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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.

Bare Bees:
Bill's Bees
Holly Hawk 626-807-0572
The Valley Hive 

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, May 7, 2018. General Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM.  

Next LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
Sunday, April 15, 2018, 9AM-Noon at The Valley Hive.

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



Bees For Sale

Order your bees now from LACBA members (check with the individual beekeepers for pricing, products, and availability):

Bare Bees Honey: email:

Bill's Bees:

Holly Hawk: 626-807-0572

The Valley Hive:


Using Science to Design a Bee Garden: Color and What Bees See

The Bee Gardener    By Christine Casey    March 26, 2018

Bee gardening news and education from the UC Davis Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven

Spring is here, and planting is underway in bee gardens throughout California. And planting, especially if you're creating a new garden, means you are thinking about design. In this series of posts I will cover various aspects of garden design -- such as color, texture, shape, and size -- from the perspective of what bees need. Based on research, this information should provide a solid foundation for a successful bee garden.

This post will focus on color. An understanding of color theory is helpful in creating an aesthetically pleasing garden for us, but color is also relevant for bees. All color wheel screen shots shown here are from the Adobe web page

1. Complementary colors. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel are complementary; this is one of the easiest ways to select colors. Using opposite colors together makes each color appear more vibrant.

Complementary colors are those that are opposite each other on the color wheel.

Red and green are complementary colors. Note how the red flowers are accentuated against the green of the foliage in this photo of 'Royal Bumble' sage.

Purple and yellow are excellent complementary colors for a bee garden

2. Analogous colors. Colors adjacent to each other on the color wheel are analogous; using these colors can be a bit trickier, especially with hot colors like oranges and reds. One way to combine these effectively is to mix in white, as is done here with white gaura in this planting of the analogous colors pink (echinacea) and purple (tall verbena).

Analogous colors are those that are next to each other on the color wheel

Analogous colors can be softened with white flowers

3. Shades of one color. This is the easiest combination to pull off. Cool colors (blues and purples) tend to create a calming effect and make the garden appear larger, while warm colors (reds and yellows) create energy and make the garden appear smaller. Here is an example of shades of a cool color (purple) used in the Haven: 

Shades of one color can also create an effective garden color scheme

Shades of purple in the Honey Bee Haven

So how do we meld this with bee biology? Here are some pointers:

1. Bees see color differently than we do. They don't see red at all, and see purple very well....there's a reason we have so many purple flowers in the Haven. Here's an example: the first photo shows a flannel bush flower in daylight, while the second shows it under ultraviolet (UV) light, which is the light spectrum where bees see. The 'invisible' nectar (to us) is a bright blue beacon to bees under UV light.

Flannel bush flower as we see it

Flannel bush flower as bees see it

But, you might be thinking, I see bees on red flowers all the time! Well bees can use more than color to find a flower, which brings us to scent....I'll discuss this in a future post. 

2. Does color pattern in the garden matter to bees? One study (Proc. R. Soc. London B. 2003. 270: 569-575) found that honey bee foraging distance was longer in simple landscapes; this makes sense because honey bees do best with a varied diet and need to travel further to find a mix of flowers in a simple landscape. Conversely, waggle dance activity was greater in complex landscapes because the patches of plants were more variable -- high quality and low quality plants were mixed together. So it's also important to ensure a good mix of high-quality bee plants in appropriately-sized patches.

3. Another aspect of flower color often not considered is patterns on the flowers themselves. Called nectar guides, these serve to guide bees into the nectary. Of course they pick up and deposit pollen as they do this, thereby pollinating the flower.

Spotted nectar guides in the center of Texas ranger flowers

For lots more detail about how bees see, check out this article. My next post will cover shape, size, scent, and texture. I'll finish with suggested plant lists and planting plans. Here's to your successful bee garden!


Woman Reportedly Dies After Live Bee Sting Acupuncture

Huffington Post     By Mary Papenfuss    March 23, 2018 

She suffered a severe allergic reaction, slipped into a coma and died from multi-organ failure.

A woman in Spain has reportedly died after being stung by a bee during an unusual kind of acupuncture treatment. 

Apitherapy, or “bee therapy,” is an alternative medicine practice that uses products made by honeybees, including bee venom, to treat ailments from arthritis to burns to muscle aches. It’s been touted as a beauty regimen by actress Gwyneth Paltrow and holistic health practitioners, but research has shown there can be health risks in using this type of treatment.

One type of apitherapy ― live bee acupuncture ― was administered to a 55-year-old woman as a treatment for stress and muscle contractions. The procedure involved placing live bees on the patient’s body so could be stung and injected with bee venom.

The woman was treated with live bee stings on a monthly basis for two years and suffered no ill effects, researchers wrote in a case study published in the Journal of Investigational Allergology and Clinical Immunology. However, during her last treatment, she suffered a severe allergic reaction, slipped into a coma and died from multiple organ failure several weeks later.

Previous tolerance to bee stings does not mean later stings carry no risk. In fact, the researchers noted that “repeated exposure to the allergen was found to carry a greater risk of severe allergic reactions.”

The study’s authors said they believe this was the first reported case of death by bee venom apitherapy “due to complications of severe anaphylaxis.” The study did not provide a date for the woman’s death.

A 2015 study of apitherapy published in PLoS One found that nearly 30 percent of patients experienced some kind of negative reaction. Researchers issued warnings against the treatment and suggested better training for practitioners and better emergency care.

“The risks of undergoing apitherapy may exceed the presumed benefits, leading us to conclude that this practice is both unsafe and unadvisable,” the authors stated.

In 2016, Paltrow told The New York Times that she found live bee acupuncture “pretty incredible,” adding: “But man it’s painful.”

Last year, actor Gerard Butler revealed that he went into anaphylactic shock after being injected with the venom of 23 bees during treatment for muscle problems. His apitherapy didn’t involve the use of live bees.

Practitioner's Corner:

The American Apitherapy Society's Response to BVT Incident in Spain on their Facebook page:

"The AAS is sorry to hear about this unfortunate incident. We recognize that we do not have a complete picture based on the information included in the article but it appears that several aspects are problematic ....


1. Initial reactions to bee venom therapy can occur, and that’s why it's imperative to properly screen patients and ensure they are following recommendations. 
2. Have rescue equipment and an emergency plan in place. Ideally train the provider.
3. One death out of thousands of treatments is very low risk as compared to many standard medical procedures, and far safer statistically than reactions to medication. This particular incident is only one of 2-3 reported in the last decade. 
4. The AAS seeks to promote safe implementation through knowledge and education.

Keep in mind that Apitherapy is defined as the therapeutic use of ALL beehive products to include raw honey, pollen, propolis, royal jelly, beeswax and lastly bee venom. Apitherapy has been effectively and safely used for centuries across the globe.

Best Regards,

Frederique Keller L.Ac
President, American Apitherapy Society Inc."


Wildflower Garden Mega Time Lapse - 9 Full Months

The Pollinator Partnership  Jim Burnham published to YouTube March 17, 2018

Jim Burnham created this nine-month time lapse of a huge wildflower garden in Washington, IL. It is a designated Monarch Waystation and part of the Illinois Buffer partnership to improve pollinator habitat. Check out the Pollinator Partnership quotes at the end! Nine months and 148,000 plus photos compressed into a spectacular time lapse showing a wildflower garden from early Spring to Winter.  (Original music composition "Spring" by Simeon Amburgey)


How Bees Defend Against Some Controversial Insecticides     By Dan Garisto    March 22, 2018

Researchers have discovered enzymes that can help resist some neonicotinoids

WHAT’S THE BUZZ Honeybees (shown) and bumblebees can resist a type of neonicotinoid insecticide thanks to a family of enzymes that metabolize toxic compounds.

Honeybees and bumblebees have a way to resist toxic compounds in some widely used insecticides.

These bees make enzymes that help the insects break down a type of neonicotinoid called thiacloprid, scientists report March 22 in Current Biology. Neonicotinoids have been linked to negative effects on bee health, such as difficulty reproducing in honeybees (SN: 7/26/16, p 16). But bees respond to different types of the insecticides in various ways. This finding could help scientists design versions of neonicotinoids that are less harmful to bees, the researchers say.

Such work could have broad ramifications, says study coauthor Chris Bass, an applied entomologist at the University of Exeter in England. “Bees are hugely important to the pollination of crops and wild flowers and biodiversity in general.”

Neonicotinoids are typically coated on seeds such as corn and sometimes sprayed on crops to protect the plants from insect pests. The chemicals are effective, but their use has been suspected to be involved in worrisome declines in numbers of wild pollinators (SN Online: 4/5/12).  

Maj Rundlöf, of Lund University in Sweden, helped raise the alarm about the insecticides. In 2015, she reported that neonicotinoid-treated crops reduced the populations of bees that fed from the plants. Rundlöf, who was not involved with the new study, says the new research is important because it clarifies differences between the insecticides. “All neonicotinoids are not the same,” she says. “It’s a bit unrealistic to damn a whole group of pesticides.”

Bass and his colleagues, which include scientists from Bayer, one of the main producers of neonicotinoids, investigated resistance to thiacloprid by looking at bees’ defense systems. The team focused on enzymes known as P450s, which can metabolize toxic chemicals, breaking them down before they affect the bee nervous system. The researchers used drugs to inhibit groups of P450 enzymes. When the family enzymes called CYP9Q was inhibited, bees became 170 times as sensitive to thiacloprid, dying from a much smaller dose, the researchers found. Discovering the enzymes’ protective power could lead to more effective ways to simultaneously avoid harming bees and help crops.

“We live in an era that uses pesticides,” Rundlöf says. “We need to figure out the ones that are safest.”

C. Manjon et al. Unravelling the molecular determinants of bee sensitivity to neonicotinoid insecticides. Current Biology. Published online March 22, 2018. doi:10.1016/j.cub.2018.02.045.

Further Reading:
L. Hamers. Much of the world’s honey now contains bee-harming pesticides. Science News. Vol. 192, October 28, 2017, p. 16.

S. Milius. Neonicotinoids are partial contraceptives for male honeybees. Science News. Vol. 190, August 20, 2016, p. 16.

S. Milius. Bees may like neonicotinoids, but some may be harmed. Science News. Vol. 187, May 16, 2015, p. 13.

J. Raloff. Yet another study links insecticide to bee losses. Science News Online, April 5, 2012.