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



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 5, 2018. General Meeting: 7PM. Open Committee Meeting: 6:30PM.   
Next LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
Sunday, October 21, 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:




By Kathy Keatley Garvey (Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World) May 29, 2012

Ever seen honey bees engaging in washboarding? 

It's a behavior so named because they look as if they're scrubbing clothes on a washboard or scrubbing their home.

It occurs near the entrance of the hive and only with worker bees. They go back and forth, back and forth, a kind of rocking movement. No one knows why they do it. It's one of those unexplained behaviors they've probably been doing for millions of years.

Bee breeder-geneticist Susan Cobey of the University of California, Davis and Washington State University, has witnessed washboarding scores of times. Last week the unusual behavior occurred on two of her hives at the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility at UC Davis. She hypothesizes that these bees are in the "unemployment line." It's a time when foraging isn't so good, so these bees are "sweeping the porch" for something to do, she speculates.

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Visit the Kathy Keatley Garvey website at:

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 Keatley Garvey and a walk in her garden.



By Tammy Horn (NY Times) May 29, 2012

Long known as the angels of agriculture, honey bees have received global attention due to losses attributed to a combination of factors: Colony Collapse Disorder, mites, deforestation and industrial agriculture. Honey bees provide pollination for crops, orchards and flowers; honey and wax for cosmetics, food and medicinal-religious objects; and inspiration to artists, architects and scientists.

While there are thousands of insects in the Hymenoptera order (for example, wasps, flies and ants), honey bees are the only living members of the tribe Apini, within the family Apidae. The one genus of honey bee Apis can be divided into three branches based on how honey bees nest: the giant open-nesting honey bees Apis dorsataand Apis laboriosa; the dwarf, single-combed honey bees Apis floraeand Apis andreniformis; and the cavity-nesting honey bees Apis ceranaApis koschevnikoviApis nuluensisApis nigrocincta, and Apis mellifera. These nine species thrive in environmental extremes like deserts, rain forests and tundra, but most people only know Apis mellifera, the agricultural darling.

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Photo: Ann Johanssen (NY Times)


Groundwater Depletion in Semiarid Regions of Texas & California Threaten US Food Security

(The following brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum)

The nation's food supply may be vulnerable to rapid groundwater depletion from irrigated agriculture, according to a new study by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and elsewhere.

The study, which appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, paints the highest resolution picture yet of how groundwater depletion varies across space and time in California's Central Valley and the High Plains of the central U.S. Researchers hope this information will enable more sustainable use of water in these areas, although they think irrigated agriculture may be unsustainable in some parts.

"We're already seeing changes in both areas," said Bridget Scanlon, senior research scientist at The University of Texas at Austin's Bureau of Economic Geology and lead author of the study. "We're seeing decreases in rural populations in the High Plains. Increasing urbanization is replacing farms in the Central Valley. And during droughts some farmers are forced to fallow their land. These trends will only accelerate as water scarcity issues become more severe."

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In British Columbia it's the "Day of the Honey Bee" 

(A bit of news from Beekeeping Around the World. In British Columbia it's the "Day of the Honey Bee".)

The Day of the Honey Bee is becoming a national day of celebration of the value of honey bees to pollination and food production. Many beekeepers, clubs, farmers markets and retail honey outlets are hosting special events, putting up displays and presenting information and activities that help to educate the public about bee-haviour and bee-friendly gardening and agricultural practices.

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How Hidden Flower Feature are Crucial for Bees

(The following brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) More to a Flower Than You Thought!)

As gardeners get busy filling tubs and borders with colourful bedding plants, scientists at the Universities of Cambridge and Bristol have discovered more about what makes flowers attractive to bees rather than humans. Published today in the British Ecological Society's journal Functional Ecology, their research reveals that Velcro-like cells on plant petals play a crucial role in helping bees grip flowers – especially when the wind gets up.

The study focuses on special cells found on the surface of petals, whose stunning structure is best seen under an electron microscope. According to lead author, Dr Beverley Glover: "Many of our common garden flowers have beautiful conical cells if you look closely – roses have rounded conical petal cells while petunias have really long cells, giving petunia flowers an almost velvety appearance, particularly visible in the dark-coloured varieties."

Glover's group previously discovered that when offered snapdragons with conical cells and a mutant variety without these cells, bees prefer the former because the conical cells help them grip the flower. "It's a bit like Velcro, with the bee claws locking into the gaps between the cells," she explains.

Compared with many garden flowers, however, snapdragons have very complicated flowers; bees have to land on a vertical face and pull open a heavy lip to reach the nectar so Glover was not surprised that grip helps. But she wanted to discover how conical cells help bees visiting much simpler flowers.

"Many of our garden flowers like petunias, roses and poppies are very simple saucers with nectar in the bottom, so we wanted to find out why having conical cells to provide grip would be useful for bees landing on these flowers. We hypothesised that maybe the grip helped when the flowers blow in the wind."

Using two types of petunia, one with conical cells and a mutant line with flat cells, Glover let a group of bumblebees that had never seen petunias before forage in a large box containing both types of flower, and discovered they too preferred the conical-celled flowers.

They then devised a way of mimicking the way flowers move in the wind. "We used a lab shaking platform that we normally use to mix liquids, and put the flowers on that. As we increased the speed of shaking, mimicking increased wind speed, the bees increased their preference for the conical-celled flowers," she says.

The results, Glover says, give ecologists a deeper insight into the extraordinarily subtle interaction between plant and pollinator. "Nobody knew what these cells were for, and now we have a good answer that works for pretty much all flowers," she concludes. "It's is too easy to look at flowers from a human perspective, but when you put yourself into the bee's shoes you find hidden features of flowers can be crucial to foraging success."

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

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