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This is the official website for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association established in 1873.


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


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, July 2, 2018. General Meeting: 7PM. Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM.  

Next LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
Sunday, June 17, 2018, 9AM-Noon at The Valley Hive. BEE SUITS REQUIRED!

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



What We Need: A Better Bee

By Kathy Keatley Garvey (Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World) May 25, 2012

Varroa mites, those pesky little parasites that suck the blood out of honey bees and spread multiple viruses, are now found throughout the world, except in Australia.

Scientists blame these parasites as one of the causes of colony collapse disorder (CCD), characterized by adult bees abandoning the hive and leaving behind the queen, brood and food stores. They attribute CCD to a multitude of factors, including pests,...

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Check out the marvelous inspirational article about Kathy Keatley Garvey in the June 2012 issue of the American Bee Journal. It features more beautiful bee photography by Kathy.

The lifespan of this mite-infested drone will be short. The brownish-orange" bumps" are varroa mites.

(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)








Close-up of varroa mites on drone pupa.

(Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)


Social Immunity of Bees

FOOD maven Lynne Rossetto Kasper, host of the American Public Media radio show The Splendid Tabletalked honey bees with entomologist Marla Spivek in a long segment for her May 12th show.

A honey bee (Apis mellifera) afflicted with Varroa destructor, a parasitic mite that sucks away its vital, blood-like hemolymph, often passing along viruses in the process, and leaving open wounds. The mite spreads by bee-to-bee contact, accelerated by yearly circuits of agricultural bee broods transported to pollinate almonds and blueberries and other crops. Varroa is a suspect in the still mysterious and ongoing bee disappearance known as colony collapse disorder. But mitocides are suspect as well. Credit, Stephen Ausmus, USDA.

Spivak takes her host outside the studio and into the apiary to look inside the secrets of the hive. Over a hum of wings, they talk about the daily activities of male drones, female worker bees, nurse bees, larvae, and the queen – laying her thousand eggs a day.

Spivak is a 2010 MacArthur Fellow and Distinguished McKnight Professor in Entomology at the University of Minnesota, where she runs her Bee Lab.

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Bee's Sex Drive Preserves Diversity: York University Study

Findings show declining bee populations not caused by loss of genetic diversity

TORONTO, May 8, 2012 – A new study by York University researchers debunks the myth that domestication has reduced genetic diversity in commercial honey bees and led to a decline in their numbers.

Previous studies of commercial honey bees have suggested that, as with other livestock, their populations are characterized by low genetic diversity due to domestication. This apparent loss of diversity has been fingered as a cause for declining numbers of bees in North America and Europe, in what scientists have dubbed “Colony Collapse Disorder.”

“This decline in population is of major concern because bees pollinate up to two-thirds of everything we eat, generating roughly $1 billion in Canada annually,” says principal investigator Amro Zayed, assistant professor in York’s Department of Biology, Faculty of Science & Engineering.

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The process of domestication often brings about profound changes in levels of genetic variation in animals and plants. The honey bee,Apis mellifera, has been managed by humans for centuries for both honey and wax production and crop pollination. Human management and selective breeding are believed to have caused reductions in genetic diversity in honey bee populations, thereby contributing to the global declines threatening this ecologically and economically important insect. However, previous studies supporting this claim mostly relied on population genetic comparisons of European and African (or Africanized) honey bee races; such conclusions require reassessment given recent evidence demonstrating that the honey bee originated in Africa and colonized Europe via two independent expansions. We sampled honey bee workers from two managed populations in North America and Europe as well as several old-world progenitor populations in Africa, East and West Europe. Managed bees had highly introgressed genomes representing admixture between East and West European progenitor populations. We found that managed honey bees actually have higher levels of genetic diversity compared with their progenitors in East and West Europe, providing an unusual example whereby human management increases genetic diversity by promoting admixture. The relationship between genetic diversity and honey bee declines is tenuous given that managed bees have more genetic diversity than their progenitors and many viable domesticated animals.


Why do Promiscuous Queens Produce Healthier Honey Bee Colonies?

(Wellesley College) May 12, 2012

Study reveals surprising cluesHoney bee ecologist Dr. Heather Mattila, sheds light on the link between genetic diversity and healthier bee colonies.

WELLESLEY, Mass. -- A new study out of Wellesley College sheds light on the link between genetic diversity and healthier bee colonies—by revealing the makeup of the microscopic life found inside the guts, on the bodies, and in the food of these insects. For the first time, scientists discovered that genetically diverse populations of worker bees, a result of the highly promiscuous mating behavior of queens, benefited from diverse symbiotic microbial communities, reduced loads of bacteria from pathogenic groups, and more bacteria related to helpful probiotic species—famous for their use by humans to ferment food. The novel study provides the first major insight into how honey bee colony health could be improved by diversity.

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The Lavender Blossom Special

By Kathy Keatley Garvey (Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World) May 25, 2012

If you want to take photos of honey bees in flight, do so early in the morning. They don't move as fast and the lighting is to die for.

This morning we stepped out in our yard, steaming coffee in hand, and watched the honey bees foraging among the lavender blossoms. Against the backdrop of red pomegranate blossoms and spring green leaves, they crawled up and down the lavender and then took off for the next blossom.

So smoothly. So effortlessly. So tirelessly.

You don't always have to stop the action with a flash. We took this with a Nikon D700 with a 105mm macro lens. No flash.  We set the aperture (f-stop) at 8, the shutter speed at 1/800th of a second, and the ISO at 800.

The blurring of the wings added to the feeling of speed.

Indeed, the honey bees seem a little more frantic now as they rush to bring back nectar, pollen, propolis and water to the hive.  With the queen bee laying about 2000 eggs a day now, everyone has to pitch in.

Just call this "The Lavender Blossom Special." 

Photo by: Kathy Keatley Garvey

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