Six Essential Perennial Herbs

 Thymus vulgaris

Thymus vulgaris

Get advice on growing and harvesting rosemary, sage, thyme, mint, chives and marjoram.

Perennial herbs are easy to grow and will enhance your garden, and your cooking, year after year. They are easy to grow and need very little looking after and can be grown in beds and borders, or in containers on a patio or balcony.

Discover how to pick herbs.

Giving herbs the right growing conditions helps to ensure they have the best flavour. Plant them in full sun, if possible – this will bring the essential oils to the surface of the leaf, giving a strong flavour. Mint, rosemary and chives will tolerate some shade, but if grown in damp, cold soil, they may suffer over winter.

To keep perennial herbs healthy and productive, pick them regularly. All of the herbs featured here also have edible flowers, so pick those too and enjoy them with salads, in drinks and as a garnish. Once they have finished flowering, cut them back. Cutting back evergreen herbs, like rosemary, helps prevent them becoming woody. Discover more about keeping herbs productive.

Herbaceous herbs, such as mint, which die back over winter then regrow in spring, should be cut back to about 4cm above the soil after flowering. You will then get a second crop of fresh new leaves through to the first frosts.

Discover how to get the best from six perennial herbs.

Perennial herbs are easy to grow and will enhance your garden, and your cooking, year after year.

1 Mint

Mint grows best when it is left to spread naturally. It can be invasive, however, so if this is likely to be an issue, grow it in pots. Growing it in full sun will give it the best flavour, although it will also grow in partial shade. Pick the leaves before flowering or after the plant has been cut back in summer.

 Mint Leaves

Mint Leaves

Care

The easiest way to preserve mint is to freeze the leaves, whole or chopped. Mint rust produces small, rusty spots that usually start on the underside of the leaf. Cut back hard and remove any fallen leaves from the soil – the new growth should return clean. If mildew becomes a problem, move the plant to a sunny, airy position. Mint leaf beetle can also be an issue.

2 Rosemary

Evergreen rosemary can be harvested throughout the year. The flowers are also edible, with a light rosemary flavour – delicious in rice dishes. Grow in a warm, sunny site in well drained soil. It will also grow well in a container – use a soil-based compost and pot up annually in the autumn.

 Rosemary

Rosemary

Care

To keep it productive and to stop it becoming woody, cut back after flowering. Rosemary beetle may be a problem – the beetle and its larvae feed off the leaves from autumn to spring. To tackle an infestation, place sheets of newspaper under the plant, the tap or shake the branches to knock the critters onto the paper, making them easy to dispose of.

3 Sage

The leaves of culinary sage can also be used all year. The flowers are edible and can be scattered in salads or fruit puddings. Sage leaves can be preserved in oil and butter. Plant in a warm, sunny site in well-drained soil. Sage also grows well in a container – use soil-based compost.

 Sage

Sage

Care

Cut back after flowering in summer to encourage new growth and to prevent the plant becoming woody. Sage can be prone to leaf hopper – there is not much you can do about it, except to remove damaged leaves. If plants in pots are affected by mildew, move them to an airier situation and remove the damaged leaves.

4 Thyme

Thyme is evergreen and can be used all year round. It makes lovely oils and butters. Plant in a well drained soil in a sunny spot. Thymes do not like wet winters or sitting in water, so make sure that the soil has adequate drainage. To grow in containers, use a soil-based compost mixed with horticultural grit.

 Thyme

Thyme

Care

Cut back after flowering to help plants survive the winter. Thyme rarely suffers from pests, although aphids can attack new growth – spray them with soft horticultural soap.

5 Chives

Cut fresh leaves throughout the growing season, and scatter the pretty flowers over salads – they have a mild onion flavour. Preserve the chopped leaves in butter or freeze in ice cube trays without water. Plant in a well-drained, fertile soil in a sunny position and keep well watered throughout the growing season.

 Chives

Chives

Care

Mulch with well-rotted manure in autumn. Chives grow well in containers – use a soil-based compost and pot up annually in the spring, when the new growth appears. Onion fly, downy mildew and rust can be a problem – in mild cases, cut back hard, and in severe cases, dig up and bin the plants, taking care not to plant more members of the allium family in the same spot. Find out how to rejuvenate chives.

6 Oregano / marjoram

 Oregano

Oregano

The leaves can be picked nearly all year. Oregano originated in the Mediterranean, so plant in a well-drained soil in a sunny position. It will grow happily in a container, using a soil-based compost that has been mixed with a handful of horticultural grit. Preserve it in butters, oils, or dry some sprigs.

Care

Oregano is fairly free from pests and diseases, but die back or powdery mildew can be a problem if planted in heavy soil or partial shade. There are fewer edible leaves when in flower, so cut back the plant after flowering to promote new growth.

Growing herbs in pots.jpg

Stronger Pesticide Regulations Likely Needed To Protect All Bee Species, Say Studies

 Wild bee Credit: Nigel Raine

Wild bee Credit: Nigel Raine

December 11, 2018, University of Guelph

Pesticide regulations designed to protect honeybees fail to account for potential health threats posed by agrochemicals to the full diversity of bee species that are even more important pollinators of food crops and other plants, say three new international papers co-authored by University of Guelph biologists.

As the global human population grows, and as pollinators continue to suffer declines caused by everything from habitat loss to pathogens, regulators need to widen pesticide risk assessments to protect not just honeybees but other species from bumblebees to solitary bees, said environmental sciences professor Nigel Raine, holder of the Rebanks Family Chair in Pollinator Conservation.

"There is evidence that our dependency on insect-pollinated crops is increasing and will continue to do so as the global population rises," said Raine, co-author of all three papers recently published in the journal Environmental Entomology.

With growing demands for crop pollination outstripping increases in honeybee stocks, he said, "Protecting wild pollinators is more important now than ever before. Honeybees alone simply cannot deliver the crop pollination services we need."

Government regulators worldwide currently use honeybees as the sole model species for assessing potential risks of pesticide exposure to insect pollinators.

But Raine said wild bees are probably more important for pollination of food crops than managed honeybees. Many of those wild species live in soil, but scientists lack information about exposure of adult or larval bees to pesticides through food or soil residues.

The papers call on regulators to look for additional models among solitary bees and bumblebees to better gauge health risks and improve protection for these species.

"Everybody is focused on honeybees," said Angela Gradish, a research associate in the School of Environmental Sciences and lead author of one paper, whose co-authors include Raine and SES Prof. Cynthia Scott-Dupree. "What about these other bees? There are a lot of unknowns about how bumblebees are exposed to pesticides in agricultural environments."

She said bumblebee queens have different life cycles than honeybee counterparts that may increase their contact with pesticides or residues while collecting food and establishing colonies.

"That's a critical difference because the loss of a single bumblebee queen translates into the loss of the colony that she would have produced. It's one queen, but it's a whole colony at risk."

Like honeybees, bumblebees forage on a wide variety of flowering plants. But because bumblebees are larger, they can carry more pollen from plant to plant. They also forage under lower light conditions and in cloudier, cooler weather that deter honeybees.

Those characteristics make bumblebees especially vital for southern Ontario's greenhouse growers.

"Greenhouse tomato producers rely on commercial bumblebee colonies as the only source of pollination for their crops," said Gradish.

The new studies stem from workshops held in early 2017 involving 40 bee researchers from universities and representatives of agrochemical industries and regulatory agencies in Canada, the United States and Europe, including Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency.

"I hope we can address shortfalls in the pesticide regulatory process," said Raine, who attended the international meeting held in Washington, D.C.

"Given the great variability that we see in the behaviour, ecology and life history of over 20,000 species of bees in the world, there are some routes of pesticide exposure that are not adequately considered in risk assessments focusing only on honeybees."

Read at: https://phys.org/news/2018-12-stronger-pesticide-bee-species.html#jCp

Explore further: Bee flower choices altered by exposure to pesticides

More information: Environmental Entomology (2018). DOI: 10.1093/ee/nvy103 , https://academic.oup.com/ee/advance-article/doi/10.1093/ee/nvy103/5216322 

Provided by: University of Guelph

Scientists Create Edible Honey Bee Vaccine To Protect Them From Deadly Diseases

 Honey bees pollinate a variety of crops, such as apples and melons.

Honey bees pollinate a variety of crops, such as apples and melons.

FOX News By Madeline Farber December 6, 2018

The first-ever vaccine for insects now exists, thanks to scientists at the University of Helsinki in Finland hoping to save one of the most crucial pollinators in the world: the honey bee.

The vaccine, which is edible, “protects bees from diseases while protecting global food production,” the university said in a news release. The goal, researchers said, is to protect the bees against American foulbrood, “a bacterial disease caused by the spore-forming Paenibacillus larvae ssp. Larvae.”

The disease is the “most widespread and destructive of the bee brood diseases,” the university added.

Bloomberg reported the disease can kill “entire colonies” while its “spores can remain viable for more than 50 years.”

To distribute the vaccine, scientists place a sugar patty in the hive, which the queen then eats over the course of about a week. Once ingested, the pathogens in the patty are then passed into the queen’s eggs, “where they work as inducers for future immune responses,” the university explained in the statement.

The vaccine — which is not yet sold commercially, according to Bloomberg — is also significant because it was once not thought possible to develop a vaccine for insects, as these creatures’ immune systems do not contain antibodies.

"Now we've discovered the mechanism to show that you can actually vaccinate them. You can transfer a signal from one generation to another," Dalial Freitak, a University of Helsinki scientist who worked to create the vaccine, said in a statement.

Honey bees are important to the U.S. crop production, contributing an estimated $20 billion to its value, according to the American Beekeeping Foundation. The species pollinate a variety of crops, including apples, melons, blueberries and cherries — the latter two are “90 percent dependent on honey bee pollination,” according to the foundation.

“One crop, almonds, depends entirely on the honey bee for pollination at bloom time,” the American Beekeeping Foundation added.

The honey bee population in North America has been affected by Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) disease, mites and possibly the use of neonicotinoid pesticides, according to the Harvard University Library.

On average, beekeepers in the U.S. lost an estimated 40 percent of their managed honey bee colonies from April 2017 to April 2018, according to Bee Informed, a nationwide collaboration of research efforts to better understand the decline of honeybees.

"We need to help honey bees, absolutely. Even improving their life a little would have a big effect on the global scale. Of course, the honeybees have many other problems as well: pesticides, habitat loss and so on, but diseases come hand in hand with these life-quality problems,” Freitak said.

“If we can help honey bees to be healthier and if we can save even a small part of the bee population with this invention, I think we have done our good deed and saved the world a little bit," Freitak added.

Fox News' Emilie Ikeda contributed to this report.

Related: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-06/world-s-first-honey-bee-vaccine-seeks-to-save-dying-pollinators

2019 Annual Apiary Registration Form and Notification

LA County Agricultural Commissioner.jpg

Registration in California:

Anyone who keeps bees in California must register with their local County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC) on a yearly basis. At a nominal fee per beekeeper, regardless of the number of colonies or apiaries, it's well worth it. There are many reasons to make sure your bees are "on the books." Your County Agricultural Commissioner can be of assistance in:

  • dealing with neighbors and local regulatory agencies

  • notifications about local pesticide/herbicide applications

  • referrals for swarm captures (experienced beekeepers)

Persons registering their apiary for 2019 must do so before January 1, 2019, or when your apiary first enters the county. A $10.00 fee will be required per owner at the time of registration.

Los Angeles County:

2019 Apiary Registration Form (Print out, fill out, return with appropriate fee. Form is revised yearly.)  

2019 Apiary Registration Notification (Contains valuable information.)

Registration Forms Pertaining to Pesticide Use

General Bee Information

Bees in Our Environment Brochure

Information from California Legislative Information Regarding Keeping Bees In California:

CDFA Laws Pertaining to Bee Management & Honey Production

CDFA Apiary Protection Act Agricultural Code 29000-29013 

CDFA Registration & Identifiction of Apiaries 29040-29056

There are over 80 incorporated cities in Los Angeles County. They have different ordinances, regulations, and rules. Make sure you check with the city where you will be keeping your hive(s) to insure you are in compliance.

For more Apiary Registration Information refer to:
https://acwm.lacounty.gov/
https://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/apiary-registration/

All the Buzz About Bees - Talking Points Featuring Bill Lewis of Bill's Bees

Bill Lewis, President/Owner of Bill’s Bees and former president of the California State Beekeepers Association and the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, shares some of his experiences with bees over the last 30-some years.

"It's not something everybody does." ~Bill Lewis

In this fascinating overview, Bill talks about honey bee activity, hive behavior, bee colony collapse, habitat loss, crop pollination, and honey production. 

Bill Lewis Talking Points.jpg


Take a peek at the amazing life that goes on inside a beehive: how bees communicate, get along inside a hive, and who makes the decisions. Learn how bees collect nectar and pollen and bring it back to the hive to make honey, how honey is harvested and preserved. 

When asked about the best ways to behave around bees, Bill's reply:

"Pretend they're not there." 

Beach TV/CSULB Host: David Kelly
California State University/Long Beach

Bill's Bees

2018 LACBA Annual Holiday Dinner - Online Purchase & Sign Up Closed NOON on Saturday, 12/1/18

You’re Invited to Our
2018 LACBA Annual Holiday Dinner!

The last day to purchase and sign up for dinner was
NOON on Saturday, December 1, 2018.

Pickwick Gardens.jpg

Pickwick Gardens
1001 Riverside Drive, Burbank CA, 91506
(Conference Center - Directions & Map)
When: Monday, December 3, 2018
Time: 6-9pm
Cost: $10/person

This is the time of year when we get to kick back, relax, and talk about anything and everything, especially… BEES! Our Holiday Dinner is a family-friendly open event - feel free to bring your spouse, partner, kids, and friends. We will hold our largest RAFFLE! of the year, and present our Golden Hive Tool Award

Outback Catering.jpg


Our delicious dinner will be catered by Outback Catering, owned by LACBA member Doug Noland.



We ask you to bring:

  • An appetizer or dessert, to share (6-8 servings is plenty). Last name: A-M (Desserts), N-Z (Appetizers)

  • An item for our raffle!

Now that we are equipped to take payments on our website, we will NOT be taking payment for dinner or membership dues at the dinner, so please pay your membership dues online.

Your ticket must be purchased online by Noon on Saturday, December 1, 2018 to attend.
Click here to purchase Dinner!

We’d like to encourage you to also pay your 2019 membership dues online before the holiday dinner. As a thank you for purchasing your 2019 membership dues online by
Noon on Saturday,
12/1/18
you’ll receive 10 FREE RAFFLE TICKETS to be used at the dinner.
Click here to purchase 2019 LACBA Membership

We look forward to seeing everyone at our 2018 LACBA Annual Holiday Dinner!

Kodua Galieti - Telling the Bees and A Tribute

Telling the Bees
of the passing of
Kodua Galieti

 Kodua Galieti working in Hawaii.

Kodua Galieti working in Hawaii.

Early this Thanksgiving morning, beloved Kodua Galieti, passed away on her ranch in Elkton, Oregon. She was surrounded by her loving husband, Jeff, her mother, and all her sisters.

Kodua Galieti, an international photo-journalist and a long-time member of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association and the California State Beekeepers Association, gave generously and graciously of her talents in support of honey bees. Kodua Galienti’s exquisite honey bee photography adorns the walls of the L.A. County Fair Bee Booth and is featured throughout our LACBA website.

Her Bee-Inspired calendars and honey bee photography could be found in bookstores, libraries, and at bee conventions and trade shows across the country. She had an enormous talent for capturing the life and life stages of bees. Kodua Galieti could light up a room with her spirit and fill your heart with joy.

For more than a decade Kodua masterfully captured the complexities and wonders of the human experience as a photojournalist. Kodua was drawn to themes of personal story, culture, and traditions, family, faith, animals, and bees.

She has not only raised chimps but her passion for bees had led her to become a beekeeper and Kodua devoted her talent and resources toward the preservation of these incredibly important pollinators.

Each September, Kodua's photography adorns the walls of the LA County Fair Bee Booth, bringing the beauty and complexities of honey bees to thousands of fair goers.

 kodua galieti’s exquisite honey bee photography on the walls of the La county fair bee booth.

kodua galieti’s exquisite honey bee photography on the walls of the La county fair bee booth.

Kodua was featured on the cover of American Bee Journal and WASP magazine, and was the selected photographer for Bee Culture’s “An Almond Odyssey.”

In an article for Calmful Living, Kodua Galieti shared her passion for honey bees:

 (PHOTO: KODUA GALIETI)

(PHOTO: KODUA GALIETI)

“As I would check in on the bees—go in there, look at the frames—I was just amazed at what inside the hive looked like. So it was natural for me to bring my camera. I started doing a lot of macro photography, and it opened up into a whole new world. I think there’s such a beauty and whimsical elegance to the bees when you see them up close like that. I didn’t know they had fur until I photographed them. I didn’t know they had hair on their eyeballs until I started looking that close, and boy, it’s a different world! I fell in love with it.”

 honey bee larvae in various stages of development. (photo: kodua galieti)

honey bee larvae in various stages of development. (photo: kodua galieti)

“Most beekeepers don’t look at bees through a macro lens. They’re just doing their jobs, tending the bees. So to be able to bring this little creature into such magnification for them has been amazing.

 commercial BEEKEEPERS CHECKING ON WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE THEIR HIVES. (PHOTO: KODUA GALIETI)

commercial BEEKEEPERS CHECKING ON WHAT’S GOING ON INSIDE THEIR HIVES. (PHOTO: KODUA GALIETI)

“I’ve watched diehard beekeepers stand in front of these images in awe, and realized they are seeing sometimes for the first time what it really looks like that close with that magnification.”

 THE FACE OF A HONEY BEE AS IT COMES TO LIFE. (PHOTO: KODUA GALIETI)

THE FACE OF A HONEY BEE AS IT COMES TO LIFE. (PHOTO: KODUA GALIETI)

“I’ve gone to bee conferences all over the United States and Hawaii. I have a beautiful exhibit I’ve set up that tells the story from the hive to harvest of the bees.”

“I’m trying to make it so that bees are more approachable, even to children. Instead of people wanting to freak out and swat it away, I can go, ‘Wait! Look at it! Learn about it! It’s not so scary. It’s a beautiful little insect there.’”

 learning about bees and what goes on inside a hive. (photo: kodua Galieti)

learning about bees and what goes on inside a hive. (photo: kodua Galieti)

I don’t have any fear of them, which is what happens when you know how to read them. One thing I love about bees is you can’t train them. You have to come into their world and respect their world and the way they do things. So when you go into the apiary, you do it their way; you respect their way of doing things. It’s their society that you’re coming into, and you respect that. By doing so, then they let you into this world.”

 KODUA AND HER FELLOW BEEKEEPERS IN THE ALMOND ORCHARDS. pHOTO: KODUA GALIETI

KODUA AND HER FELLOW BEEKEEPERS IN THE ALMOND ORCHARDS. pHOTO: KODUA GALIETI

(Thank you very much to Kodua Galieti’s sister, Renee Bennett, for permission to share the following tribute, “My Sister’s Hands.”)


November Gratitude

”My Sister’s Hands”

By Renee Bennett

 My Sister’s Hands (the hands of Kodua Galieti). Image: by Renee Bennett

My Sister’s Hands (the hands of Kodua Galieti). Image: by Renee Bennett

I write this in celebration of my sister, Kodua Michelle Bennett Galieti who passed away early this morning here at her farm in Elkton, Oregon.

I write this only in celebration and tribute, not as a plea for sympathy.

Last week, sitting next to her while she napped, I just stared at her hands. And then I took a photograph.

We come from a long line of makers, craftspeople, and artists. Hands hold stories and my sister’s had many chapters reflecting a life that seemed most days more fantasy than non-fiction.

As a teen and into her early twenties she would use them to guide her horse into an almost parallel lean to the ground rounding barrels at top speed in many a rodeo. She used them to hold shovels to muck out stables at a local thoroughbred race horse farm as her after school job. My sisters and I never shied away from shovels, rakes, hoes, or posthole diggers.

Her hands waved in parades and rodeo processions the year she was crowned Miss Rodeo Louisiana.

She and her husband have four horses here at the farm. The newest, a wild mustang (recently, mostly tamed) a lifelong dream of hers to own one, fulfilled, a gift from her husband a few months ago. She and her husband Jeff, rode their horses up many mountains in the most beautiful of places, sleeping under the stars.

In her late twenties she became a massage therapist in Los Angeles and created her own signature line of oils and lotions because she didn’t like what was in the marketplace. While I was pregnant with one of my sons, I complained that I wished I could get a massage, so she invented and patented a pregnancy massage table. She became certified in labor and delivery and an instructor certifying massage therapists in pregnancy massage. Her therapist hands also helped Alzheimer's patients, the elderly suffering from phlebitis, and those in chronic pain from accidents. She went to Ghana, Africa and Papua, New Guinea as part of medical mission trips. She massaged the necks, shoulders and feet of people who ached from walking miles for water with buckets and urns on their heads. Her hands healed people.

She completely and utterly delighted any person lucky enough to know her during her years as a foster parent to dozens (yes dozens) of baby chimpanzees and orangutans because we got to hold them and play with them. She placed large eyebolts to hold a giant rope across the length of her Echo Park bedroom so any primate in her care could climb. Her niece and nephews loved being able to hang out with baby primates. Such fun. The last chimp she cared for was also her namesake, Baby Kodua. Many of them were retired and they now live in Florida at the Center for Great Apes. I have such vivid memories of my sister in full grin with a baby chimpanzee in her arms.

Both of her thumbs were green.

She didn’t just garden. She GARDENED. To match her personality, her garden vegetables were gigantic. She would send us photos of her wheelbarrow filled to the brim with her harvest of the day. Those hands of hers were happiest digging in the dirt. She would flip through the pages of Baker Creek Seed Catalogue buying up every packet of Heirloom seeds that caught her fancy. So many seeds. She planted them with the childlike anticipation of Christmas. And because she seemed to have the same tomato vines producing year round, she canned her own salsas and spaghetti sauces.

She perfected the most delicious of “fall off the bone” smoked ribs. She made her special rub and proceeded to guard them on “her” grill for hours. She made many delicious meals. Always heavy handed on the cayenne pepper. She loved spicy. When visiting family in Louisiana and out at a restaurant eating boiled crawfish she always asked the waiter to bring her more cayenne. Her palate would make a Cajun cry.

Several years ago she decided she wanted to be a bee keeper. She spent her life making statements of wanting to try something new and then she would just do it. I admired that about her. No second guessing, no overthinking, she would do things she wanted to do, go places she wanted to go. So, she joined the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association and then started one hive after another of bees. She got an extractor, a real stainless large extractor and bottled gallons of honey. And, she then gave it away to every person in her day to day life. Hundreds of bottles of delicious raw honey, gifting it and gifting it. She trained me to help her when I visited. Once she convinced me to help her move a feral hive high in a treetop into a bee box to be relocated. Though she convinced me it would be easy, it was not. Prior to us relocating it she tried to convince her husband that he could move it. His stings ended with him at the Emergency Room. But through some insane branch breaking millions of bees flying around and several hours later, we did it. It wasn’t pretty but we did it. Her husband Jeff’s, bee stings were the battle wounds of the day.

All along the way she was a photographer. At first it was just documenting her time on international mission trips. Cuba. Mexico. Norway. Africa. New Guinea. Switzerland. Then she documented her life with the chimps. She always photographed her loved ones and some of our favorite photographs are of my sons, my nephew and my niece. Those photos are the ones in which she captured their truest selves. She photographed her husband and their trips up the mountain on their draft horses. He took her once as a surprise to a remote area to witness a herd of wild mustangs. One of the best shots she took that trip is framed and hangs above their bed. She documented and then she would make photo albums for us to mark the occasions. Nice albums, forever albums.

And then, a few years ago she went macro. Her bees became her most favorite subject. She delighted in capturing brilliant orange pollen sacs and even mites on her bees’ butts. She documented the California Almond Odyssey in which millions of bees are shipped in to orchards for pollination it was shared in Bee Culture magazine. She was hired by Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture to photograph their bees for research purposes. She produced for several years a bee calendar sold at bookstores and online. Her bee photographs can still be seen at the L.A. County Fair each year.

And then, almost five years ago her hands started closing in on themselves and after many tests and appointments their closure came to be the early symptom of ovarian cancer. Her hands wouldn’t be able take photos for almost a year. She went through chemo, she had physical therapy to work them. Her hands were the signal and gave us more years than we might have had otherwise. I am grateful for them, for their clues to a diagnosis. I am grateful they were attached our adventure seeking, hardworking, generous hearted, gifted, beautiful sister with a laugh that filled a room, with an attitude and fortitude that kept her with us longer than any other person with the same issues. A woman who was still smitten with her husband. Who showed her love for us with adventures and her license plate frame of “the fun has arrived”.

I am grateful for the example of living she has left for us as we mourn and celebrate her all in the same breath.

Live. Do. Try. Love.

Caterpillar, Fungus In Cahoots To Threaten Fruit, Nut Crops, Study Finds

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign By Diana Yates November 5, 2018

 The Navel Orangeworm Caterpillar Works with a Fungus to Overcome Plant Chemical Defenses, a New Study Finds. Photo By: L. Brian Stauffer

The Navel Orangeworm Caterpillar Works with a Fungus to Overcome Plant Chemical Defenses, a New Study Finds. Photo By: L. Brian Stauffer

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — New research reveals that Aspergillus flavus, a fungus that produces carcinogenic aflatoxins that can contaminate seeds and nuts, has a multilegged partner in crime: the navel orangeworm caterpillar, which targets some of the same nut and fruit orchards afflicted by the fungus. Scientists report in the Journal of Chemical Ecology that the two pests work in concert to overcome plant defenses and resist pesticides.

“It turns out that the caterpillar grows better with the fungus; the fungus grows better with the caterpillar,” said University of Illinois entomologyprofessor and department head May Berenbaum, who conducted the study with entomology graduate student Daniel S. Bush and U.S. Department of Agriculture research entomologist Joel P. Siegel.

“The fungus is an incredibly opportunistic pathogen. It infects all kind of plants. It also infects animals on occasion, including humans,” Berenbaum said. “And it’s very, very good at breaking down toxins.”

The caterpillar, Amyelois transitella, also is an opportunistic feeder. Unlike most insect larvae, it somehow overcomes the defenses of a variety of host plants, including almonds, pistachios and figs. The caterpillar chews its way in and contaminates the fruits and nuts with its excrement and webbing. It also opens the door to A. flavus infection. Unlike many other insects, the navel orangeworm caterpillar can metabolize aflatoxin, making it immune to this toxic fungal byproduct, Berenbaum said.

 A research team including entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, left, and graduate student Daniel Bush discovered an unusual partnership between a caterpillar and fungus that attack a variety of fruit and nut crops. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

A research team including entomology professor and department head May Berenbaum, left, and graduate student Daniel Bush discovered an unusual partnership between a caterpillar and fungus that attack a variety of fruit and nut crops. Photo by L. Brian Stauffer

Prior to the new study, researchers and growers had observed coinfection with the fungus and the caterpillar, but did not know whether the two simply tolerated one another or worked together in a mutualistic partnership.

To find out, the team ran experiments to see how laboratory-reared navel orangeworm caterpillars responded to specific plant defensive compounds and pesticides in the presence or absence of the fungus. They measured caterpillar mortality and time to pupation in a variety of conditions. The tests included a caterpillar strain that was susceptible to pyrethroid pesticides and another that was resistant.

The tests revealed that the caterpillars developed much more rapidly in the presence of the fungus, regardless of the natural or man-made toxins that were also present. Larvae exposed to the plant defensive compound xanthotoxin developed nearly twice as fast when the fungus was also present. Larvae fed a diet containing xanthotoxin or bergapten – another phytochemical in the same class as xanthotoxin – also lived much longer in the presence of the fungus than when exposed to the chemicals alone.

The caterpillars differed in their response to pesticides – with and without their fungal partner. The pesticide-susceptible caterpillars had higher mortality in the presence of the pesticide and fungus than when exposed to the pesticide alone. Pesticide-resistant caterpillars were unaffected by the pesticide, whether or not the fungus was present.

 The navel orangeworm caterpillar grows up to be a nondescript-looking moth. Photo by Brian L. Stauffer

The navel orangeworm caterpillar grows up to be a nondescript-looking moth. Photo by Brian L. Stauffer

When the researchers incubated the fungus with the pesticide bifenthrin before the caterpillars came on the scene, however, caterpillar mortality went down. This suggests A. flavusdetoxifies bifenthrin, which helps the caterpillar, the researchers wrote.

“It’s very likely that this caterpillar has managed to colonize so many new crops because its partner fungus can break down the chemical defenses of the tree crops that it encounters,” Berenbaum said. “It’s also giving this caterpillar an extra edge because the fungus is breaking down some of the pesticides that growers are using to combat the caterpillar.”

The California Pistachio Research Board and the Almond Board of California funded this research.

https://news.illinois.edu/view/6367/713613

2018 LACBA Annual Holiday Dinner!

You’re Invited to Our
2018 LACBA Annual Holiday Dinner!

This Monday, November 26, 2018,
is the last day to purchase your your dinner.
Don’t miss out because you were late placing your order.
Place your order NOW!

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Pickwick Gardens
1001 Riverside Drive, Burbank CA, 91506
(Conference Center - Directions & Map)
When: Monday, December 3, 2018
Time: 6-9pm
Cost: $10/person

PLEASE PURCHASE TICKETS ONLINE BY 11/26/18
(So we can get a dinner count.)

Bring your confirmation email to the dinner, it’s your ticket!
Thank you!

We do not plan on taking membership dues at the dinner,
so please
pay your membership dues online. Much more fun for everyone!

IF YOU PAY YOUR MEMBERSHIP DUES ONLINE BY 11/26/18
YOU’LL RECEIVE 10 FREE RAFFLE TICKETS AT THE DOOR!
Bring your Membership Confirmation email.

This is the time of year when we get to kick back, relax, and talk about anything and everything, especially… BEES! Our Holiday Dinner is a family-friendly open event - feel free to bring your spouse, partner, kids, and friends. We will hold our largest RAFFLE! of the year, and present our Golden Hive Tool Award.

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Thank you to LACBA Member, Doug Noland, for providing our wonderful holiday dinner which is catered by Outback Catering!


We ask you to bring:

  • An appetizer or dessert, to share (6-8 servings is plenty). A-M (Desserts), N-Z (Appetizers)

  • An item for our raffle!

We look forward to seeing everyone at our 2018 LACBA Annual Holiday Dinner!

2018 CSBA Convention UPDATE!

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HERE'S THE LATEST BUZZ ABOUT THE CSBA Convention! If you're not already at the convention, don't head down for the last day (Thursday). Due to the power company shutting off the electricity in the San Diego area, the rest of the convention had to be cancelled. Attendees and speakers are on their way home!

It's always a great convention so stay tuned for news of the 2019 CSBA Convention next November in Temecula.

Data-Driven Applications for Beekeepers

Pollinator Partnership By Dan Aurell November 12, 2018

With the withdrawal of Fumagillin from the market, there has been renewed interest among queen producers and honey producers alike in finding ways to control Nosema infection in their bees. The Texas BIP team recently helped a beekeeper look at whether essential oil patties or a sprayed-on probiotic would help reduce the Nosema load of spring splits. 30 colonies (8-12 colonies per group) were sampled for Nosema at time of check-back (mid-April 2018) and randomly selected to be part of one of three groups: untreated control, essential oil, or probiotic. When Nosema loads were sampled again (mid-May 2018), the levels had gone down in all groups in accordance with the usual seasonal pattern. However, there was no significant difference seen between the treatments.

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Results of a small case study evaluating the effects of essential oil patties and sprayed-on probiotic on spring Nosema levels in a TX operation.

It is important to communicate non-conclusive results like these – as an antidote to the hype that often accompanies new products – and because it steers us toward testing the products in a different setting where they may actually work. Our ongoing sampling work with many operations puts us in a great position to collaborate with beekeepers on experiments, and to pursue questions that have immediate application among beekeepers. By donating today, you are enabling us to build on these strengths.

https://beeinformed.org/2018/11/12/data-driven-applications-for-beekeepers/

Welcome to the New Website for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association!

What’s New?

You Can Now Become a Member and Pay for Events Online!

Coming Soon!

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We now have a Calendar of Events! More Events are being added!

We will soon be connected on Social Media!

All the content that was on the old LACBA site is (or soon will be) on this site!

This new LACBA website is a work in progress. (A working hive, if you will.) Everything has been reorganized and should be easier to find. There’s new information added and some pages still need to be included. The entire Buzz Archives (2000+) have been uploaded but need to be re-categorized. Broken links are being repaired and missing links attended to. If you have difficulty with purchasing membership or events, please contact: lacba.webmaster@gmail.com. If you have questions about membership, please contact: lacba.membership@gmail.com. Thank you very much! Enjoy! ~Eva Andrews, LACBA Webmaster

2018 CSBA Annual Convention

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The 2018 CSBA Annual Meeting and Convention, is the largest state beekeeping convention in the nation, where new products, services, and research are often unveiled for the first time. 

The CSBA Annual Convention draws over 300 attendees per day, including commercial beekeepers, queen breeders, affiliated clubs, equipment manufacturers, leading honeybee researchers, suppliers, and vendors from across the country.
https://www.californiastatebeekeepers.com/event/2018-csba-annual-convention/

USDA Announces Update To National Road Map For Integrated Pest Management (Ipm)

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WASHINGTON, October 24, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced today the first update since 2013 of the National Road Map for Integrated Pest Management (IPM) (PDF, 340 KB).

The update culminates a yearlong review by the Federal Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Coordinating Committee (FIPMCC), a joint effort that is coordinated by the Office of Pest Management Policy in the Office of USDA’s Chief Economist with representatives of all federal agencies with responsibilities in IPM research, implementation, or education programs. These agencies include Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of the Interior (DOI), and Department of Defense (DoD).

Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is a science-based, sustainable decision-making process that uses information on pest biology, environmental data, and technology to manage pest damage in a way that minimizes both economic costs and risks to people, property, and the environment.

The National Road Map for Integrated Pest Management (IPM), first introduced in 2004, is periodically updated to reflect the evolving science, practice, and nature of IPM. The Road Map provides guidance to the IPM community on the adoption of effective, economical, and safe IPM practices, and on the development of new practices where needed. The guidance defines, prioritizes, and articulates pest management challenges across many landscapes, including: agriculture, forests, parks, wildlife refuges, military bases, as well as in residential, and public areas, such as public housing and schools. The Road Map also helps to identify priorities for IPM research, technology, education and implementation through information exchange and coordination among federal and non-federal researchers, educators, technology innovators, and IPM practitioners.

About OCE Office of Pest Management Policy

The USDA’s Office of Pest Management Policy (OPMP) is responsible for the development and coordination of Department policy on pest management and pesticides. It coordinates activities and services of the Department, including research, extension, and education activities, coordinates interagency activities, and consults with agricultural producers that may be affected by USDA-related pest management or pesticide-related activities or actions. OPMP also works with EPA on pesticide and water pollution issues and represents USDA at national and international scientific and policy conferences.

https://www.usda.gov/media/press-releases/2018/10/24/usda-announces-update-national-road-map-integrated-pest-management

What Do Bees Do During A Total Eclipse? Why They Quit Buzzing For One Thing!

CATCH THE BUZZ  By: Susan Milius     October 5, 2018

BEE TOTALITY During the solar eclipse over the United States in 2017, citizen scientists recorded bee sounds to help researchers find out what the insects do when day suddenly plunges into darkness. Susan Ellis, Bugwood.orgBEE TOTALITY During the solar eclipse over the United States in 2017, citizen scientists recorded bee sounds to help researchers find out what the insects do when day suddenly plunges into darkness.

Susan Ellis, Bugwood.org

When the 2017 Great American Eclipse hit totality and the sky went dark, bees noticed.

Microphones in flower patches at 11 sites in the path of the eclipse picked up the buzzing sounds of bees flying among blooms before and after totality. But those sounds were noticeably absent during the full solar blackout, a new study finds.

Dimming light and some summer cooling during the onset of the eclipse didn’t appear to make a difference to the bees. But the deeper darkness of totality did, researchers report Oct. 10 in the Annals of the Entomological Society of America. At the time of totality, the change in buzzing was abrupt, says study coauthor and ecologist Candace Galen of the University of Missouri in Columbia.

The recordings come from citizen scientists, mostly school classes, setting out small microphones at two spots in Oregon, one in Idaho and eight in Missouri. Often when bees went silent at the peak of the eclipse, Galen says, “you can hear the people in the background going ‘ooo,’ ‘ahh’ or clapping.”

LISTENING IN This fluffy white lump is a microphone protected from wind noise in a clover patch. Citizen scientists set up microphones like these to record the bees buzzing, or not, at 11 U.S. sites during the 2017 eclipse. C. Galen/Univ. of Missouri

There’s no entirely reliable way (yet) of telling what kinds of bees were doing the buzzing, based only on their sounds, Galen says. She estimates that the Missouri sites had a lot of bumblebees, while the western sites had more of the tinier, temperature-fussy Megachile bees.

More western samples, with the fussier bees, might have let researchers see an effect on the insects of temperatures dropping by at least 10 degrees Celsius during the eclipse. The temperature plunge in the Missouri summer just “made things feel a little more comfortable,” Galen says.

This study of buzz recordings gives the first formal data published on bees during a solar eclipse, as far as Galen knows. “Insects are remarkably neglected,” she says. “Everybody wants to know what their dog and cat are doing during the eclipse, but they don’t think about the flea.”

Susan Milius for ScienceNews.org

Beekeeping Class 101 - #8 October 21, 2018 9AM-Noon, The Valley Hive (Store Location)

NOTE: CHANGE OF LOCATION for Beekeeping Class 101 - #8 Sunday, October 21, 2018, 9AM-Noon, will be at The Valley Hive Store location: 10538 Topanga Canyon, Chatsworth, CA. It will not be at the apiary location.

Are you an experienced beekeeper and looking for a way to share your bee knowledge with others?  Or, are you new to beekeeping and looking for a place to learn more about bees?

COME JOIN US FOR BEEKEEPING 101!!!

PLEASE BE ON TIME 
Class begins at 9am, and runs until approx. noon

MEET AT THE VALLEY HIVE LOCATED AT:
10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd, CHATSWORTH, CA 91311

Parking is available on both sides of Topanga Canyon.  If you park on the south side of the street please use the crosswalk at Chatsworth St.

CLASS AGENDA
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED THIS YEAR?

  • Equipment Essentials
  • Honeybee Basics
  • A Beekeeper's Year
  • Testing  & Treating for Varroa Mites
  • Winterizing your hive
  • What to expect come spring time

THE COST FOR CLASS:
Free!  With a paid membership to the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association

2018 Membership Fees: 

$20 per year for household membership, or

$45 per year for a contributing membership

FUTURE CLASS DATES:

THIS IS THE LAST CLASS FOR 2018

Be sure to attend the monthly Monday meeting and check the website for upcoming events in 2019.

All the information you need in order to attend the LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 is posted on our website: /beekeeping-classes-losangeles/.

OUR NEXT MONTHLY MEETING WILL BE HELD ON
Monday, November 5, 2018

Board Meeting: 6:30pm

General Meeting: 7:00pm 

Location: Mount Olive Lutheran Church (Shilling Hall)
                 3561 Foothill Boulevard
                 La Crescenta, CA 91214

       Please bring something for the raffle

THE BOARD WANTS TO HEAR FROM YOU

The LA County Fair is our largest fund raiser of the year.  Your board of directors would like your suggestions as who we should have come speak to us in 2019.  Come to the Board Meeting @ 6:30pm on Monday November 5, 2018 to give your opinion.  This is your chance to be heard.

How The Mushroom Dream Of A ‘Long-Haired Hippie’ Could Help Save The World’s Bees

Seattle Times     By Evan Bush   October 4, 2018

A study published Thursday details a promising and novel approach to help stop the viruses killing honeybees, which pollinate much of the food we rely on: mushrooms.

1 of 2 Paul Stamets, an expert on mushrooms and owner of Fungi Perfecti, had an epiphany: Something in mushrooms could help keep bees healthy. (John Lok / The Seattle Times, 2010)

The epiphany that mushrooms could help save the world’s ailing bee colonies struck Paul Stamets while he was in bed.

“I love waking dreams,” he said. “It’s a time when you’re just coming back into consciousness.”

Years ago, in 1984, Stamets had noticed a “continuous convoy of bees” traveling from a patch of mushrooms he was growing and his beehives. The bees actually moved wood chips to access his mushroom’s mycelium, the branching fibers of fungus that look like cobwebs.

“I could see them sipping on the droplets oozing from the mycelium,” he said. They were after its sugar, he thought.

Decades later, he and a friend began a conversation about bee colony collapse that left Stamets, the owner of a mushroom mercantile, puzzling over a problem. Bees across the world have been disappearing at an alarming rate. Parasites like mites, fast-spreading viruses, agricultural chemicals and lack of forage area have stressed and threatened wild and commercial bees alike.

Waking up one morning, “I connected the dots,” he said. “Mycelium have sugars and antiviral properties,” he said. What if it wasn’t just sugar that was useful to those mushroom-suckling bees so long ago?

In research published Thursday in the journal Scientific Reports, Stamets turned intuition into reality. The paper describes how bees given a small amount of his mushroom mycelia extract exhibited remarkable reductions in the presence of viruses associated with parasitic mites that have been attacking, and infecting, bee colonies for decades.

Mites contribute to colony collapse

In the late 1980s, tiny Varroa mites began to spread through bee colonies in the United States. The mites — which are parasites and can infect bees with viruses —  proliferate easily and cause colony collapse in just years.

Over time, colonies have become even more susceptible, and viruses became among the chief threats to the important pollinators for crops on which people rely.

“We think that’s because the viruses have evolved and become pathogenic and virulent,” said Dennis vanEngelsdorp, a University of Maryland professor in entomology, who was not involved in the mycelium research. “Varroa viruses kill most of the colonies in the country.”

He likened the mites to dirty hypodermic needles; the mites are able to spread viruses from bee to bee.

The only practical solution to date has been to keep the number of Varroa mites within beehives “at manageable populations.”

Stamet’s idea about bee-helping mycelium could give beekeepers a powerful new weapon.

At first, mushrooms were a hard sell.

When Stamets, whose fascination with fungi began with “magic mushrooms” when he was a “long-haired hippie” undergraduate at The Evergreen State College, began reaching out to scientists, some laughed him off.

“I don’t have time for this. You sound kind of crazy. I’m gonna go,” he recalled a California researcher telling him. “It was never good to start a conversation with scientists you don’t know saying, ‘I had a dream.’”

When Steve Sheppard, a Washington State University entomology professor, received a call in 2014 from Stamets, however, he didn’t balk. He listened.

Sheppard has heard a lot of wild ideas to save bees over the years, like harnessing static electricity to stick bees with little balls of Styrofoam coated in mite-killing chemicals. Stamets’ pitch was different: He had data to back up his claims about mycelium’s antiviral properties and his company, Fungi Perfecti, could produce it in bulk. “I had a compelling reason to look further,” Sheppard said.

Together with other researchers, the unlikely pair have produced research that opens promising and previously unknown doors in the fight to keep bee colonies from collapsing.

“This is a pretty novel approach,” vanEngelsdorp said. “There’s no scientist who believes there’s a silver bullet for bee health. There’s too many things going on. … This is a great first step.”

Beekeepers from the WSU Honey Bee lab are shown setting up a field experiment in 2017 in an almond orchard in California. They fed mushroom extract to commercial honeybee colonies to see if it could help the pollinators resist catastrophic diseases carried by mites. (Courtesy of Washington State University)Experiments, more research planned

To test Stamets’ theory, the researchers conducted two experiments: They separated two groups of mite-exposed bees into cages, feeding one group sugar syrup with a mushroom-based additive and the other, syrup without the additive. They also field-tested the extract in small, working bee colonies near WSU.

For several virus strains, the extract “reduced the virus to almost nothing,” said Brandon Hopkins, a WSU assistant research professor, another author of the paper.

The promising results have opened the door to new inquiries.

Researchers are still trying to figure out how the mushroom extract works. The compound could be boosting bees’ immune systems, making them more resistant to the virus. Or, the compound could be targeting the viruses themselves.

“We don’t know what’s happening to cause the reduction. That’s sort of our next step,” Sheppard said.

Because the extract can be added to syrups commercial beekeepers commonly use, researchers say the extract could be a practical solution that could scale quickly.

For now, they are conducting more research. On Wednesday, Hopkins and Sheppard spent the day setting up experiments at more than 300 commercial colonies in Oregon.

Meanwhile, Stamets has designed a 3D-printable feeder that delivers mycelia extract to wild bees. He plans to launch the product, and an extract-subscription service next year, to the public.

Stamets said he hopes his fungus extract can forestall the crisis of a world without many of its creatures, including bees. He is alarmed at how fast species are going extinct.

“The loss of biodiversity has ramifications that reverberate throughout the food web,” he said, likening each species to parts of an airplane, that hold the earth together — until they don’t.

“What rivet will we lose that we’ll have catastrophic failure? I think the rivet will be losing the bees,” he said. “More than one-third of our food supply is dependent on bees.”

Evan Bush: 206-464-2253 or ebush@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @EvanBush.

https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/science/how-the-mushroom-dream-of-a-long-haired-hippie-could-help-save-the-worlds-bees/

Beesharing – An Online Network That Combines Beekeeping And Agriculture. A Digital Pollination Brokerb

Catch The Buzz     October 3, 2018

BEEsharing: Using bees to produce more fruit and vegetables. 

Senator Frank Horch, in a conversation with start-up BEEsharing, on bees in fruit and vegetable growing as well as ideas for solutions to worldwide bee mortality.

Bees are good money makers. Honey and other bee products are popular and they sell well. But above all, the pollination performance of bees is of enormous importance. They make a huge difference in the fruit and vegetable industry, as they can enlarge the yields. And it is exactly there where the BEEsharing’s business model of ties in. An online network that combines beekeeping and agriculture. Beekeepers offer bee colonies for pollination, and farmers and growers then buy their services. Consulting, mediation and logistics are handled by BEEsharing. The apiary in Hamburg is currently experiencing a tremendous upswing, now with more than 1,000 beekeepers.

Senator Frank Horch emphasized: “Sharing bees means looking after them. BEEsharing uses the opportunities offered by digitization and combines beekeepers with agricultural partners. A great business idea that also keeps an eye on plant and species diversity. Hamburg needs people who recognize opportunities and push their ideas forward with courage and passion. Startups like these deserve our attention because they create innovation and are the guarantor of tomorrow’s economic successes. We want to support them with good framework conditions.”

Otmar Trenk, CEO and Founder BEEsharing P.A.L.S. GmbH, said: “We are pleased that we have the opportunity to present our young, innovative company to representatives from politics and business and to enter into a pragmatic discourse with them. This discourse is necessary to maintain the competitiveness of beekeeping and agriculture, and to make it a promising endeavour.”

Bees are among the most important farm animals; they play a key role in nature and agriculture. The economic output of beekeeping in Germany is around 1.7 billion euros per year, of which 1.6 billion euros are accounted for by pollination alone. In Hamburg, there are more than 400 horticultural businesses for which bees are indispensable. In order to be able to use these bees in the future as well, a good environment is needed. The numerous beekeepers contribute to this. The developments in Hamburg have been very positive in recent years. The Beekeeper Association Hamburg e. V. currently has more than 1,000 bee friends, while in 2005 there were only about 250 members.

https://www.beeculture.com/catch-the-buzz-beesharing-an-online-network-that-combines-beekeeping-and-agriculture-a-digital-pollination-broker

 

LACBA Meeting: Monday, October 1, 2018

Our next meeting will be held Monday, October 1, 2018.
Open Board Meeting/Committee 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!

Special Talk on beeswax processing and products.  Please bring your own products to show the group and maybe some of your own tips on processing, procedures and uses for beeswax.

American Foulbrood Disease

Thank you to Jaime E. Garza, Apiary/Agricultural Standards Inspector, Department of Agriculture, Weights & Measures, County of San Diego for the following:

"To help improve the overall health of our honey bee community it is important for beekeepers to familiarize themselves with healthy brood conditions and types of brood diseases.

I have attached a helpful resource on American Foulbrood Disease which is a highly contagious bacteria with no cure. The disease weakens and in most cases kills a bee colony. During times of dearth a weakened infected bee colony may be susceptible to robbing by other honey bees from other colonies which can cause the bacteria to be spread. The disease can be spread by bees, honey, propolis, hive tools, frames and other beekeeping equipment."