Honey Harvest Festival: June 22nd & 23rd, 2019

Free Admission! Join us for loads of fun at the Honey Harvest Festival in Central Park, Fillmore, CA.

Jump on board the Honey Bee Express for a train ride to Bennett's Honey Farm. Experienced LACBA beekeepers will be traveling with you, sharing stories of their exciting adventures in beekeeping and life with honey bees. Lot’s of fun for everyone!



LACBA Meeting Monday, May 6, 2019

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Next Meeting
Monday, May 6, 2019
Time: Doors Open: 6:30PM
Meeting Starts: 7:00PM

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church 
3561 Foothill Boulevard 
La Crescenta, CA  91214


a.      Welcome

b.     Flag Salute

c.      Introduce the board Kevin Vice president, Merrill Secretary, ElRay Member at large and I your president.   Bill our treasurer passed away March 26th.   We will have a remembrance tonight at the end of the meeting.

d.     Select Raffle ticket seller, index cards for questions

e.      New Members and/or guests

f.       Thank Doug Noland for the treat du jour

First/Second year beekeeping - Speaker (7 minutes)
A selected beekeeper, Murry, to speak on how they got into beekeeping and their first two years of beekeeping. Specifically, on the mistakes made, the trials, tribulations, problems.

Topic Speaker
Rob Stone, Orange County Beekeepers
Reading the frames.  What you can tell about your bees from the clues on the frame.

Main Topic: Receiving your Packages

  • How’d it go?

  • How many gallons of syrup have they ate?

  • Have you opened them other than sliding lid for syrup addition?

  • April 25th  it’s been 11 days so should be inspecting yesterdayish eggs? Larva? capped brood?    What’s your plan?  Swarm control?

Meeting minutes: Mary Ann Laun

Secretary Report: Merrill Kruger

Treasurer's Report.    Jon Reese

Membership Report:  Cheryl Thiele

Website: Eva Andrews

Education: Mary Landau –  opportunities to go speak.   

I have a request.  Someone to go along to a community meeting about beekeepers and their pesky bees in the area.  I want some one to buffer me (and maybe me them) when I explain the beekeeping ordinance legalizing bees and how homeowners can move neighbors to comply with the ordinance. (Get the state apiary inspector’s number) explain bees foraging

Beekeeping 101: Keith Roberts. How did bee class go and what’s in the next class

Upcoming events:

  • Eaton canyon nature center is having a one-day event.  June 2nd.   Educate.  Observation hive sell honey. Partner with BASC.  Who will bring an observation hive?  We have honey 50 bears (?more bears?) and sticks  and sample spoons.  Need banner & pamphlets

  • Elray  Bennett’s honey Farm event. May be a donation to our club is in order for showing up and manning the train from Bennett’s

LA County Fair: Cindy Caldera

Upcoming Talk: Michele Colopy Pollinator Stewardship June 3rd  talk on Migratory beekeeping and why it is so hard to keep bees alive.

How can you increase the production of propolis in your colonies which will increase the health of the hive.  Propolis trap on the walls, saw cutting rips into the walls or roughing up walls with steel brush. 

What do you see, what are you doing this time of year?  Swarms? 

What’s blooming

Index cards Q&A

Next month:  Splits, mite check-treat, honey flow?


[You can now review LACBA Minutes and past LACBA Buzzings! Newsletters on our website on the LACBA Meeting Archives page : https://www.losangelescountybeekeepers.com/lacba-meeting-archives ]

Neonics Hinder Bees' Ability to Fend Off Deadly Mites

Science Daily Story Source: University of Guelph April 22, 2019

The self-grooming behavior of wild honey bees like these can be affected by pesticides.  Credit: University of Guelph

The self-grooming behavior of wild honey bees like these can be affected by pesticides. Credit: University of Guelph

A University of Guelph study is the first to uncover the impact of neonicotinoid pesticides on honey bees' ability to groom and rid themselves of deadly mites.

The research comes as Health Canada places new limits on the use of three key neonicotinoids while it decides whether to impose a full phase-out of the chemicals.

Published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, the study revealed that when honey bees are infected with varroa mites and then regularly exposed to low doses of a commonly used neonicotinoid called clothianidin, their self-grooming behaviour drops off.

Without that self-grooming, bees are susceptible to mites that can also carry viruses that can quickly kill, said lead author Nuria Morfin Ramirez, who completed the research along with Prof. Ernesto Guzman, School of Environmental Sciences, as part of her PhD.

"When bee colonies began to collapse years ago, it became clear there wasn't just one factor involved, so we were interested in whether there was an interaction between two of the main stressors that affect bees: varroa mites and a neurotoxic insecticide, clothianidin," said Morfin.

"This is the first study to evaluate the impact on the grooming behaviour of bees."

Neonicotinoids, or "neonics," are the most commonly used insecticides in Canada. They are coated on canola and corn seeds or sprayed on fruit and vegetable plants and trees. But they have also been linked to honey bee colony collapses.

Varroa mites are also contributing to colony collapses and have been associated with more than 85 per cent of colony losses.

The mites kill bees by slowly feeding off their body fat and hemolymph (blood), and can also transmit a virus called deformed wing virus (DWV). One of the only ways bees can protect themselves is to groom aggressively and brush the mites off.

The researchers wanted to know whether the two stressors of pesticide exposure varroa mites were working together to contribute to bee deaths. The research team used bees from U of G's Honey Bee Research Centre and exposed them to a widely used neonic clothianidin, either on its own or along with varroa mites.

They experimented with three doses of clothianidin, all similar to what the bees would experience while feeding on flower nectar of neonic-treated crop fields, but all low enough to be considered sublethal.

"What we found was a complicated interaction between the mite and the pesticide that decreased the proportion of bees that groomed intensively, and affected genes associated with neurodegenerative processes," Morfin said.

Bees exposed to medium level doses of the neonic showed no changes in grooming behaviour, but when they were also introduced to varroa mites, the proportion of bees that groomed intensively was 1.4 times lower compared to the bees exposed to clothianidin alone.

When exposed to the lowest dose of the pesticide, the proportion of bees that groomed significantly dropped. The lowest dose was also linked to an increased level of deformed wing virus -- an effect not seen at the higher doses.

"These results showed a complex and non-additive interaction between these two stressors," said Guzman. "This study highlights the importance of reducing stressors that bees are exposed to, to reduce the risk of disease and consequently colony mortality."


'The Pollinators' Screens at the Newport Beach Film Festival

The Pollinators screens April 27 and May 1, 2019
at the Newport Beach Film Festival

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The Pollinators is a cinematic journey around the United States following migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honey bees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts and vegetables we all eat. The many challenges the beekeepers and their bees face en route reveal flaws to our simplified chemically dependent agriculture system. We talk to farmers, scientists, chefs and academics along the way to give a broad perspective about the threats to honey bees, what it means to our food security and how we can improve it.

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View Trailer Here


[Filmmaker, Peter Nelson, is a beekeeper based in the Hudson Valley of New York and has also been a backyard beekeeper for 30 years. In addition to his new feature length documentary, The Pollinators, about bees and their importance to our food and agriculture system, he also produced, directed, photographed, and edited the beautiful short film Dance of the Honey Bee, which was featured on Bill Moyers Presents, and can be viewed here.]

Join Us THIS WEEKEND! LACBA Honey Tasting at the LA Zoo Spring Fling


The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association is hosting a ‘Honey Tasting’ (like a ‘Wine Tasting’) during the Los Angeles Zoo 2019 Spring Fling.

For six weekends beginning Saturday, March 23 through Sunday, April 28, 2019 (10AM-4PM). LACBA members will be on hand offering samples of a variety of local honeys, selling local honey, and providing education about honey bees and answering questions.

LACBA Member Schedule & Sign Up

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Pesticide Cocktail Can Harm Honey Bees

PHYS.ORG University of California at San Diego April 10, 2019

A honey bee collects pollen. Credit: James Nieh, UC San Diego

A honey bee collects pollen. Credit: James Nieh, UC San Diego

A recently approved pesticide growing in popularity around the world was developed as a "bee safe" product, designed to kill a broad spectrum of insect pests but not harm pollinators.

A series of tests conducted over several years by scientists at the University of California San Diego focused on better investigating the effects of this chemical. They have shown for the first time that Sivanto, developed by Bayer CropScience AG and first registered for commercial use in 2014, could in fact pose a range of threats to honey bees depending on seasonality, bee age and use in combination with common chemicals such as fungicides.

The study, led by former UC San Diego postdoctoral fellow Simone Tosi, now at ANSES, University Paris Est, and Biological Sciences Professor James Nieh, is published April 10 in Proceedings of the Royal Society B.

Pesticides are a leading health threat to bees. After years of growing concerns about systemic toxic pesticides such as neonicotinoids and their harm on pollinators, Sivanto was developed as a next-generation product.

Sivanto's "bee safe" classification allows it to be used on blooming crops with actively foraging bees. Currently, pesticides are approved for widespread use with only limited testing. Perhaps most importantly, the interactions between new pesticides and other common chemicals such as fungicides are not fully tested. Sivanto's product label does prohibit the pesticide from being mixed in an application tank with certain fungicides. However, bees can still be exposed to Sivanto and other chemicals (pesticide "cocktails") that are commonly used in adjacent crops or that persist over time.

Honey bee workers inside their nest. Credit: Heather Broccard-Bell

Honey bee workers inside their nest. Credit: Heather Broccard-Bell

Starting in 2016, after reviewing documents describing Sivanto's risk assessments, the scientists conducted several honey bee (Apis mellifera) studies investigating effects that were not previously tested, particularly the behavioral effects of chemical cocktails, seasonality and bee age. The scientists provided the first demonstration that pesticide cocktails reduce honey bee survival and increase abnormal behaviors. They showed that worst-case, field-realistic doses of Sivanto, in combination with a common fungicide, can synergistically harm bee behavior and survival, depending upon season and bee age. Bees suffered greater mortality—compared with control groups observed under normal conditions—and exhibited abnormal behavior, including poor coordination, hyperactivity and apathy.

The results are troubling, the researchers say, because the official guidelines for pesticide risk assessment call for testing in-hive bees, likely underestimating the pesticide risks to foragers. Honey bees have a division of labor in which workers that are younger typically work inside the colony (in-hive bees) and foragers work outside the colony. Foragers are therefore more likely to be exposed to pesticides.

"We found foragers more susceptible," said Nieh. "They tend to be older bees and therefore because of their age they can suffer greater harm."

The harmful effects of Sivanto were four-times greater with foragers than with in-hive bees, the UC San Diego study showed, threatening their foraging efficiency and survival. Both kinds of workers also were more strongly harmed in summer as compared to spring.

"This work is a step forward toward a better understanding of the risks that pesticides could pose to bees and the environment," said Tosi, a postdoctoral fellow and project manager at the Epidemiology Unit. According to the authors, the standard measurements of only lethal effects are insufficient for assessing the complexity of pesticide effects.

A honey bee forages on flower. Credit: Heather Broccard-Bell

A honey bee forages on flower. Credit: Heather Broccard-Bell

"Our results highlight the importance of assessing the effects pesticides have on the behavior of animals, and demonstrate that synergism, seasonality and bee age are key factors that subtly change pesticide toxicity," Tosi said. Cocktail effects are particularly relevant because bees are frequently exposed to multiple pesticides simultaneously.

"Because standard risk assessment requires relatively limited tests that only marginally address bee behavior and do not consider the influence of bee age and season, these results raise concerns about the safety of multiple approved pesticides, not only Sivanto," said Nieh, a professor in the Section of Ecology, Behavior and Evolution. "This research suggests that pesticide risk assessments should be refined to determine the effects of commonly encountered pesticide cocktails upon bee behavior and survival."

Sivanto is available in 30 countries in America, Africa, Asia and Europe, with 65 additional countries preparing to approve the product soon. Tosi points out that "because Sivanto was only recently approved, and no monitoring studies have yet investigated its co-occurrence with other pesticides after typical uses in the field, further studies are needed to better assess its actual environmental contamination, and consequent risk for pollinators."

"The idea that this pesticide is a silver bullet in the sense that it will kill all the bad things but preserve the good things is very alluring but deserves caution," said Nieh.

Explore further Pesticides and poor nutrition damage animal health

More information: S. Tosi et al. Lethal and sublethal synergistic effects of a new systemic pesticide, flupyradifurone (Sivanto ® ), on honeybees, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences (2019). DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2019.0433

Journal information: Proceedings of the Royal Society B 

Provided by the University of California - San Diego https://phys.org/partners/university-of-california---san-diego/

Not Just Bumble and Honey: Ground Nesting Bees Impaired by Neonicotinoid Exposure

Beyond Pesticides March 19, 2019

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(Beyond Pesticides, March 19, 2019) Research is beginning to explain how systemic neonicotinoid insecticides affect often overlooked species of ground nesting bees. While much of the current scientific literature has focused on the impacts of pesticides to bumblebees and honey bees, a study, Chronic contact with realistic soil concentrations of imidacloprid affects the mass, immature development speed, and adult longevity of solitary bees, recently published in Scientific Reports, confirms that wild, soil-dwelling bees are at similar risk. As policy makers consider ways to protect pollinators, this research finds that uncontaminated soil is an important aspect of ensuring the health of wild, native bees.

“This is an important piece of work because it’s one of the first studies to look at realistic concentrations of pesticides that you would find in the soil as a route of exposure for bees,” said Nick Anderson, co-author of the study. “It’s a very under-explored route, especially for some of the more solitary species that nest in the ground.”

In order to study the impact of neonicotinoids on ground nesting bees, researchers used orchard mason bees and leafcutter bees as proxies, as they are easier to gather and rear in the lab, and have a similar ecology to ground nesting species. Roughly 300 bees of each species were taken into the lab as larva, and exposed every 48 hours to either 7.5, 15, or 100 ppb of the neonicotinoid imidacloprid. A control with no exposure was also established as a baseline. The authors explain that these amounts represent realistic exposure patterns that wild bees are likely to encounter in soil.

Researchers monitored the bees every day until they reached adulthood, recording longevity, development speed, and mass. Results show that male and female bees have different reactions to exposure. Female mason bees subject to the highest concentrations of imidacloprid live much shorter lives than those unexposed, while the authors had difficulty determining effects on male bees due to an equipment malfunction. Male leafcutter bees actually lived longer than control bees, but developed much faster and to a smaller size than bees not exposed to a pesticide. Female leafcutter development appeared to depend on the concentration of exposure, with the 15ppb group developing slower than other treatment levels and the 100ppb group developing two days faster than control bees.

The changes are likely a result of a hormetic response by the pollinators. This is a phenomena that results from exposure to pesticides; changes in development occur in order to compensate for energy the bee diverts into physical and biological protections from pesticide exposure. This has important implications for the long term health of ground-nesting bees. Any change in development that distracts or alters normal functioning can affect fitness in the field.

Previous research on the environmental fate of neonicotinoids shows that they have the potential to remain in soil from 200 days to as long as 19 years. This means that the type of chronic exposure tested in the current study could occur years or even a decade after an initial pesticide application. Although scientific literature on wild pollinators is limited, past research on mason bees revealed 50% reduced total offspring and a significantly male-biased offspring sex ratio.

The pollinator crisis is broader than honey and bumble bees, and extends not only to native, ground nesting bees but also butterflies and birds. The New York Times has identified the precipitous decline in insect populations over the past several decades as an insect apocalypse.

While bombastic “apocalyptic” language may be criticized for stoking panic and fear, even these warnings have been generally ignored by many policy makers, begging the question of what it will actually take in order to get action on this critical issue. We need to protect not only honey bees, but the wide diversity of native pollinators in order to maintain agricultural production, floral resources, and other ecosystem services that enable our environment, and ultimately human civilization to thrive.

U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer, Jim McGovern, and the 33 current cosponsors of the Saving America’s Pollinators Act are listening to these warnings, and have introduced legislation that would substantive address the threats pesticides pose to pollinators. But in order for change to happen, we need a significant outpouring of public support in favor of this proposal. Take action today by urging your member of Congress to cosponsor SAPA. And if you’re also interested in working on this issue in your state or local community, contact Beyond Pesticides at info@beyondpesticides.org or 202-543-5450.

All unattributed positions and opinions in this piece are those of Beyond Pesticides.

Source: University of Illinois Press ReleaseScientific Reports (peer reviewed journal)


Work Being Done by the Industry to Insure Honey's Purity Will Continue

Catch the Buzz Honey Integrity Task Force April 25, 2019

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Phoenix, March 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — An independent test of top selling honey products sold in U.S. grocery stores found zero instances of adulteration. In all, the 30 top selling products were tested, all of which represented the top items in the honey category as determined by Nielsen’s recent 2018 honey category research. These brands account for approximately 40 percent of the honey sold in the U.S. retail market. The study was commissioned by the Honey Integrity Task Force, an organization made up of representatives from the entire honey industry including importers, packers, producers, marketing cooperative members and an organization that specializes in honey supply chain management.

An independent third party company, RQA Inc., was hired to conduct the study. They pulled two sets of each of the 30 samples from retail shelves across the country. The honey sample brand names were masked, and the samples were sent to two independent German laboratories that specialize in honey testing, QSI and Intertek.

Each lab conducted two adulteration tests, the AOAC-approved 998.12, 13C-Isotope Mass Spectrometry and 13C-IRMS (EA IRMS)/ +LC-IRMS method for C4/C3 adulteration. Both tests are well recognized methods designed to determine if any sugar was added to the honey.

Of the 28 products that were labeled at retail locations as pure honey, the tests from both labs confirmed the samples were not adulterated. Two of the 30 products were actually labeled as honey blends, not pure honey. Both labs correctly identified them as “adulterated.” One was an imitation honey made with maltitol syrup and the other was a combination product with both corn syrup and honey.

“Consumers have every right to expect they’re getting pure honey when they purchase something labeled as such,” said Christi Heintz, Director for the Honey Integrity Task Force. “While the results of this study are very encouraging, we certainly aren’t declaring victory. We view it as validation that our efforts are working, and we hope it gives consumers more confidence in a system that’s been created to protect them. However, our work is never complete and we will continue to work hard and find newer and better ways to ensure the purity of our products.”

The Honey Integrity Task Force plans to conduct more independent testing of honey products in 2019.

Honey is one of nature’s original products, and it is made by bees with no additives or preservatives of any kind. It is one of many food products that can be vulnerable to what is known as economically motivated adulteration, a term used when unscrupulous players within the honey supply chain use cheaper ingredients to lower their production costs and then sell the product as pure honey. The honey industry has put safeguards in place over the years to minimize the chances that a product labeled as honey will be adulterated with sugar or syrup.


Honey Bees of the Cathedral Notre-Dame De Paris Are Still Alive

Beeopic Apiculture April 18, 2019

Honey Bees of the Cathedral Notre-Dame De Paris

Honey Bees of the Cathedral Notre-Dame De Paris

4/18/19 Update: “Our bees from the Cathedral Notre-Dame De Paris are still alive!! Confirmation from the site's officials!!”

4/16/19 Photo of honey bee hives atop Notre-Dame

4/16/19 Photo of honey bee hives atop Notre-Dame

4/16/19 Post: An Ounce of hope!

”The Photos taken by different drones show that the 3 hives are still in place... and visibly intact!

As for the occupying, the mystery remains whole. Smoke, heat, water... we will see if our brave bees are still among us as soon as we have access to the location, which may take a lot of time. We would like to thank you for all your messages of support, which affect us very much.”

The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association sends our love, prayers and best wishes to the people of France, that great country, and their brave little honey bees.

Stay updated on the honey bees of the Cathedral Notre-Dame De Paris on the Beeopic Apiculture Facebook page.

Propolis Power-Up: How Beekeepers Can Encourage Resin Deposits For Better Hive Health

Entomology Today By Andrew Porterfield April 16, 2019

Propolis is a pliable, resinous mixture that honey bees (Apis mellifera) create by mixing a variety of plant resins, saliva, and beeswax and which they apply to interior surfaces of their hives, namely at points of comb attachment and to seal up cracks and crevices on the interior side of hive walls. Greater propolis production is connected with improved hive health, and a new study finds a few simple methods beekeepers can employ to stimulate increased propolis production.

Propolis, a mass of plant resins built by honey bees inside their hives, has drawn attention in recent years partly because of its alleged (but as yet unproven) health benefits to humans. But, perhaps more important, it also shows health benefits to bees themselves. Created from resins and other oils and fats collected from trees, propolis helps preserve the structural integrity of a bee hive and protects against

Propolis has also been connected to benefiting honey bee (Apis mellifera) immune systems, saving energy that would otherwise have been used to protect against nest-invading beetles like Aethina tumida or parasites like the Varroa destructor mite, Nosema fungus, and viruses. In the past, some beekeepers have tried to keep their hives “clean” of propolis, believing it impeded with honey-making activities. Today, though, scientists and beekeepers have begun looking at encouraging propolis production to help sustain healthy hives.

In a new study published recently in the Journal of Economic Entomology, three researches—Cynthia Hodges, master beekeeper and co-owner of Hodges Honey Apiaries in Dunwoody, Georgia; Keith Delaplane, Ph.D., entomology professor at the University of Georgia; and Berry Brosi, Ph.D., associate professor of environmental science at Emory University in Atlanta—looked at four different ways to enhance propolis growth in bee hives. The team found that three surface modifications—plastic trap material on the hive wall interior, parallel saw cuts on hive wall interior, and brush-roughened wall interiors—were all equally capable of resulting in increased propolis production, compared to a fourth method, a control, in which the hive wall interiors we left unmodified.

The researchers divided 20 colonies into five apiary sites and randomly applied one of the three texture treatments or control to each colony. Bees in the colonies foraged for propolis resins from plants common to the Appalachian Piedmont in the southeastern U.S., including conifers, oaks, pecan, red maple, yellow poplar, and urban ornamental plants. The researchers then measured extensiveness and depth of propolis deposits in the hives over time.

Their results showed that any hive interior treatment significantly increased propolis deposition compared to a non-treatment control. Sampling over time showed propolis hoarding and accumulation, as well. None of the texture treatments showed significantly different results from each other.

While all treatments resulted in more propolis deposition, the researchers point to the roughened interior of the hive walls as the best method for encouraging deposition. In fact, leaving lumber naturally rough, with no planning or sanding, would provide a simple and effective surface for boosting propolis, they write.

“We come down in favor of roughened or un-planed wood,” says Delaplane, “because, unlike the plastic trap, it will not subtract from the bee space engineered around the walls and combs. What you see in our pictures is the work of a steel brush. Naturally un-planed wood would be much rougher and, I would expect, even better at stimulating propolis deposition.”

Other researchers have shown that propolis development has a strong effect on the members of the bee hive. These other investigations have shown that interior walls painted with propolis extract resulted in colonies with lower bacterial loads and with worker bees that expressed lower levels of immune gene expression. Sustained activation of immune genes comes at an energy cost, which can result in a reduction in brood numbers and pose a threat to overall colony health. Further studies have shown that reduced immune activation (and therefore less energy spent on fighting infection) comes from reduced pathogen loads in high-propolis colonies and not from immune suppression by propolis.

“I don’t know of any beekeepers deliberately encouraging their bees to collect propolis,” says Delaplane, adding that many keepers in the past have tried to clear propolis from their hives. “But today we know that this bias is misdirected. I believe encouraging propolis deposition is one more thing beekeepers can do to partner with biology instead of ignore it.”



Bill to Ban Beekeeping in Las Vegas Blasted in Legislature

A Henderson state senator’s bill to ban beekeeping in urban and suburban areas ran into plenty of opposition before a Nevada Senate committee Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Carson City. (Las Vegas Review-Journal file)

A Henderson state senator’s bill to ban beekeeping in urban and suburban areas ran into plenty of opposition before a Nevada Senate committee Thursday, April 4, 2019, in Carson City. (Las Vegas Review-Journal file)

Las Vegas Review-Journal By Bill Dentzer April 4, 2019

CARSON CITY — A Henderson state senator’s bill to ban beekeeping in urban and suburban areas ran into — ahem — a swarm of opposition before a Senate committee Thursday.

Senate Bill 389 would prohibit apiaries — places where bees are kept — in areas zoned for two or more residences per acre. Republican Sen. Keith Pickard, who co-sponsored the bill, presented it with an amendment limiting its application to the state’s existing Africanized bee quarantine zone in Southern Nevada, which covers all of Clark County and the southern sections of Nye and Lincoln counties.

Even so, the bill’s hearing before the Senate Natural Resources committee landed like swatting a hive with a stick, as beekeepers, conservationists and local officials stung it repeatedly with barbed criticism.

The only thing thicker than the buzzing of opposition in the committee room were the bee puns.

“I see the place is swarming,” Pickard said as he started his presentation.

The senator said the bill was in response to resident complaints of stings near a Henderson address, where the owner maintained 12 hives.

“They had essentially been driven indoors as their backyards had been overrun by the bees, presumably by the neighboring property,” Pickard said.

He acknowledged that the bees could have come from elsewhere. But, children and pets had been stung, and dogs and horses had died, he said, citing media reports as his source.

In recent years, only one person in the state has died from bee stings — a Las Vegas exterminator who was stung countless times in 2016 while removing a hive without protective clothing.

Whatever the number of apiphobes — people who fear bees — might exist in Henderson or elsewhere, they did not turn out Thursday to support Pickard’s bill, leaving him its lone advocate. Even with the amendment restricting the bill’s applicable area to Southern Nevada, beekeepers and others from Northern Nevada, speaking in Carson City, joined opponents testifying by video link in Las Vegas to denounce it.

They included David Sharpless, whose well-hived Henderson home was the original source of complaints that prompted the bill.

Amid discussion of the finer points and benefits of beekeeping and hive-tending, opponents said the threat of Africanized bees — known as “killer” bees — spreading to more areas was not the fault of local apiaries.

“If my family can use our yard without our bees bothering us, then so can my neighbors,” Sharpless said, adding it was “ridiculous to think that banning backyard hives is a solution to this problem in any way.”

The city of Henderson turned out to oppose the bill, noting a more comprehensive local ordinance it passed in August that regulates apiaries without banning them outright. Under the city’s rules, Sharpless is permitted just two hives on his property, and he has complied.

Pickard’s bill “is too restrictive and conflicts with the city’s goal of allowing apiaries in to a variety of neighborhood types,” Henderson planning manager Eddie Dichter told the committee. Other localities, including the cities of Las Vegas and Reno, agreed.

As the buzz died down, Pickard remained the bill’s unstung hero, saying regulation of apiaries was properly a state — not local — matter, and that the Henderson apiary in question was still out of compliance.

“This is response to a real problem where kids were being stung in their own yards,” he said.


Beekeeping Class 101: Sunday, April 14, 2019

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Sunday, April 14th

 Register by Thursday April 11th to receive class location and details needed to attend class.


This class will take place in an apiary, therefore, protective equipment will be required.  If you do not have proper protective equipment you will NOT be able to participate in class and refunds will NOT be issued (all money collected for classes were a donation).

Class Topic: 

  • Get comfortable with handling your bees

  • Hive inspection techniques – what to look for on you first hive inspection after installing your package of bees or nuc of bees.

  • Be prepared for a quiz!  Do you remember what was covered in class last month?


Bill Rathfelder - Telling the Bees

Telling the Bees
of the Passing of
Bill Rathfelder

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Long-time member and treasurer of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, our fellow beekeeper and dear friend, Bill Rathfelder, passed away on Tuesday, March 26, 2019.


Funeral Service:

Date: Friday, April 12, 2019 Time: 11:00 am

Mt. Olive Lutheran Church
 3561 Foothill Blvd.
 La Crescenta, CA 91214
(Reception will follow the funderal service in the fellowship hall.)
Website: https://www.molc.org/ 

Gravesite Interment (next-day):

Date: Saturday, April 13, 2019 Time: 10:00 am

Glen Haven Memorial Park
13017 Lopez Canyon Rd.
Sylmar, CA 91342
Map: https://www.google.com/search?q=13107+Lopez+Canyon+Road%2C+Sylmar&rlz=1C1CHFX_enUS523US523&oq=13107+Lopez+Canyon+Road%2C+Sylmar&aqs=chrome..69i57.9288j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8

Bill ( on the left) enjoyed A magical day in the almond orchards with the bees and fellow beekeepers.

Bill ( on the left) enjoyed A magical day in the almond orchards with the bees and fellow beekeepers.

Bill’s fascination for bees went way back to childhood. He became an avid beekeeper and kept bees for over fifty years. Bill passed his interest in bees onto his sons when they were kids. He loved telling the story of how he built them a live honey bee observation hive and they kept it in their room.

Bill enjoyed a long career at Lockheed as an aeronautical engineer and retired after fifty years of service. He continued his interest in aerospace, traveled to many air shows, and kept us informed (though his many emails) as to what was happening the the starry starry sky and the universe beyond.

Bill became a member of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association in  1999. He was actively involved in our club events, volunteered at the LA County Fair Bee Booth for many years, and held the position of Treasure for over ten years - until his passing.

In 2000, the LA County Fair presented Bill Rathfelder with the Award for Best Hobbyist Beekeeper.

In 2012, Bill received the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association’s Golden Hive Tool Award. The Golden Hive Tool Award is our President’s choice of someone who has shown great dedication to the club and thereby improved people’s experience of beekeeping. 

We love you Bill, and we will miss you - especially in the springtime, when the almonds bloom and the bees are a’buzzin!

A Prayer in Spring
By Robert Frost

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers to-day; 
And give us not to think so far away 
As the uncertain harvest; keep us here 
All simply in the springing of the year. 

Oh, give us pleasure in the orchard white,
Like nothing else by day, like ghosts by night; 
And make us happy in the happy bees, 
The swarm dilating round the perfect trees. 

And make us happy in the darting bird 
That suddenly above the bees is heard,
The meteor that thrusts in with needle bill, 
And off a blossom in mid air stands still. 

For this is love and nothing else is love, 
The which it is reserved for God above 
To sanctify to what far ends He will,
But which it only needs that we fulfil. 

Man Dies After Being 'Covered in Bees' While Removing Hive From Back Yard

ABC News By Julia Jacoba April 9, 2019

The man was covered in bees by the time deputies arrived.

Getty images

Getty images

An Arizona man has died after he attempted to remove a beehive from his backyard on his own, authorities said.

The Yuma County Sheriff's Office was called to the man's home on Sunday evening after he had been stung multiple times, according to a press release. The man, identified as 51-year-old Epigmenio Gonzalez, was "covered with bees" in his front yard when deputies arrived, authorities said.

MORE: What to do in a bee attack: 5 things you need to know (July 20, 2018).

First responders then sprayed Gonzalez with water to allow medics to take him to the hospital. He later died at the Yuma Regional Medical Center, according to the sheriff's office. It is unclear how many times he was stung.

Deputies later learned that Gonzalez had tried to remove the hive from a couch behind his home before the agitated bees attacked.

A female at the home also was stung multiple times and was hospitalized, authorities said. Several deputies and other first responders were stung as well but did not require medical attention.

Additional details were not immediately available.

Yuma County Sheriff’s Office

Yuma County Sheriff’s Office

The Pollinators Screens at the Newport Beach Film Festival

REMINDER: The Pollinators screens April 27 and May 1, 2019 at the Newport Beach Film Festival

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The Pollinators is a cinematic journey around the United States following migratory beekeepers and their truckloads of honey bees as they pollinate the flowers that become the fruits, nuts and vegetables we all eat. The many challenges the beekeepers and their bees face en route reveal flaws to our simplified chemically dependent agriculture system. We talk to farmers, scientists, chefs and academics along the way to give a broad perspective about the threats to honey bees, what it means to our food security and how we can improve it.

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[Filmmaker, Peter Nelson, is a beekeeper based in the Hudson Valley of New York and has also been a backyard beekeeper for 30 years. In addition to his new feature length documentary, The Pollinators, about bees and their importance to our food and agriculture system, he also produced, directed, photographed, and edited the beautiful short film Dance of the Honey Bee, which was featured on Bill Moyers Presents, and can be viewed here.]

Bee Removal to be Illegal in Texas

Catch The Buzz By Zachary Bauer April 4, 2019

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Bee removal is a common practice for many bee owners. Well, it’s about to become illegal in Texas if an Irving lawmaker has her way.

When a local bee keeper gets a call concerning a swarm or hive in a nearby residence or tree, they load up and ride to the rescue. They arrive and set up their equipment and carefully bring the bees home to a new location where they can grow and thrive.

However, new legislation being filed in Texas would prevent most bee keepers from performing this valuable service unless they first jump through a bunch of bureaucratic hoops and red tape. What was once a sometimes cheap or free service from local bee keepers looking to expand their hives or preserve local bee populations for the benefit of a community, will turn into an expensive fee for whomever calls needing a bee removal.

Rep. Theresa “Terry” Meza (D.) of Irving, Texas has authored House Bill 4212 that would make the process of bee removal illegal. Unless of course the person removing the bees has undergone 160 hours of both class room and field training in beekeeping and removals. That amounts to over 3 college semester classes worth of training! A normal college class of 3 semester credit hours is around 45-48 contact hours. This nonsense will make almost all bee keeping removal services illegal overnight! If this bill passes, nobody will be able to legally remove and relocate bees after January 1, 2020 until after they go through 160 hours of training and licensing.

There is currently no agency, organization or authority that is set up to train such licensed bee removers in Texas. The legislation would place licensing and training specifics under the authority of the Texas Department of Agriculture.

Additionally, the “licensed” bee remover must obtain $600,000 in liability insurance. If that wasn’t enough, the bee remover must also have $300,000 in workman’s comp before being able to legally remove bees. Oh and you have to pay a yearly licensing fee and whatever fees are associated with your 160 hours of classroom and field training.

I probably don’t have to remind you just how important bee keepers are to our communities. Not only are they providing and harvesting a natural sugar source in the form of honey, but by growing these bees, they are heavily contributing to the pollination of plants, gardens and crops by local growers and farmers. With the amount of pesticides being used in communities today, having these bee champions working and operating freely is very important.

Rep. Meza would tie the hands of those who would perform an amazing community service and ensure the health and growth of local bee populations in Texas. The result of the passage of the Meza bill is obvious. Landowners and homeowners will grab a can of RAID and kill the bees rather than pay the local bee keeper’s high fees as a result of training, licensing and insurance payments that allow them to do their job legally.

Read The Bill Here: https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/HB04212I.pdf


Yes, I'll Have Som Mustard, Please!

Bug Squad By Kathy Keatley Garvey April 3, 2019

Yes, I'll have some mustard, please.

Yes, both the pollen and the nectar, thank you.

We watched a honey bee buzz into our little mustard patch,  her proboscis (tongue) extended, and pollen weighting her down. If she were at the airport, someone would have volunteered to carry her bags. 

But there she was, determined to bring back both pollen and nectar to her colony. It's nature's equivalent of gold. It's spring and time for the colony build-up.

In peak season, the queen bee lays 1500 to 2000 eggs a day. Everyone has a job to do, and if you're a bee scientist or a beekeeper, you'll see them all:  nurse maids, nannies, royal attendants, builders, architects, foragers, dancers, honey tenders, pollen packers, propolis or "glue" specialists, air conditioning and heating technicians, guards, and undertakers.

What's thrilling this time of year, though, are the worker bees bringing home the mustard.

Want to learn more about bees? Be sure to stop by Briggs Hall, off Kleiber Hall Drive, on Saturday, April 13 during the campuswide 105th annual UC Davis Picnic Day.  You'll see a bee observation hive, as well as smokers, hive tools and veils, all part of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology displays. You can talk to the bee scientists. And you can sample many different varietals of honey.

Briggs Hall also will feature cockroach races, maggot art, t-shirt sales, face-painting, aquatic insects,  forensic entomology,  Integrated Pest Management Program display, fly-tying and much more. It's free and family friendly.

And over at the Bohart Museum of Entomology, located in Room 1124 of the Academic Surge Building, more entomological excitements await. It's the home of nearly eight million insect specimens, plus a gift shop and a live "petting zoo" of Madagascar hissing cockroaches, stick insects (walking sticks), tarantulas and praying mantids.  Stay tuned!

A pollen-laden honey bee heads for more pollen and nectar on mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

A pollen-laden honey bee heads for more pollen and nectar on mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pollen-packing honey bee is a sight to see amid the mustard blossoms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pollen-packing honey bee is a sight to see amid the mustard blossoms. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pollen or nectar? Both please, says the honey bee as she forages on mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Pollen or nectar? Both please, says the honey bee as she forages on mustard. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Swarming Bees Kill Dog, Attack Two Women in Santa Clarita

ABC 7 Eyewitness News By John Gregory March 1, 2019

SANTA CLARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- A dog was killed and two women and another dog were stung multiple times in an attack by a hive of killer bees in Santa Clarita. 

Patricia Wightman still has the welts from the attack on her face, her neck and shoulders. 

The bees took over a hive in a pepper tree in Wightman's yard. 

On Sunday, they first went after her neighbor, Jill Suleski, and her two dogs. 

Patricia jumped in to try to help them and was also attacked. 

Both dogs were stung dozens of times. 

Nicki was the lucky one, surviving the attack. 

But the venom from the stings proved to be too much for her smaller dog. Gabriel, who weighed about 45 pounds, passed away a few days after the attack. 

"They just kept coming and coming and coming. It was terrible," Suleski said. 

Jill feels horrible about the loss, but she also knows she is lucky to be OK. She is allergic to bees. 

Patricia jumped in to protect her, and despite being swarmed she was somehow able to reach firefighters for help. They first covered her with foam to try to smother the bees and then put her in the fire truck. 

"The fire department got a lot of them off my face, and they got 35 bees off my hair," she said. "And at the hospital they found one bee in my hair and they got 40 stingers out of my scalp." 

A beekeeper removed the hive and sealed the opening in the tree. 

After a visit to the emergency room both women are expected to be OK. But they will never forget Gabriel. 

They will also never forget the sound of a swarm of Africanized honey bees on the attack.


NOW LIVE! The 2018-2019 Colony Loss and Management Survey

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Good morning America!

It’s beautiful outside! The birds are chirping and the bees are flying! You may even notice a few flowers outside too!

Here in the South, our many azaleas are in full bloom! This means Spring is upon us! 

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The sun rising over the campus of Auburn University

And of course, Spring means one thing: it’s time to take the Bee Informed Partnership’s annual Colony Loss and Management Survey!

It’s easy! One click and you are in, ready to take the survey and to serve our nation’s beekeeping industry:


The information that you provide will be invaluable to our understanding of honey bee health around the country.

As background, the BIP’s National Loss Survey was launched for the first time in 2006, and thanks to the many thousands of beekeepers who have participated since then, we have been able to document and better understand long-term honey bee colony loss trends. Check out the interactive state loss map as evidence!

In 2010, BIP’s National Management Survey was added to help us understand how management practices are potentially linked to colony survivorship. Thanks to your answers, we have been able to develop a dynamic management data tool.

Feel free to play around with the interface. Want to know how colony losses compared between beekeepers that DID or DID NOT use a varroa treatment? Or what about the average age of comb in American hives? It’s all in there!

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The Bee Informed Partnership’s dynamic management, data explorer tool

If you would like to prepare yourself for our questions, or want to take some notes while you’re looking at your colonies, download the survey or have a look at the 2018 – 2019 National Colony Loss and Management Survey Preview.

This preview should serve as an aid to the questions that are asked on the survey.  Please, do not mail this preview version back to us.

When you are ready: TAKE THE SURVEY NOW!

Many thanks to all previous participants, and to all you new-Bees for taking some time out of your busy schedule to fill out this year’s survey.

Your contribution is supporting research efforts at a national scale that are aimed to promote the health of our honey bees!


LACBA Meeting: Monday, April 1, 2019

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Our next meeting will be held on Monday, April 1, 2019

General Meeting: 7:00pm 

Location: Mount Olive Lutheran Church (Shilling Hall)
                 3561 Foothill Boulevard
                 La Crescenta, CA 91214
       ***Please bring something for the raffle!***

Meetings of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association (LACBA) are open to the public. Everyone is welcome. Please see the draft agenda below and send any requests to add or revise agenda items to: president@losangelescountybeekepers.com prior to the meeting.


1. Welcome

2. Flag Salute

3. Introduce the Board:

  • Jon Reese - President

  • Kevin Heydman – Vice President

  • Merrill Kruger - Secretary

  • El Rey Ensch – Member at Large

4. Select Raffle ticket seller, index cards for questions

5. New Members and/or Guests

6. Thank Doug Noland for the treat du jour

Topic Speaker

7 minutes. A selected beekeeper to speak on how they got into beekeeping and their first two years of beekeeping. Specifically, on the mistakes made, the trials, tribulations, problems.

Main Topic Package Installation

Several methods and several beekeepers take on Installing packages. And the care of them. Feeding, mite treatment, queen cork removal, release, and how long to leave alone.

7. Board Reports

  • Meeting Minutes: Mary Ann

  • Secretary Report: Merrill

  • Treasurer’s Report: Jon

8. Committee Reports:

  • Membership Report:. Cheryl

  • Website: Eva

  • Education: Mary

  • Beekeeping 101: Keith

9. Upcoming Events

  • Spring fling at LA Zoo. 6 weekends late March to Early May. We need list of people who would like to volunteer for the booth. Educate. Sell honey and honey tasting with honey sticks.. Select several people to speak at Spring fling. Sunday @ 2pm

  • Eaton Canyon Nature Center is having a one day event. June 2 nd . Educate. Observation hive sell honey. Partner with BASC. Who will bring an observation hive?

  • 2019 Honey Harvest Festival in Fillmore, June 22-23rd - El Rey.

10. What do your packages look like 12 months in?.

11. What do you see, what are you doing this time of year?

12. Whats blooming?

13. Index cards Q & A

14. Next Month!

15. Raffle!