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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, February 5, 2018. General Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM.  

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
3rd Sunday of the month beginning February 18, 2018, 9AM-Noon.

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:  

Thursday
Mar292012

Pesticides Suspected in Mass Die-Off of Bees

By Eryn Brown (Los Angeles Times) 3/29/12

Two studies show that a class of chemicals known as neonicotinoids created disorientation among bees and caused colonies to lose weight, which may have contributed to a mysterious die-off.

Scientists have identified a new suspect in the mysterious die-off of bees in recent years — a class of pesticides that appear to be lethal in indirect ways.

The chemicals, known as neonicotinoids, are designed to target a variety of sucking and chewing insects, including aphids and beetles. Bees are known to ingest the poison when they eat the pollen and nectar of treated plants, though in doses so tiny that it was not seen as a threat.

But two reports published online Thursday by the journal Science indicate that the pesticides are not altogether benign. One study found that bumblebee colonies exposed to amounts of the insecticide similar to what they'd encounter in the wild gained less total weight than colonies that weren't exposed. Another study used miniature radio frequency chips to track honeybees and found that the pesticide impaired their ability to navigate back to the hive after a feeding expedition.

"If it's blundering around and can't return to the hive ... the bee might as well be dead," said Christian Krupke, an entomologist at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., who was not involved in either study.

Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/science/la-sci-bees-pesticides-20120330,0,4969345.story?track=lat-email-scienceandenvironment-March302012

Thursday
Mar292012

Neonicotinoid Pesticides - Sublethal Doses Studied

By Alan Harman  3/29/12

Two new studies reveal the multiple ways that a widely used insecticide harms bumblebees and honeybees.

The reports, one by a UK team and the other by a French team, appear online at the Science Express Web site of the journal Science, published by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Both of the Science studies looked at the effects of neonicotinoid insecticides, which were introduced in the early 1990s and have now become one of the most widely used crop pesticides in the world. These compounds act on the insect’s central nervous system, and they spread to the nectar and pollen of flowering crops.

In one study, Penelope Whitehorn of the University of Stirling in Stirling, UK and colleagues exposed developing colonies of bumblebees, Bombus terrestris, to low levels of a neonicotinoid called imidacloprid.

The doses were comparable to what the bees are often exposed to in the wild.

The researchers then placed the colonies in an enclosed field site where the bees could forage under natural conditions for six weeks.

At the beginning and end of the experiment, the researchers weighed each of the bumblebee nests – which included the bees, wax, honey, bee grubs and pollen – to determine how much the colony had grown.

Compared to control colonies that had not been exposed to imidacloprid, the treated colonies gained less weight, suggesting less food was coming in. The treated colonies were on average 8% to 12% smaller than the control colonies at the end of the experiment.

The treated colonies also produced about 85% fewer queens.

Dave Goulson of the University of Stirling and co-author of the UK study, says this last finding is particularly important because queen production translates directly to the establishment of new nests following the winter die-off – 85% fewer queens could mean 85% fewer nests in the coming year.

"Bumblebees pollinate many of our crops and wild flowers,” Goulson says. “The use of neonicotinoid pesticides on flowering crops clearly poses a threat to their health, and urgently needs to be re-evaluated.”

In the second report, the French team found that exposure to another neonicotinoid pesticide impairs honey bees’ homing abilities, causing many of the bees to die.

Mickaël Henry of the French National Institute for Agricultural Research (INRA) in Avignon, France and colleagues tagged free-ranging honeybees with tiny radio-frequency identification, or “RFID,” microchips that were glued to each bee’s thorax.

The devices allowed the researchers to track the bees as they came and went from their hives. The researchers then gave some of the bees a sub-lethal dose of the pesticide thiamethoxam.

Compared to control bees that were not exposed to the pesticide, the treated bees were about two to three times more likely to die while away from their nests. These deaths probably occurred because the pesticide interfered with the bees’ homing systems, the researchers propose.

In the second part of their study, the French team used data from the tracking experiment to develop a mathematical model that simulated honeybee population dynamics.

When the mortality caused by the homing failure was incorporated into the simulations, the model predicted that honeybee populations exposed to this pesticide should drop to a point from which it would be difficult to recover.

The researchers say that even though manufacturers are required to ensure their pesticide doses remain below lethal levels for honeybees, the studies used to determine this lethality level have probably underestimated the ways that pesticides can kill bees indirectly, for example by interfering with their homing systems.

“Our study raises important issues regarding pesticide authorization procedures,” Henry says.

“So far, they mostly require manufacturers to ensure that doses encountered on the field do not kill bees, but they basically ignore the consequences of doses that do not kill them but may cause behavioral difficulties.” http://home.ezezine.com/1636/1636-2012.03.29.14.01.archive.html

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

Monday
Mar122012

The Secret Life of Bees

By Carl Zimmer (Smithsonian Magazine) March 2012        

The world's leading expert on bee behavior discovers the secrets of decision-making in a swarm.

On the front porch of an old Coast Guard station on Appledore Island, seven miles off the southern coast of Maine, Thomas Seeley and I sat next to 6,000 quietly buzzing bees. Seeley wore a giant pair of silver headphones over a beige baseball cap, a wild fringe of hair blowing out the back; next to him was a video camera mounted on a tripod. In his right hand, Seeley held a branch with a lapel microphone taped to the end. He was recording the honeybee swarm huddling inches away on a board nailed to the top of a post.

Seeley, a biologist from Cornell University, had cut a notch out of the center of the board and inserted a tiny screened box called a queen cage. It housed a single honeybee queen, along with a few attendants. Her royal scent acted like a magnet on the swarm.

If I had come across this swarm spread across my back door, I would have panicked. But here, sitting next to Seeley, I felt a strange calm. The insects thrummed with their own business. They flew past our faces. They got caught in our hair, pulled themselves free and kept flying. They didn’t even mind when Seeley gently swept away the top layer of bees to inspect the ones underneath. 

He softly recited a poem by William Butler Yeats:

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, 
And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made:
Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
And live alone in the bee-loud glade.


A walkie-talkie on the porch rail chirped.

“Pink bee headed your way,” said Kirk Visscher, an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside. Seeley, his gaze fixed on the swarm, found the walkie-talkie with his left hand and brought it to his mouth.

“We wait with bated breath,” he said. Read more: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/The-Secret-Life-of-Bees.html#ixzz1utedMyKa

Photo by Peter Essick/Aurora Photos

 

Monday
Mar122012

The National Academies of Science

From LACBA Secretary, Stacy McKenna & thanks to LACBA Member, Juan Vicente for the link!!!

The National Academies of Science make their publications available (many free f!)or PDF download) at http://www.nap.edu/topics.php- a quick search for "honey bee" will turn up a fascinating area of studies in various categories. Clicking through to the individual titles will also sometimes include links to related podcasts/recordings. (Searching just for BEE will include a variety of energy related topics thanks to the Board on Energy and Environmental Systems). In addition to the books listed on the left, the "National Academies Search Results" box on the right will link to pertinent blog articles, legislation/testimony, etc. Take a look to see what kinds of research your tax dollars are helping fund - they're making it accessible.

Tuesday
Feb142012

In Midwest, Monarch Butterflies May Be Fewer

By Andrew Pollace (New York Times/Science) 7/11/11

As recently as a decade ago, farms in the Midwest were commonly marred — at least as a farmer would view it — by unruly patches of milkweed amid the neat rows of emerging corn or soybeans.

Not anymore. Fields are now planted with genetically modified corn and soybeans resistant to the herbicide Roundup, allowing farmers to spray the chemical to eradicate weeds, including milkweed.

And while that sounds like good news for the farmers, a growing number of scientists fear it is imperiling the monarch butterfly, whose spectacular migrations make it one of the most beloved of insects — “the Bambi of the insect world,” as an entomologist once put it.

Monarchs lay their eggs on milkweed, and their larvae eat it. While the evidence is still preliminary and disputed, experts like Chip Taylor say the growing use of genetically modified crops is threatening the orange-and-black butterfly by depriving it of habitat.

Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/12/science/12butterfly.html?_r=2