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





Newsletter of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association
April 2, 2012  Volume XII, Issue 4

Next Meeting:   May 7, 2012, 7:00 pm
Mt. Olive Lutheran Church, 3561 Foothill Boulevard, La Crescenta, CA  91214


Topic for March Meeting:

Russ' convention footage?

Minutes from the April MeetingAttendance: 60, 56 members, 4 guests

Contents in Brief:


Newsie bits


Bee products


  • 2012 Membership Directories are printed – come to a meeting and pick one up if you haven’t already
  • Beekeeping 101 classes are scheduled 9am first Sunday of the month from April-October (except September) at Bill’s yard located at 12640 N Little Tujunga Road, Lake View Terrace – free for members
  • American Bee Journal –subscription discount – grab a voucher from Stacy or contact them at 1-888-922-1293 and tell them you’re a LACBA member to get 25% off
  • Bee Culture subscription discounts – simply contact them at 1-800-289-7668 and let them know you’re a LACBA member to get a discounted subscription
  •  Buzzings – if you’re not getting a copy, let Stacy McKenna know ( so we can update your information
  • Don’t forget to grab your nametag and keep it in your glove compartment or such so you have it handy for meetings.

New Business:

Newsie bits – there were no big issues under New Business this month, so here come a bunch of quick little things:

  • Queen Tracking – the January 2012 ABJ article on “How I Saved My Bees” brought up the question of where the nosema came from in the first place. Lenore Strong proposes a volunteer program to track potential problems with breeder stock. She’s developing a form and anyone using breeder queens is invited to participate to help provide data that might help pinpoint problem spots in the bee distribution system.
  • AGdayLA will be held on May 17th this year at the Big Red Barn at the Pomona Fairplex. Funding has been cut so it’s been chopped down to only a single day. 3-4 of our members usually volunteer. If you’d like to help out, contact Clyde Steese.
  • Now is the time to add boxes to your hives to make sure your bees don’t swarm. Get supers on now to give them space to expand.
  • Southern California Honey Festival/Fair is debuting on June 9-10 in Fillmore, CA. Bennet’s Honey Farm is organizing the event, and they plan to use the park downtown in combination with the railroad lines that run past their place. There will be honey sales, booths (including one by LACBA), live music, food, and historic railroad rides so folk can tour local orchards/farms/Bennet’s. Download Vendor Application Form. 
  • California’s truth in labeling act goes into effect in 2014. Right now, “Pure” honey only has to be 51% honey, but in 2014 it will have to be 100%. How does any food product have such huge loopholes? The EPA/FDA have giant loopholes with regard to testing and regulation in all aspects of food regulation. The issue is getting lots of media attention of late and public concern has boosted sales at farmer’s markets and encouraged legislation like the truth in labeling act. 
  • Clyde’s picture at the Almond Board Convention made it into the CSBA Bee Times. Stuff from the conv: Randy Oliver has a great article in ABJ about paying for pollination on scale by frame. Lots of effort is going into educating growers on bee health and maintenance. For instance, Bill and Clyde recently stopped a sprayer in a blueberry field from spraying during the day while the bees are flying to a night spray routine. Bill’s smart phone was crucial in bringing up manufacturer information about the pesticide and demonstrating why it would be harmful to the bees, and what kinds of application routine the manufacturer would recommend while bees are present.  
  • El Rey has read/heard that when Pristine is sprayed on fields, healthy colonies will struggle even in fields where dinks would boom without spraying. Turns out the adjuvant is a cost boosting measure, and isn’t technically necessary for pesticide effectiveness. But it also synergistically amplifies the harmful effect on bees. Thankfully we’re making headway – the public is making enough noise that now chemical companies are brainstorming on how to improve labeling and implement other measures to make their products easier to use safely. 
  • Our website has details on a webinar held by Brushy Mountain on colony losses, etc. There is also a link for a petition to hold the EPA responsible for better research. Seeley (the author of “Honeybee Democracy”) has an article with the Smithsonian. We also have many articles on pesticide research. Do you have pictures of swarms we could use on our swarm removal page? Contact Eva at 
  • Ben Jeffries asks if anyone knows anything about the pesticide Aspire. No one was familiar right off the bat but it was highly recommended that Google be used to hunt down an MSDS to learn exactly which chemical was involved and how it should be used. 
  • Is there anywhere that does beeswax testing? Try Maryanne Frazier at Penn State. It might be worth it to test even back yard combs since we can’t control what our neighbors do to their yards, or where our bees forage. May beekeepers purge old frames (so dark you can’t see through the wax) when they extract them. For brood comb, move oldest frames to the outside so brood hatches out, and then extract and purge the comb. Kent Potter suggests that dark wax makes great firestarters when combined with a pinecone candle mold. 
  • Jim Lindasy’s son gave a presentation about bees at a recent Emergency Preparedness Health Fair. His 20 min talk was received by about 150 people and he handed out literature so folk would have references for future incidents. 
  • Russ is still rendering video from the CSBA convention in November but we should see some footage (bytes?) in May.


We had quite the selection this week (Clyde’s wife is cleaning out closets!) – all prizes are donated, so the group spends no money on this endeavor: 

Girl Scout Cookies – won by Ron Strong

Pitcher – won by Joe Mandoky

Crystal honey pot – won by Eugene Covalshi

Next month there will be a smoker to raffle off – don’t miss it! 

Other Products in the Hive: - Clyde Steese 

We all know hives generate honey. But what else can our bees produce for our benefit? 

Exercise     Education     Outdoor time     Honey     Beeswax     Propolis     Royal Jelly  

Queens     Nucs     Packages     Bee stings     Pollination

Honey – this is the most common (but most important?) product of a hive. It comes in a wide variety of flavors/textures/colors, and is used in a variety of products: liquid, comb, cream, candy, shampoo, lozenges

Honey consists of :
Fructose          38.5%
Sucrose            31%
Glucose           1%
Water              7%
Other sugars
Other (enzymes, apivenom, minerals, etc.)

You can eat it straight, cook with it, make drinks with it, sell it, make facial products, moderate allergies, use it as wound dressing (including for burns), use it for embalming, make soap with it, etc.

– In 181 BC the Romans defeated the Corinthians and they demanded a 10,000 pound tax paid in beeswax. In 1400 France there was a 2lb wax tax per household for the making of candles. London’s Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers was the first worker’s guild, and they made beeswax candles the only kind considered appropriate in church.

It’s brittle at 18 deg C, pliable at 30, and melts at 65. The high melt point means low smoke and long burn. It’s also used in lip balm, lotion bars, soap, furniture polish, frame foundation, ski wax, beard/moustache wax, crayons, to seal preserves. For safe melting use a double boiler – don’t microwave! 

Propolis – This is a resin used by bees to seal cracks and hole sin the hive, sanitize the hive, entomb invaders (like dead mice). It’s very sticky – to harvest use propolis frames or mesh fruit bags to encourage production, freeze them hard, and then give it a good snap to crack the frozen propolis off. It’s used in ointment, cream, toothpaste, as a spray, in soaps. To prepare it, dissolve in alcohol, strain through a coffee filter. Make your tincture a max 30% concentration with the remaining 70% ethyl alcohol (or rubbing alcohol for external use). For most direct applications, drop the concentration down to 3% - it should be brown/gold and translucent. You can mix it with honey as an ointment. It’s a strong medicinal in the realms of antibiotic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s great for skin conditions including bug bites or even burns. Be careful using it if you have a bee allergy. 

Royal Jelly – A thick milky food made by worker bees – excreted from glands in their throat. The exact chemical makeup is still a mystery, and so far is not replicable by humans. It is said to lower cholesterol, help treat cancer patients, alleviate depression, and rectify low energy. It is also used in cosmetics. It’s low in ash content, easy to absorb/digest, is good for cell regeneration and muscle development, high in vitamins, amino acids, and protein. There is a high commercial demand. How do we get it? We harvest it from queen cells or larvae cells before their third day. Most of it comes from China – the harvesting process is VERY labor intensive – it’s often easier just to eat young brood comb. 

Bee Stings – Mostly these keep people and pests out of where they don’t belong. ;) They are largely formic acid. 9.5 million Americans are allergic to apivenom, and 5% are at high risk should they get stung. Venom Immune Therapy is often used to help these folks cope with bee environments – humans can be acclimatized to all insect venoms. Apitherapy (stinging yourself on purpose) can be good for lime’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatism, arthritis. A toothpaste poultice can cut pain from a bee sting. 

Pollen – This is essentially a flower product. 10-20% of the population suffers from hay fever during spring when pollen counts are high – it is often said that a good local honey taken throughout the year can help keep people acclimatized to their local pollen sources, reducing hay fever. A good mix of pollens results in a complete protein source containing all amino acids. It is best stored FROZEN, not dried. It was used medicinally at least as far back as 2735 BC. It contains vitamins B12, A, C, D, E, etc., antioxidants. It encourages high energy, good appetite, stamina, anti-aging, improved skin, and is used to alleviate effects of asthma and cancer. Many consider it the most perfect vitamin supplement out there.


Saturday & Sunday, June 9th and 10th, 2012 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bennett’s Honey Farm and Fillmore & Western Railway invite you to submit your application for arts, crafts or food booths for the “1st Annual California Honey Harvest Festival 2012”.  This special two-day outdoor festival will take place on Saturday and Sunday, June 9th and 10th, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Downtown Central Park, Fillmore, California.

During the course of the Festival, a series of special activities throughout the Festival area including: food booths, arts & crafts, train rides to Bennett’s Honey Farm, exhibits, plus live entertainment.

FEES for two-day event:

FOOD VENDOR SPACE (12'x12') options 

1. Self contained food vendors (must have own VCEHD approved sink) - $150

2. Temporary Food Facility selling ONLY prepackaged food and drink - $150

If you are cooking on an open flame fire pit you will need to pay for an additional space at $150, as your pit is required to be 10' from your preparation facility.

FARMER’S MARKET (12’X12’) - $50

Farmer’s Market Vendors who sell – uncut produce and non-processed foods.


The Festival will not collect a percentage fee or commission on any sales; all proceeds go to the vendors.  All vendors shall be responsible for collecting and reporting taxes and are required to possess their own State Board of Equalization Seller’s Permit.  Your original seller’s license must be displayed in your booth.  (A copy of your seller’s license must be provided along with your Booth Application.  Do not send the original).  Applications will not be accepted without a copy of your seller’s license. 


City Business License

Non-Profit Organizations do not require a City Business License.  If you are a Non-Profit Organization, mark the application where indicated.  If not, you will be required to complete the enclosed City of Fillmore Business License Application.  Complete the application and return it along with your check payable to the City of Fillmore.  We will then forward your Application and check to the City for you.  If you already have a Fillmore City Business License, indicate your License No. on the application and mail a copy along with the booth application.  If you have any questions regarding a Fillmore City Business License, you may contact the City of Fillmore, Business License Division at (805) 524-1500.

Ventura County Environmental Health Department (VCEHD)

This fee is for Food Vendors only.  All food vendors will receive a copy of Application for Permit to Operate a Food Facility at a Community Event from us after your application has gone through the jury process and has been accepted by the Event Committee.  Complete the application and return it along with your check payable to Ventura County Environmental Health Division in the amount appropriate for your booth.  We will forward your application and check to the county.  A representative from the county will inspect each food vendor’s booth prior to the festival opening and a permit will be given to you at that time.  Additional information concerning requirements and fees are available by contacting Environmental Health Division, 800 S. Victoria Avenue, Ventura, CA 93009, (805) 654-2813.


The Festival Committee will jury all arts, commercial, crafts, and food booth applications.  Honey-related items would certainly be hot movers and will be first preference as selected vendor.  We remind vendors that our community is very family-oriented.  We do not allow any drug-related items or items of a risqué nature into the park.  All items to be sold at the Festival MUST be listed in the vendor’s application.  The Event reserves the right to prohibit sale of any item obnoxious to the Festival Committee and to reject or remove any exhibitor from the Festival.  THE DECISION OF THE COMMITTEE IS FINAL!  Prior Festival participation does not guarantee acceptance in this years Festival.  Once a vendor has been accepted, no refunds will be issued.


Vendors may drive to the closest area near their sites to drop off their booth items and then drive to a designated parking area.  Vendors may begin setup on Saturday, June 9th between 6:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m., and Sunday, June 10th between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 a.m.  All vehicles must leave the concession area by 8:30 a.m. and ready to sell by 9:00 a.m. on both event days.  For safety reasons, no vendor vehicles will be allowed back into the area until 5:30 p.m.  Oversized vehicles will not be able to drive directly to an assigned space due to the configuration of the area and traffic congestion, but the staff will guide the vendor to the nearest available parking.  Security is provided Saturday night; BUT NEITHER BENNETT’S HONEY NOR FILLMORE & WESTERN RAILWAY SHALL BE RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY LOSS OR DAMAGE.


Parking is provided for a maximum of two vehicles for each vendor.  Overnight parking will be available.  There will not be hook-up capabilities.  Disabled parking will be provided to those who display an authorized disabled sign and who send a copy of the sign with the application.


You must submit with your application, clear quality photo(s) (minimum 4" X 6") representing all of the products you are bringing to the Festival, and one photo of your booth.  You may sell only items which have been juried and submitted with your application.  The photos will be used for the jurying process to insure the highest quality items possible.

All photos must have the vendor’s name included and will be returned after the Festival if submitted with a self-addressed stamped envelope.  Reasonable precautions will be taken, but the Festival Committee will not be responsible for loss or damage to the photos.

All displays will be inspected during setup and at intervals throughout the Festival to insure that displays and items are consistent in quality to those represented by submitted photos.  All vendor items must be contained within the allotted space.  Anything outside of the booth will be removed.  The Festival committee reserves the right to remove any work, which, in its opinion, violates any of the Festival’s agreement, rules, and, or, in the sole and final judgment of the Festival Committee, is offensive or inappropriate for the Festival.  Violation may result in the vendor’s removal from the Festival and no refund will be given.

Click here to download Vendor Application Form and enclosures.

Mail Completed Applications and Enclosures to:

Bennett’s Honey Farm
3176 Honey Lane
Fillmore, CA 93015

DEADLINE FOR APPLICATIONS: May 18, 2012 at 5:00 p.m.



For more information regarding the “California Honey Harvest Festival” call Susie Alvary, Monday through Friday, 10:00 am through 4:00 pm at (805) 521-1375.