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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.


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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, November 6, 2017. Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM.

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: 



Red Alert!

By Kathy Keatley Garvey (Bug Squad-Happenings in the insect world) May 14, 2012

Our yard is filled with such bee friendly plants as salvia, lavender, catmint and rock purslane. 

Lately, however, the honey bees have taken a liking to the sugar-water mixture from our hummingbird feeder. Manufacturers' bee guards are meant to deter them but frankly, we rather like attracting both the hummers and the buzzers.

"The bees are hungry," said bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey of the University of California, Davis and Washington State University.

We like watching the honey bees gather at the "red fountain" as the sun sets. They buzz excitedly around the feeder, sip what they think is a nectar of the gods, and head back to their hive. Soon more of their sisters arrive to partake.

So, will the honey bees make red honey from the sugar-water mixture in the hummingbird feeder? No. The honeycomb will be tinted red, but it's not honey, said Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology. It's syrup. Sugar syrup.

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Scientists Discover First Ever Record of Insect Pollination From 100 Million Years Ago

American Bee Journal (May 15, 2012) Science Daily (May 14, 2012) 

Amber from Cretaceous deposits (110-105 my) in Northern Spain has revealed the first ever record of insect pollination. Scientists have discovered in two pieces of amber several specimens of tiny insects covered with pollen grains, revealing the first record of pollen transport and social behavior in this group of animals. The results are published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(PNAS) dated 14-18 May 2012.

The international team of scientists comprises: Enrique Peñalver and Eduardo Barrón from the Instituto Geológico y Minero de España in Madrid; Xavier Delclòs from the University of Barcelona; Andre and Patricia Nel from the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle in Paris; Conrad Labandeira from the Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC; and Carmen Soriano and Paul Tafforeau from the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. The amber samples were from the collection of the Museo de Ciencias Naturales de Álava (Spain).

Today, more than 80% of plant species rely on insects to transport pollen from male to female flower parts. Pollination is best known in flowering plants but also exists in so-called gymnosperms, seed-producing plants like conifers. Although the most popular group of pollinator insects are bees and butterflies, a myriad of lesser-known species of flies, beetles or thrips have co-evolved with plants, transporting pollen and in return for this effort being rewarded with food.
During the last 20 years, amber from the Lower Cretaceous (110-105 my) found in the Basque country in Northern Spain has revealed many new plant and animal species, mainly insects. Here, the amber featured inclusions of thysanopterans, so-called thrips, a group of minute insects of less than 2 mm in length that feed on pollen and other plant tissues. They are efficient pollinators for several species of flowering plants.
Two amber pieces revealed six fossilized specimens of female thrips with hundreds of pollen grains attached to their bodies. These insects exhibit highly specialized hairs with a ringed structure to increase their ability to collect pollen grains, very similar to the ones of well known pollinators like domestic bees. The scientists describe these six specimens in a new genus (Gymnopollisthrips) comprising two new species, G. minor and G. major.
The most representative specimen was also studied with synchrotron X-ray tomography at the ESRF to reveal in three dimensions and at very high resolution the pollen grain distribution over the insect's body.

The pollen grains are very small and exhibit the adherent features needed so that insects can transport them. The scientists conclude that this pollen is from a kind of cycad or ginkgo tree, a kind of living fossil of which only a few species are known to science. Ginkgos trees are either male or female, and male trees produce small pollen cones whereas female trees bear ovules at the end of stalks which develop into seeds after pollination.

For which evolutionary reason did these tiny insects, 100 million years ago, collect and transport Gingko pollen? Their ringed hairs cannot have grown due to an evolutionary selection benefitting the trees. The benefit for the thrips can only be explained by the possibility to feed their larvae with pollen. This suggests that this species formed colonies with larvae living in the ovules of some kind of gingko for shelter and protection, and female insects transporting pollen from the male Gingko cones to the female ovules to feed the larvae and at the same time pollinate the trees.

Only amber can preserve behavioral features like pollination in such rich detail over millions of years. 100 million years ago, flowering plants started to diversify enormously, eventually replacing conifers as the dominant species. "This is the oldest direct evidence for pollination, and the only one from the age of the dinosaurs. The co-evolution of flowering plants and insects, thanks to pollination, is a great evolutionary success story. It began about 100 million years ago, when this piece of amber fossil was produced by resin dropping from a tree, which today is the oldest fossil record of pollinating insects. Thrips might indeed turn out to be one of the first pollinator groups in geological history, long before evolution turned some of them into flower pollinators", concludes Carmen Soriano, who led the investigation of the amber pieces with X-ray tomography at the ESRF.

Source: ESRF

Printed in: Science Daily

The above article is brought to us by the American Bee Journal.
 Click here  to see a digital sample of the American Bee Journal.
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Honey Hunters of Nepal

For those moments when you think beekeeping is just too tough!

By Eric Valli

High in Himalayn foothills, fearless Gurung men risk their lives to harvest the massive nests of the world's largest honeybee.





Corn Planting Drift is Killing Honey Bees. You Can Help. Here's How!

The number of beekills this spring due to poisoning by pesticides has skyrocketed. In Ohio just this spring we have seen more beekills than I can remember total in the past 25 years combined. Reports from many, many states have been coming into this office in the past couple of weeks. At first they seemed isolated and unsupported. Beekeepers are wary of reporting incidents, and seldom sure of how to proceed or what to do.

The incidents this spring are not the symptoms reported commonly as Colony Collapse Disorder, where bees disappear and a beekeeper returns to what had been a strong healthy hive only weeks before and what’s left is simply lots of brood, a handful of young bees and a queen…if anybody is home at all.

No, the incidents this spring are different…they harken back to the days of massive beekills, when plants in bloom were sprayed on a routine basis, when beekeepers would find entire apiaries wiped out, with pounds and pounds of dead bees, twisting, writhing and dying in front of their hives. Piles of dead, stinking bees were common then, but with the advent of more restrictive regulations and safer-to-use pesticides, much, but not all, of that death-by-pesticide era has gone away.

Until now. This spring the ugly past has returned. We were warned though. Purdue researchers saw this problem last year and brought it to everybody’s attention. Then they looked deeper and further and saw that it wasn’t just a flook, an accident, an anomaly, but rather it has turned into an epidemic. And they brought that to our attention too.

Simply, pesticides, those troublesome neonicotinoids, are applied to corn seeds before they are planted so when the corn begins to grow the pesticide on the seed is absorbed by the new roots and fills the plant with poison for the rest of its life. But the stuff is sticky and doesn’t come out of the planters very well so farmers supply a slippery additive in the form of talcum powder to make those seeds, in airblast seed planters, simply fly right out of the drop chute and into the ground. But there’s the rub. That airblast planter is blowing all that talcum powder and loose pesticide dust everywhere…up into the air to travel where ever something as light weight as talcum powder can travel…feet and yards and yards certainly, maybe miles…nobody knows.

But birds are dying. Robins and crows. And one observer says that wildlife eating the seeds are dying…three seeds will kill a quail is what I’m hearing, but I don’t know for sure. I wouldn’t be surprised. But for beekeepers, what’s happening is that this poisonous dust is landing on everything downwind…dandelions, flowers, water surfaces, everywhere a honey bee can go, that’s where this stuff is landing.

How much of it is going airborne? I don’t have a clue, but every seed is coated with it, and you know how big corn seeds are and there are about 30,000 seeds planted in an acre…and there are, this year, 96,000,000 acres of corn planted in the U. S. And what I read is, is that almost all of those seeds are coated with something that protects the plants. Know how big 96,000,000 acres is….? It’s all of North Dakota and South Dakota, combined. All of that.

But of course all those acres are spread out all over the place. There are few places in this country that are not within drift distance from these airborne poisons. Very, very few. For instance…North Dakota plans on 3.4 million acres of corn this year…that’s 5% of the entire state. And recall, North Dakota is the biggest honey producer in the U. S. I’m thinking there’s no place to hide in that large, very flat state.

If you experience a beekill in your apiary this spring DO NOT simply shrug your shoulders and feel there’s nothing to be done. There is something to be done.

First, take pictures…with today’s newspaper showing so you have a date. Get a witness in the photo so you have someone else to verify your incident. Video a person collecting samples and filling to half a plastic bag and sealing the bag. Freeze the sample as soon as possible. Call you state apiary inspector and report the incident. If your state has a pesticide incident reporting system in place, report it there, too. And tell the feds. There’s two places to go. First, do a direct to EPA email. They have a system in place to document these when reported. The email is

Tell them what, where and when you found the incident, attach a couple of photos of the scene, record the number of hives affected, the date the incident occurred and any other pertinent data you can include. Tell them you have taken samples, and that you have reported it to your state authorities. And tell them you want something done!

When you finish that, go to this web site

the National Pesticide Information Center’s page to report a pesticide incident. And do it again.

And then, one more thing.

Send this information to your local beekeeping group, and to your state beekeeping association and tell them to put it on their web page, to send out emails, to put it in newsletters, to get every beekeeper in this country up to speed on what is killing our honey bees (heck, send it to every beekeeper you know and tell them to do the same thing. Let EVERY BEEKEEPER EVERYWHERE KNOW!). This is something YOU CAN DO, whether you never, ever have a problem or not. Help protect honey bees, and beekeepers from this, and any other Pesticide Incident.

This ezine is also available online at

(The above brought to you by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.) 


Bees Need More Forage, Everybody Needs More Bees

From CATCH THE BUZZ by Kim Flottum (Bee Culture Magazine) 5/7/12

California is the first to ask, but beekeepers everywhere should be doing the same thing. But if you are from California, or, more likely, take bees to California for pollination, or even more likely, buy bees from California Queen and Package producers, then the outcome of this appeal will affect what you do there directly and immediately. If you're not from California, or don't partake of their bees, queens or pollination contracts, it’ll take awhile longer to get to your place. But it will.

May 8, 2012

Val Dolcini, State Executive Director
California Farm Service Agency
430 G Street, Suite 4161
Davis, CA 95616-4161

Re: Request for Assistance re Larger Scale Forage Needs of Managed Honey Bees in California

Dear Mr. Dolcini:

The undersigned organizations request your assistance in helping beekeepers gain access to high quality, safe forage at the larger scale needed for honey bees on both ag and public lands in California.

Honey bees and beekeepers remain clearly in trouble, jeopardizing the continued viability of commercial pollination industry and predictable and affordable pollination services provided to agricultural producers. Natural forage and nutrition are essential to good honey bee health, and a key part of the beekeeping industry’s efforts lies in access to high quality and safe forage at the larger scale needed for honey bees.

Unfortunately, beekeepers are actually losing access to traditional sources of safe forage due to a number of factors, including barriers to beekeeper access to safe forage on public lands. The forage value of traditional cropland and adjacent strips of land is diminished due to monoculture practices and pesticide use. Larger scale landscape plantings, such as on CRP and rotational and cover crops, are needed to meet the nutritional needs of managed honey bee colonies.

The greatest need for ag pollination services and a clearly documented forage deficit for honey bees are in California. We appreciate actions the Farm Service Agency (FSA) has already taken at the national level to implement the pollinator conservation provisions of the 2008 farm bill, specifically by including bonus eligibility points to encourage CRP applicants to commit to planting at least 10 percent of acreage as pollinator habitat. However, we believe practical steps can be taken to create 30 million acres of quality, safe forage at the larger scale needed by honey bees—100% of CRP acreage, not 10%.

For agricultural lands, California FSA can—

1. Establish the goal of making 100 percent of Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) acres in California high quality, safe forage for honey bees.

2. Establish affordable and appropriate planting mix recommendations on CRP lands for larger scale plantings for honey bee forage.

3. Educate California FSA staff about the larger scale forage needs of honey bees, and appropriate, affordable planting mixes for pollinator forage.

4. Encourage FSA at the national level to enhance CRP eligibility criteria to encourage agricultural producers to include bee-beneficial seed mixes to create diverse forage at the larger scale needed by honey bees.

5. Task California FSA staff with making agricultural producers aware of larger scale honey bee forage needs and appropriate, affordable planting mixes and to encourage them to plant CRP lands with bee pasture. Much of the CRP acreage is already planted with quality bee forage.

6. Encourage farmers and ranchers to put out the welcome mat for beekeepers on CRP lands.

For public lands, your personal leadership would be invaluable in helping to engage public land managers to encourage and facilitate improved access to public lands for beekeepers and their bees.

We would be pleased to meet with you when our leadership is in Sacramento to discuss how we can collaborate in addressing this important natural resource need.

Please contact Kathy Kellison at (707) 321-4711 or, who will facilitate scheduling at our end.

Thank you for your consideration.


Bryan Ashurst, President, California State Beekeepers Association (CSBA)
Paul Wenger, President, California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF)
Christi Heintz, Executive Director, Project Apis m.
George Hansen, President, American Beekeeping Federation (ABF) 
Mark Jensen, American Honey Producers Association (AHPA)
Kathy Kellison, Executive Director, Partners for Sustainable Pollination (PFSP)

This ezine is also available online at

(The above brought to you by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.)