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

 

Bare Bees:
kevin.heydman@gmail.com
Bill's Bees
Holly Hawk 626-807-0572
The Valley Hive 

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

Next LACBA Beekeeping Class 101:
Sunday, July 15, 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: https://www.facebook.com/losangelesbeekeeping 

THE LATEST BUZZ:  

Saturday
Jun092018

Bees Join An Exclusive Crew Of Animals That Get The Concept Of Zero

Science News    By Susan Milius     June 7, 2018

Honeybees can pass a test of ranking ‘nothing’ as less than one

BEE CHOSES NOTHING Bees show some sense of the idea of zero, researchers say. Tests required the insects to choose between images with various numbers of dark shapes.A little brain can be surprisingly good at nothing. Honeybees are the first invertebrates to pass a test of recognizing where zero goes in numerical order, a new study finds.

Even small children struggle with recognizing “nothing” as being less than one, says cognitive behavioral scientist Scarlett Howard of the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia. But honeybees trained to fly to images of greater or fewer dots or whazzits tended to rank a blank image as less than one, Howard and colleagues report in the June 8 Science.

Despite decades of discoveries, nonhuman animals still don’t get due credit outside specialist circles for intelligence, laments Lars Chittka of Queen Mary University of London, who has explored various mental capacities of bees. For the world at large, he emphasizes that the abilities described in the new paper are “remarkable.”

Researchers recognize several levels of complexity in grasping zero. Most animals, or maybe all, can understand the simplest level — just recognizing that the absence of something differs from its presence, Howard says. Grasping the notion that absence could fit into a sequence of quantities, though, seems harder. Previously, only some primates such as chimps and vervet monkeys, plus an African gray parrot named Alex, have demonstrated this level of understanding of the concept of zero (SN: 12/10/16, p. 22).

The researchers first trained bees to visit a spot with either a Y-shaped maze or an upright display, both offering images with different numbers of elements, such as dark circles of different sizes. Some bees were trained to fly to the image with the lower numbers of objects, while other bees were taught to go to the higher-number image. The researchers offered the bees a sweet treat for the correct image, and a bitter quinine solution for a wrong answer.

“I was fairly afraid of bees when I began working with them,” Howard says. But learning their ways convinced her that a lot of what humans mistake for aggression from a foraging bee buzzing around is usually “just curiosity.”

The trained bees then performed a series of tests with no rewards. In one test that offered the bees a choice between a single shape image versus a blank image, bees trained to pick the lower number of objects flew to the blank image — the zero — 63 percent of time. Overall, the test results showed the bees treating zero as being less than one, Howard says.

The results convince evolutionary behavioral biologist Rafael Rodríguez of the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee that honeybees are indeed getting the basics of zero. Now he’s wondering about earlier studies that might hint that certain spiders would be worth testing, too.

Still, the most sophisticated sense of zero, using a symbol for it in mathematical calculation, is a feat only humans have demonstrated. So far. Howard muses about the possibility of someday testing bees’ prowess on that harder feat.

Citations

S.R. Howard et al. Numerical ordering of zero in honey bees. Science. Vol. 360, June 8, 2018, p. 1124. doi:10.1126/science.aar4975.

I.M. Pepperburg and J.D. Gordon. Number comprehension by a grey parrot (Psittacus erithacus), including a zero-like concept. Journal of Comparative Psychology. Vol. 119, May 2005, 197.

Further Reading

P. Skorupski et al. Counting insects. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. Vol. 373, February 19, 2018. doi:10.1098/rstb.2016.0513.

S. Milius. Animals give clues to the origins of human number crunching. Science News. Vol. 190, December 10, 2016, p. 22.

D. Ansari and I.M. Lyons. Cognitive neuroscience and mathematics learning: how far have we come? Where do we need to go? ZDM. Vol. 48, June 2016, p. 379. doi: 10.1007/s11858-016-0782-z.

M. Dacke and M.V. Srinivasan. Evidence for in counting in insects. Animal Cognition. Vol. 11, October 2008, p. 683. doi: 10.1007/s10071-008-0159-y.

B. Bower. Tots who tote: Babies show neural signs of budding number sense. Science News. Vol. 173, February 9, 2008, p. 84. 

https://www.sciencenews.org/article/bees-join-exclusive-crew-animals-get-concept-zero

Related: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/science/bees-intelligence-zero.html?rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FBees&action=click&contentCollection=science&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=1&pgtype=collection

Saturday
Jun092018

Inside The Brains Of Killer Bees

ACS News     Press Release     June 6, 2018

MALDI Imaging Analysis of Neuropeptides in Africanized Honeybee (Apis mellifera) Brain: Effect of Aggressiveness

Researchers shed light on how peptides can cause aggressive behavior in Africanized honeybees. Credit: Pommeyrol Vincent/Shutterstock.com Journal of Proteome Research

Africanized honeybees, commonly known as “killer bees,” are much more aggressive than their European counterparts. Now researchers have examined neuropeptide changes that take place in Africanized honeybees’ brains during aggressive behavior. The researchers, who report their results in the Journal of Proteome Research, also showed they could turn gentle bees into angry ones by injecting them with certain peptides.

In the 1950s, researchers in Brazil bred Africanized honeybees by crossing European and African bees. In 1957, swarms of the bees were accidentally released, and they have been buzzing their way across the Americas ever since. Scientists currently don’t understand what makes these bees so aggressive, but the behavior appears to involve a complex network of genetic and environmental factors, regulated by neuropeptides. So Mario Sergio Palma and his colleagues wanted to examine neuropeptide differences between the brains of bees displaying aggressive and non-aggressive behavior.

The researchers stimulated Africanized honeybees to attack by hanging spherical, black leather targets in front of their colonies. Angry guard bees quickly attacked the targets, becoming embedded in the leather by their stingers. Meanwhile, gentler bees kept their distance. The researchers collected both groups of bees and analyzed their brains by mass spectral imaging. In the brains of aggressive bees, two longer neuropeptides were cleaved into shorter ones, but this did not happen in the gentler bees. The researchers then injected the shorter peptides into anesthetized, non-aggressive bees, which became combative upon waking. The study provides new insights into the neurological basis for aggressive honeybee behavior, the researchers say.

The authors acknowledge funding from the São Paulo Research Foundation and the Brazilian National Council for Scientific and Technological Development.

Note: ACS does not conduct research, but publishes and publicizes peer-reviewed scientific studies.

https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2018/acs-presspac-june-6-2018/inside-the-brains-of-killer-bees.html?_ga=2.149242038.1682398275.1528566571-156474405.1528566571

Thursday
Jun072018

Protecting Honey Bees and Wild Pollinators From Pesticides

Beyond Pesticides

Beyond Pesticides advocates for widespread adoption of organic management practices as key to protecting pollinators and the environment, and has long sought a broad-scale marketplace transition to organic practices that legally prohibits the use of toxic synthetic pesticides, and encourages a systems-based approach that is protective of health and the environment. Learn more (below) on the role that pesticides play in pollinator decline, and actions you can take to BEE Protective. For information on growing plants to protect pollinators, see our Pollinator-Friendly Seeds and Nursery Directory. Use the Bee Protective Habitat Guide to plant a pollinator garden suited for your region, and consider seeding white clover into your lawn; learn more from Taking a Stand on Clover.

Read more: https://www.beyondpesticides.org/programs/bee-protective-pollinators-and-pesticides/bee-protective

Friday
Jun012018

LACBA Meeting: Monday, June 4, 2018

Our next meeting will be held Monday, June 4, 2018.
Open Board Meeting: 6:30PM
General Meeting: 7:00PM 
Location: 
Mount Olive Lutheran Church (Shilling Hall)
3561 Foothill Blvd.
La Crescenta, CA 91214

Meetings of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association are open to the public. All are welcome!

Wednesday
May302018

Bees Adjust To Seasons with Nutrients In Flowers and 'Dirty Water'

PHYS.org     Tufts University     May 30, 2018

Calcium spikes upward in the diet gathered by bees in preparation for winter. Credit: Steffan Hacker, Tufts University

Researchers at Tufts University have discovered that honey bees alter their diet of nutrients according to the season, particularly as winter approaches. A spike in calcium consumption in the fall, and high intake of potassium, help prepare the bees for colder months when they likely need those minerals to generate warmth through rapid muscle contractions. A careful inventory of the bees' nutrient intake revealed shifting sources (from flowers to mineral rich 'dirty water') and how limitations in nutrient availability from these sources can have implications for the health of both managed and wild colonies.

The study, which is available in the May print edition of the Journal of Insect Physiology, examined mineral content gathered by and contained in adult bees and in their sources of food, exploring how they maintain the right nutritional balance of micronutrients. For most of the minerals tracked, it was found that the bees sought alternate sources to complement variation in the floral supply.

"We typically think of honey bees as gathering all the food they need for the colony from flowers, but in fact, our research showed that bees search strategically among different sources, including water, to boost their stores of calcium and maintain potassium levels in preparation for the cold season," said Philip Starks, associate professor of biology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts. "Honey bee nutritional requirements are quite complex, and they can face limitations because of levels of micronutrients in their environment."

The study findings build on previous research led by Dr. Rachael Bonoan from the Starks lab that revealed that honey bees use water sources to complement, and sometimes supplement, the minerals in their floral diet. For example, as magnesium levels drop in pollen during the summer and fall, the bees pick up the difference from mineral rich water. Alternatively, calcium levels in gathered pollen increase in the fall, but so do the bees' preference for calcium in water, perhaps reflecting a shift from brood rearing to overwintering, the researchers speculate. Ample calcium and potassium are useful for the muscle activity needed to generate heat in the hive during the winter months.

Calcium spikes upward in the diet gathered by bees in preparation for winter. Credit: Steffan Hacker, Tufts UniversityVIEW VIDEO: https://phys.org/news/2018-05-bees-adjust-seas

"These results have implications in the field," said Rachael Bonoan, lead author of the study and recent Ph.D. graduate from the Starks Lab. "Ultimately, one of the goals of studying mineral needs of honey bees is to create season- or crop-specific supplemental diets for beekeepers. Beyond honey bees, we can support wild pollinators by planting diverse floral, and thus nutrient-rich, sources."

There are many factors that have been blamed for the recent decline of bee populations, including the use of pesticides, the emergence of parasites and pathogens, and climate change. While diversity in the food supply may be one factor, its relative impact on the honey bee crisis has not yet been determined. This particular study, however, expands our understanding of the dynamic nutritional needs of bee colonies and provides further insight as to how we might manage the health of honey bee populations that support the natural environment and our food supply.

Also contributing to the study was Tufts University undergraduate Luke O'Connor, whose work formed the basis of his senior honor's thesis.

https://phys.org/news/2018-05-bees-adjust-seasons-nutrients-dirty.html#jCp

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