which he brought into the kitchen.

"There's a little bit of a hole in this, Mary," He said to his wife. "I'm afraid it won't keep. So you'd better make some pies."

Well, it was along toward noon before Mrs. Farrand got around to it. By that time the big orange thing was all warmed up to the temperature of the kitchen, which was like that of the garden in August. She slipped a knife through the pumpkin and a swarm of bees flew out.

They flew all over the kitchen and all over Mrs. Farrand. She got allot of stings before she escaped and the bees flew out the window, and some of the marks of the stingers will be visible even when she is dressed for church next Sunday. Then all the congregation will know the story.

When the pumpkin was more closely examined after the departure of the bees it was found to contain nothing but honey. The Pies were great!

Wednesday
Oct252017

Your Call's One Planet Series: Why are flying insects dying off at alarming rates?

KALW Radio     By Rose Aguilar and Malihe Razazan    October 22, 2017

Listen to a great commentary on a recent study showing decline in flying insect populations and pollinator declines in general. Speaking are Dr. Neal Williams (UC Davis) and Dr. Dave Goulson (University of Sussex)


The Monday October 23, 2017 broadcast of Your Call: One Planet Series

LISTEN: http://kalw.org/post/your-calls-one-planet-series-why-are-flying-insects-dying-alarming-rates#stream/0

Insects make up about two-thirds of all life on Earth, but since 2006, honey bees and other pollinators have experienced rapid population declines. New research has found that the flying insect population in nature reserves across Germany has plummeted by 75 percent in the past 25 years.

Scientists warn that this trend can lead to an ecological Armageddon. What is causing this? And what can be done to stop it? Join our next Our Planet series on Your Call, with Rose Aguilar, and you.

Guests:

Neal Williams, professor of Pollination and Bee Biology in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis

Dave Goulson, biologist, conservationist, and professor of Biology at the University of Sussex

Web Resources:

LA Times: Wild bees are least abundant where they're most needed, study says

The Guardian: Warning of 'ecological Armageddon' after dramatic plunge in insect numbers

http://kalw.org/post/your-calls-one-planet-series-why-are-flying-insects-dying-alarming-rates#stream/0

Wednesday
Oct252017

Scientists Discover Optical Illusion Some Flowers Use to Attract Bees

Inquisitr/Discoveries     By Lorenzo Tanos     October 21, 2017

New research suggests that there are certain flowers that attract bees with a rather unusual optical illusion that’s visible to the insects, but not to human observers in most cases.

Typically, gardeners attract bumblebees by planting blue flowers such as hydrangeas and delphiniums, as noted on a report from the Daily Mail. These flowers are high in nectar and are easily capable of attracting bees on their own. But the new discovery points to something different altogether — flowers luring the insects with microscopic ridges found on their petals. These ridges spread out a “blue halo” of light, creating an “aura” that could also be used as a bee signal.

“The exciting thing is that it is a new optical trick – we didn’t know that flowers could use disorder to generate a specific color, and that is quite clever,” said study co-author Beverley Glover, from the University of Cambridge in England.

The Guardian wrote that the discovery of how flowers attract bees via optical effects builds on previous research from Glover and her colleagues, who had found that the small ridges on the petals of select flowers are capable of bending light — a phenomenon known as diffracting. Having discovered some plants that could diffract, the researchers examined the petals of 12 different flower species to see if the phenomenon also occurred in them. Using artificial flowers with and without blue halos and testing them on bees, the researchers later found that the bees tended to go to the flowers with halos, while also using the blue hue to inform them which of the artificial flowers came with a sugar solution reward.

Based on their findings, Glover’s team found that each of the flowers’ ridges had their own unique architecture, with the heights and spacings of the ridges tending to vary in particular. And while it was found that all 12 flowers only gave off a weak sheen, the researchers discovered that the ridges were also capable of dispersing blue and ultraviolet light. With that established, the flowers were revealed to have a “blue halo” effect, one that can only be seen by people in darkly-pigmented flowers, and one that differed based on the ridges’ degree of variation in height or spacing.

Humans can’t see the blue hue emitted by the evening primrose’s petal ridges, but bees can. [Image by High Mountain/Shutterstock]The Daily Mail further noted that flowers that attract bees with the blue halo have been around for millions of years. Fossils of flowering plants, or angiosperms, from over 200 million years ago did not yield any proof of petal ridges capable of such optical illusions. But there were “several” examples of blue halo-generating ridges found in examples from two flower groups that had first appeared about 100 million years ago, during the Cretaceous period. These flowers reportedly existed just as bees and other “flower-visiting insects” were beginning to evolve.

“Our findings suggest the petal ridges that produce ‘blue halos’ evolved many times across different flower lineages, all converging on this optical signal for pollinators,” said Glover.

According to the Daily Mail, the Venice Mallow (Hibiscus trionum), Queen of the Night tulips, a species of daisy (Ursinia speciosa), and a species of evening primrose (Oenothera stricta) are among the examples of blue halo-emitting flowers that attract bees.

[Featured Image by Lucia Speck/Shutterstock]

https://www.inquisitr.com/4569682/scientists-discover-optical-illusion-some-flowers-use-to-attract-bees/

Wednesday
Oct252017

How Honey Bees Read the Waggle Dance

Science Daily     Source: Society for Neuroscience     October 9, 2017

Left: To inform their hivemates about the location of profitable flowers, a honeybee performs the waggle dance with specific vibration patterns. Right: Composite image of three interneurons in the honeybee brain which show unique responses to such vibrations. Credit: Courtesy of Ai et al.Neurons that enable honeybees to sense the waggle dance -- a form of symbolic communication used by female bees to inform the hivemates about the location of a food source -- are investigated in new research published in JNeurosci.

Upon returning to the hive, female working bees perform a dance that represents the distance and direction of nectar-rich flowers. Since the waggle dance was first described in 1967 (and its discovery awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1973), it has remained unknown how the honeybee brain deciphers the dance into useful information.

Hiroyuki Ai and colleagues raised honeybees in hives on the Fukuoka University campus in Japan to study how three major types of interneurons in the auditory center of the honeybee brain respond to vibration pulses similar to those produced during the waggle phase of the dance. Their work lays a foundation for understanding how social insects process symbolic communication.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/10/171009135435.htm

Journal Reference: Hiroyuki Ai et al. Interneurons in the honeybee primary auditory center responding to waggle dance-like vibration pulses. JNeurosci, 2017 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0044-17.2017

Friday
Oct202017

Insectageddon: Farming Is More Catastrophic Than Climate Breakdown

The Guardian   By George Monbiot    October 20, 2017

‘Flying insects are the pollinators without which a vast tract of the plant kingdom, both wild and cultivated, cannot survive.’ Photograph: Paul J Richards/AFP/Getty Images

Which of these would you name as the world’s most pressing environmental issue? Climate breakdownair pollution, water loss, plastic waste or urban expansion? My answer is none of the above. Almost incredibly, I believe that climate breakdown takes third place, behind two issues that receive only a fraction of the attention.

This is not to downgrade the danger presented by global heating – on the contrary, it presents an existential threat. It is simply that I have come to realise that two other issues have such huge and immediate impacts that they push even this great predicament into third place.

One is industrial fishing, which, all over the blue planet, is now causing systemic ecological collapse. The other is the erasure of non-human life from the land by farming.

And perhaps not only non-human life. According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, at current rates of soil loss, driven largely by poor farming practice, we have just 60 years of harvests left. And this is before the Global Land Outlook report, published in September, found that productivity is already declining on 20% of the world’s cropland.

The impact on wildlife of changes in farming practice (and the expansion of the farmed area) is so rapid and severe that it is hard to get your head round the scale of what is happening. A study published this week in the journal Plos One reveals that flying insects surveyed on nature reserves in Germany have declined by 76% in 27 years. The most likely cause of this Insectageddon is that the land surrounding those reserves has become hostile to them: the volume of pesticides and the destruction of habitat have turned farmland into a wildlife desert.

It is remarkable that we need to rely on a study in Germany to see what is likely to have been happening worldwide: long-term surveys of this kind simply do not exist elsewhere. This failure reflects distorted priorities in the funding of science. There is no end of grants for research on how to kill insects, but hardly any money for discovering what the impacts of this killing might be. Instead, the work has been left – as in the German case – to recordings by amateur naturalists.

But anyone of my generation (ie in the second bloom of youth) can see and feel the change. We remember the “moth snowstorm” that filled the headlight beams of our parents’ cars on summer nights (memorialised in Michael McCarthy’s lovely book of that name). Every year I collected dozens of species of caterpillars and watched them grow and pupate and hatch. This year I tried to find some caterpillars for my children to raise. I spent the whole summer looking and, aside from the cabbage whites on our broccoli plants, found nothing in the wild but one garden tiger larva. Yes, one caterpillar in one year. I could scarcely believe what I was seeing – or rather, not seeing.

Insects, of course, are critical to the survival of the rest of the living world. Knowing what we now know, there is nothing surprising about the calamitous decline of insect-eating birds. Those flying insects – not just bees and hoverflies but species of many different families – are the pollinators without which a vast tract of the plant kingdom, both wild and cultivated, cannot survive. The wonders of the living planet are vanishing before our eyes.

Well, I hear you say, we have to feed the world. Yes, but not this way. As a UN report published in March explained, the notion that pesticide use is essential for feeding a growing population is a myth. A recent study in Nature Plants reveals that most farms would increase production if they cut their use of pesticides. A study in the journal Arthropod-Plant Interactions shows that the more neonicotinoid pesticides were used to treat rapeseed crops, the more their yield declines. Why? Because the pesticides harm or kill the pollinators on which the crop depends.

Farmers and governments have been comprehensively conned by the global pesticide industry. It has ensured its products should not be properly regulated or even, in real-world conditions, properly assessed. A massive media onslaught by this industry has bamboozled us all about its utility and its impacts on the health of both human beings and the natural world.

The profits of these companies depend on ecocide. Do we allow them to hold the world to ransom, or do we acknowledge that the survival of the living world is more important than returns to their shareholders? At the moment, shareholder value comes first. And it will count for nothing when we have lost the living systems on which our survival depends.

To save ourselves and the rest of the living world, here’s what we need to do:

1 We need a global treaty to regulate pesticides, and put the manufacturers back in their box.

2 We need environmental impact assessments for the farming and fishing industries. It is amazing that, while these sectors present the greatest threats to the living world, they are, uniquely in many nations, not subject to such oversight.

3 We need firm rules based on the outcomes of these assessments, obliging those who use the land to protect and restore the ecosystems on which we all depend.

4 We need to reduce the amount of land used by farming, while sustaining the production of food. The most obvious way is greatly to reduce our use of livestock: many of the crops we grow and all of the grazing land we use are deployed to feed them. One study in Britain suggests that, if we stopped using animal products, everyone in Britain could be fed on just 3m of our 18.5m hectares of current farmland (or on 7m hectares if all our farming were organic). This would allow us to create huge wildlife and soil refuges: an investment against a terrifying future.

5 We should stop using land that should be growing food for people to grow maize for biogas and fuel for cars.

Read at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/oct/20/insectageddon-farming-catastrophe-climate-breakdown-insect-populations?CMP=share_btn_fb

Related: Warning Of 'Ecological Armageddon' After Dramatic Plunge In Insect Numbers