LACBA Holiday Dinner Fun!!!

Thank you to everyone who helped with our wonderful LACBA Annual Holiday Dinner last evening at the Pickwick Gardens. Great fun was had by all.

Our delicious dinner was provided by Outback Catering (LACBA Member, Doug Noland). Potluck appetizers and desserts were brought by LACBA members.

RAFFLE!!! prizes were awesome and honey bee related.  

LABCA President, Jim Lindsey, performed the duties of Master of Ceremonies.  

LACBA Secretary, Stacey McKenna, was our gracious host and organizer of the event.

LACBA Vice President, Keith Roberts, presented the Golden Hive Tool award (our President's choice of someone who has shown great dedication to the club and thereby improved people's experience of beekeeping) to Stacy McKenna. Stacy has been the LACBA secretary for five years, volunteers at the LA County Fair Bee Booth, attends the CSBA Annual Conventions, takes copious notes of everything, shares the information with everyone, and is always willing to help beekeepers and the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association. Congratulations, Stacy, on receiving this award. And, thank you!

A special thank you to Kodua Galieti, photojournalist, beekeeper, LACBA member for her inspiring presentation of her travels through the beekeeping world of Israel, the Land of Milk and Honey. 

"While traveling in Israel, I had the privilege to photograph bees with Haim Efrat and Yosi Slavetski of the Ministry of Agriculture. What I learned is that beekeepers face the same joys and challenges all over the world. I found that we beekeepers have a special camaraderie because we share the same passion for bees and their welfare and understand how vital they are to our existance." -Kodua Galieti

Broad Coalition Uses Full Pags Ads - Awareness on Pollination Declines

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

Broad Coalition focuses Awareness on Pollinator Declines

December 2, 2013--Today, Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety and Pesticide Action Network, supported by Ceres Trust and joined by more than 60 other organizations, launched a national media campaign to bring attention to the severity of pollinator declines due in part to the use of bee-harming pesticides. The campaign launch was timed to coincide with the beginning of the European Union’s two-year moratorium on three of the most potent neonicotinoids, which began yesterday. A copy of the ad is available at

As part of the national media campaign, full page ads were released in seven newspapers today, including the New York Times, citing the urgency and impact of bee declines and encouraging the public to call on EPA to take action.

“We hope this national media campaign will spur public action to combat this major threat to the environment and to our food system. We must protect bees and other pollinators from these harmful pesticides that EPA has so far failed to safeguard them from,” said Larissa Walker, policy and campaign coordinator for Center for Food Safety.

Never before has such a broad coalition of organizations come together to support pollinator protection. The breadth of the coalition highlights the importance of pollinators to so many, including beekeepers, farmers, policy makers, faith groups, consumer groups and anyone who eats food.

"Protecting bees and pollinators is an urgent matter that must bring our nation together to balance our need for a bountiful food production system and a sustainable environment," said Jay Feldman, executive director for Beyond Pesticides.

One in every three bites of food depends on bees for pollination, and the annual value of pollination services worldwide are valued at over $125 billion. In the United States alone, pollination contributes $20-30 billion in agricultural production annually.

"Honey bees play a crucial role in pollinating the world's food crops," said Gary Hirshberg, co-founder and chairman of Stonyfield, and one of the ad signatories. "So protecting bees from pesticides is not only good for bees, but also for business; the loss of honey bees is a direct threat to the ability of farmers and food companies to deliver diverse, nutritional foods."

In recent years, a number of scientific studies have linked bee declines to pesticide use. In particular, a class of systemic pesticides known as neonicotinoids have been found to harm bees — both alone and in combination with other pesticides. Neonicotinoids, or “neonics,” are often used as seed treatments and sprays on a variety of crops and ornamental plants. Even though several countries, including the entire European Union, have taken action to restrict the use of neonicotinoids, the U.S. still allows their widespread use.

“Beekeepers are losing colonies at an unprecedented rate – the losses are too extreme to keep up with, and our entire industry is at risk of collapse unless federal action is taken. Convening conferences and changing pesticide labels is lip service and window dressing to the issue, but has no substance,” said New York beekeeper Jim Doan.

Today’s ad not only brings attention to this growing issue, but leads readers to the Save-The-Bees website where they can take further action, such as supporting current legislation in Congress, contacting EPA or planting pollinator habitat in their own communities.

“The EU reviewed hundreds of scientific studies and concluded that a two year moratorium was a necessary first step. The U.S. has failed to even come close to that standard, ” said Emily Marquez, PhD, staff scientist at Pesticide Action Network. “EPA should follow the science and take action to protect bees from harmful pesticides.”

Center for Food Safety, Beyond Pesticides, and Pesticide Action Network are coordinating efforts to reverse the troubling trend of pollinator decline through legal, policy and grassroots efforts.

The ad also appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington PostPoliticoMinneapolis Star Tribune, the Des Moines Register and the Los Angeles Times.


Beyond Pesticides, founded in 1981, works with allies in protecting public health and the environment by identifying the hazards of chemical-intensive land, building and community management practices and promoting healthy, sustainable and organic systems. More information can be found at

Center for Food Safety is a national, non-profit, membership organization founded in 1997 to protect human health and the environment by curbing the use of harmful food production technologies and by promoting organic and other forms of sustainable agriculture. CFS maintains offices in Washington, D.C., San Francisco, California and Portland, Oregon. More information can be found

The Ceres Trust, whose name honors the ancient goddess of agriculture, provides grants that support: research in organic agriculture at universities and to graduate students; education to create careers in the production and processing of certified organic food; programs to eliminate pesticide exposure and GMO contamination; and efforts to preserve crop biodiversity and public access to seeds.

Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America works to replace hazardous pesticide use with ecologically sound and socially just alternatives. As one of five PAN Regional Centers worldwide, we link local and international consumer, labor, health, environment and agriculture groups into an international citizens' action network. This network challenges the global proliferation of pesticides, defends basic rights to health and environmental quality, and works to insure the transition to a just and viable society. More information can be found at


The following is from Paul Towers (Pesticide Action Network (PAN) North America): 

As you know, bees are in trouble. And so is the diversity of our food system if we don't do something to protect bees that pollinate our nation's crops. Yesterday marked the first day of a 2-year moratorium on bee-harming pesticides in Europe. But US EPA has been slow to do the same.

So we're ratcheting up the pressure on EPA. Beyond Pesticides, Center for Food Safety and PAN, with support from the Ceres Trust and a broad coalition of supporters, are calling on the agency to follow Europe's lead with a full-page an advertisement today in seven major newspapers across the country, including the New York Times. And we need your help to spread the word to people all across the country.
Here's my blog that explains it a bit more:

And here are some simple steps you can take:

(1) Visit Please sign the petition to urge EPA to take action. It's easy and important. 
(2) Add your group to the list of supporters. Please email me back if your organization or business would like to be added to the supporter list for Let's grow an even bigger and broader coalition of folks demanding action from EPA.
                                                                                             Thanks for your support!


Honey Bees Can Be Trained To Detect Cancer In 10 Minutes   By Meg Wagner   11/14/13    


Doctors have long treated patients for exceptionally bad bee stings, but now, it looks like the insects may be helping the field of medicine.

New research from Inscentinel, a UK-based firm specializing in insect research, suggests that honey bees can be trained to detect certain early-stage cancers in humans.

Using this breakthrough, Portuguese designer Susana Soares has developed a glass device for diagnosis using honey bees and... 

Read more... 

Related articles:

Beekeepers to Discuss Their Future in Lake Tahoe   By Kathryn Reed    11/18/13

Survival of the honeybee is of much greater importance than whether or not there will be honey on store shelves.

“We are having a hard time keeping bees alive … mostly the honeybees,” John Miller, president of the California State Beekeepers Association, told Lake Tahoe News. “Domestic honeybees are the global champions of pollination and honey production. They may be the most beneficial insect on Earth.”

But their habitat is shrinking as farmers plant nonnative crops that then take away areas for bees to forage.

Some of this is happening in North Dakota – one of three locations where Miller operates Miller Honey Farms. (The other locales are in Newcastle in Placer County and in Idaho.) North Dakota farmers are planting soybeans and corn on land that once was “summertime pasture for bees in California.”

This is one of the topics that will be discussed Nov. 19-21 during the state organization’s annual meeting at Harrah’s Lake Tahoe.

“We are the gatekeepers of the food supply. Thirty percent of what people now eat in America is directly traceable to honeybees,” Miller said.

The afternoon session on Nov. 19 will be about improving access for honeybees as well as the link between bees and almonds. Miller said the two are co-dependent.

“Without the bees, the almond industry will not continue to thrive and prosper, and without the almond industry, the beekeeper business model will fail,” Miller said.

What people are putting on their crops is of importance too, because bees consume pesticides and herbicides. Even the average homeowner should avoid applying pesticides in the middle of the day when “pollinators are visiting.”

Miller says the domestic-European honeybee is the most productive bee. All fruits with a pit benefit from them, as do pumpkins, kiwis, apples and berries, to name a few foods.

“As we become more wealthy as a planet, we improve our diet. As we improve our diet, we buy more of the foods that are dependent on bees for pollination,” Miller said. Without bees, he said, people will be eating a whole lot more corn and rice.

What groups like his can do is advocate for conservation programs to be reinstated. Miller said for various reasons a lot of public land is not available to beekeepers.

“We have to be the voice for our living. There is no government program,” Miller said.

He pointed to the Placer Land Trust as an entity that has been good to beekeepers. The group planted a seed mix that is a benefit for native species and pollinators.

While bees on their own fly from area to area pollinating plants and creating nectar, it is the beekeepers like Miller and his brethren who bring the bees in large numbers to farmers.

They are portable as they happily live in a hive. Some people are hobbyists, while others make a living as beekeepers. It’s not unheard for a beekeeper to have 10,000 hives.

The beekeepers can then make honey, which comes from just about every state. Flavors are all over the board, and this is because the bees are foraging on so many different plants.

Some facts about honey from Miller:

• Honey is the only food consumed by humans that is produced by an insect.

• The average honeybee will make only one-twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in her lifetime.

• To make 1 pound of honey bees travel as far as 55,000 miles, getting nectar from more than 2 million flowers.

• A colony produces 60 to 100 pounds of honey a year.

Beekeepers Plot Industry's Future at Tahoe Meeting

The Sacramento Bee (The Associated Press)  11/18/13

Beekeepers are gathering at Lake Tahoe this week to discuss the future of their industry and the challenges it faces.

California State Beekeepers Association President John Miller says domestic honeybees are one of the most beneficial insects on Earth.

But he tells the Lake Tahoe News ( ) their habitat is shrinking across the country as farmers plant non-native crops that take away from the bees' traditional foraging areas.

Miller says part of the group's annual conference opening at Harrah's Lake Tahoe on Tuesday will focus on the link between bees and almond trees. He says that without bees, the almond industry will not continue to thrive and prosper, and without almonds, the beekeeper's business model also will fail.

The conference runs through Thursday.

Read more:


Be Sure, Be Safe, Know Where Your Honey Comes From

(The following is brought to us by CATCH THE BUZZ (Kim Flottum) Bee Culture, The Magazine of American Beekeeping, published by A.I. Root Company.) 11/14/13

Make Sure You Don’t Buy Illegal Honey from ChinaCheck Your Honey with a New Look-Up Tool on

A new search function on allows U.S. shoppers to be sure that they’re not mistakenly buying honey that has been illegally shipped from China. In one easy step they can help ensure the safety and quality of their honey, while also supporting U.S. honey producers and beekeepers. In addition, retailers and manufacturers are able to trace their product back to the hive. 

By going to and clicking on the starburst at the top of the page, consumers can enter the UPC code on the back of their packaged honey to see if it is True Source Certified™. 

Millions of pounds of illegally sourced honey may continue to enter the United States, despite continuing federal crack-down efforts. True Source CertificationTM helps ensure honey’s safety and quality because it traces the source of that honey from hive to table. The program has been applauded by honey industry leaders, including the American Honey Producers Association and the American Beekeeping Federation. 

“The True Source Certified logo tells you that the honey you’re buying was ethically and legally sourced,” says True Source Honey Executive Director Gordon Marks. “If you don’t see the logo, ask your retailer or honey company to join the program. And make sure that your favorite foods with honey – from breakfast cereals to snacks – are made by a manufacturer that purchases honey from a True Source Certified honey company.” 

Earlier this year, two of the nation’s largest honey suppliers admitted to buying illegally imported Chinese honey, including some that was adulterated with unauthorized antibiotics. 

About one-third of honey sold in North America today is now True Source Certified. Many large grocery retailers and club stores only use certified honey for store brands, including Costco (Kirkland Signature) and Target (Market Pantry and Simply Balanced). 

The U.S. imports more than 60% of the honey it needs from other countries. Most is from high-quality, legal sources. But some honey brokers and importers illegally circumvent tariffs and quality controls, selling honey to U.S. companies that is of questionable origin. This threatens the U.S. honey industry by undercutting fair market prices and damaging honey's reputation for quality and safety. 

True Source Honey, LLC is an effort by a number of honey companies and importers to protect consumers and customers from illegally sourced honey; and to highlight and support legal, transparent and ethical sourcing. The initiative seeks to help maintain the reputation of honey as a high-quality, highly valued food and further sustain the U.S. honey sector. Follow on Facebook

Someone's Going Home with a Piece of Him!

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey  11/15/13

There's no doubt about it.

Honey bee guru Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist with the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology since 1976 and an upcoming retiree, will be "roasted" at the California State Beekeepers' Association conference, to be heldNov 19-21 at Lake Tahoe, Nev.

But someone will be going home with a little...


Visit the Kathy Keatley Garvey Bug Squad blog at:

What's Wrong with My Bees?

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey   11/14/13

That's a question frequently asked of Extension apiculturist Eric Mussen of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology.

Fact is, he's an "unbee-lievable" wealth of information. The honey bee guru has served as Extension apiculturist since 1976 and writes a newsletter, from the UC...


Visit the Kathy Keatley Garvey Bug Squad blog at:

(Note: Eric Mussen will be speaking on "The Most Interesting Time in Beekeeping" at the California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention in South Lake Tahoe, Nov. 19-22, 2013)

Queen Bee Tells The Whole Hive About Their Sexual Flings

Los Angeles Times    By Geoffrey Mohan    11/14/13

Queen honeybees not only mate with lots of males, but they also brag about it to the whole hive.

A chemical signal from queen bee glands lets the female worker bees know that her mating dalliances were successful, and hint at just how fruitful they were, according to a study published Wednesday in the online journal PLOS One.

The honeybee, Apis mellifera, is equipped with one of the most complex chemical signaling systems in nature, with multiple pheromones controlling the social organization of the hive. They can encourage foraging, attract mates, keep new queens from being reared, and even change the population composition of the hive and alter the gene expression of worker bees.

But entomologists have wondered what kind of information those chemicals conveyed...


Related article Penn State

Made with Interactive Websites Offered by National Honey Board

In an effort to provide food manufactures with information about the use of honey as an ingredient in products, the National Honey Board created the interactive websites. These five websites were launched to provide manufacturers with industry-specific technical, marketing and formulation assistance in the areas of baking, beverage, confectionery, dairy and snacking. 

The National Honey Board encourages industry members to utilize the information and content found on these websites to stay up-to-date on the latest food product trends and innovation, as well as the most recent technical data available. 
To find out more about these sites, the National Honey Board encourages you to This informative website contains information on baking with honey, including retail and wholesale baking formulas and technical specifications.  Some of the newer technical materials include Frequently Asked Questions from the retail and wholesale baking industries, and information on Honey Substitution This website offers insight into the expanding beverage industry as manufactures realize the value of using an all-natural sweetener with exceptional flavor and marketing impact. This website provides confectionery manufacturers with new product ideas and stories about the latest candy industry trends. From ice cream to yogurt, this website offers dairy food and beverage manufacturers the latest information on honey and dairy products made with honey. An online guide to snack food products made with honey, as well as technical and marketing information for using honey in savory and salty snacks.

Experts Discuss Ways to Boost Honeybee Forage   By Christine Souza  11/13/13

November 13, 2013 - At a first-of-its-kind meeting in Sacramento, beekeepers, farmers and representatives of public and private organizations gathered to discuss how to improve honeybee populations by allowing beekeepers access to more sources of bee forage.

During the meeting, held last week at the California Farm Bureau Federation, beekeepers and bee experts said increased access to forage on both public and privately managed lands would promote the long-term health and sustainability of managed honeybee populations.

California State Beekeepers Association President John Miller, a beekeeper from Newcastle, described the past 30 years in the bee business as "tumultuous."

"We're at a juncture here where we must address some fundamental issues of forage and access," Miller said...

Read more... 

Queen Bee's Honesty is the Best Policy For Reproductive Signals

Penn State     By Sara Lajeunesse 11/13/13



UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Queen bees convey honest signals to worker bees about their reproductive status and quality, according to an international team of researchers, who say their findings may help to explain why honey bee populations are declining.

"We usually think animals' chemicals (called pheromones) as communicatoion systems that convey only very simple sorts of information," said Christina Grozinger, professor of entomology and director of the Center for Pollinator Research, Penn State. "However, this study demonstrates that queen honey bees are conveying a lot of nuanced information...


Related LA Times article Queen bees tell the whole hive about their sexual flings


Africanized Bees Kill Pit Bull, Injure Another, In Florida Neighborhood   By Gil Aegerter    11/7/13


A huge swarm of Africanized bees flew out the attic of a Florida home and stung a pit bull to death, police said.

Another pit bull was left in critical condition, NBC station WFLA of St. Petersburg reported.

The incident occurred Thursday morning when the two dogs started barking outside the home. Bee experts said nearly 100,000 killer bees were in the attic, WFLA reported.

The other, named Mama, was stung over 100 times and...

Read more... 

Related article

For more information on Africanized Honey Bees, visit our Africanized Honey Bee page.


Beekeeping Class 101: Sunday, November 10, 2013 9-noon

REMINDER: Beekeeping Class 101: Sunday, November 10, 2013 - 9am-Noon. Bill's Bees Bee Yard.  

This is our last beekeeping class for the season. Topic: Keeping Bees Alive Through The Dearth
Bee Suits Required. All are welcome. $10 fee for non-members. Free to members (membership $10/year.) For details and directions see our Beekeeping Classes page. Our 2014 Beekeeping Class 101 will start up sometime in February. We will post the dates as soon as they're available. Thank you! Learn Responsible Beekeeping in an Urban Environment! 

Honey Bees and Extinction

Bug Squad - Happenings in the Insect World   By Kathy Keatley Garvey    11/7/13 

"Would the extinction of honey bees lead directly to the extinction of humans?"

That's a recent question posed on Quora, where folks can ask questions and receive answers.

The answer is "no."

"We are a resilient species that existed before beekeeping...


Visit the Kathy Keatley Garvey Bug Squad blog at:

Allergic to Insect Stings: Allergy Shots Decrease Anxiety & Depression



Stinging insects are everywhere making them nearly inescapable. The thought of being stung can cause depression and anxiety for the two million Americans that are allergic to their venom. But according to a study being presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) Annual Scientific Meeting in Baltimore, Nov. 7-11, allergy shots, also known as immunotherapy, can improve quality of life for these sufferers. Allergy shots are the only allergy treatment known to modify and prevent disease progression, and can be life-saving for those allergic to insect stings. Researchers have found this type of treatment also decreases anxiety and depression in those allergic to wasp, bee and ant stings.

By the Numbers: Insect stings send more than 500,000 Americans to hospital emergency rooms and cause at least 50 known deaths each year. A person who has had an allergic reaction to insect sting has a 60 percent chance of having another similar or worse reaction if stung again. Immunotherapy has been shown to be an astonishing 97 percent effective in preventing future allergy to insect stings.

Subscribe to the American Bee Journal and sign up for ABJ Extra

To subscribe to the American Bee Journal click here and choose digital or the printed version.

Almond Pollination Update

By Joe Traynor, Scientific Ag Company   10/30/13
Looking for (REAL) Late-Blooming Soft-Shells

Robust almond prices have caused a surge in new acreage.  Almost all new current plantings are soft-shell varieties due to the price gap between soft and hard-shells -- now 50 cents/lb and growing.  The major China and India markets purchase in-shell almonds and either sell them in-shell (often for gifts) or use cheap labor to punch out the kernels – easily done with soft-shells, difficult with hard-shells. Growing hard-shells is still profitable at current prices, but...

Subscribe to the American Bee Journal and sign up for ABJ Extra

To subscribe to the American Bee Journal click here and choose digital or the printed version.

2013 CSBA Annual Convention

The 2013 CSBA Annual Convention will be held at the beautiful Harrah's/Harveys, Tahoe, Stateline, NV.  Dates: November 18-22, 2013.

Read up on the excellent speakers the CSBA has lined up for this year's convention. See: Speaker Information right here on our website.

In order to help you Gear Up for the Convention, LACBA Secretary, Stacy McKenna, share her experience and insightss: "Why Do The DO That!"