LACBA Members at the 2016 CSBA Convention

From November 15-17, 2016, over 20 members of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association joined over 300 beekeepers for the 127th Annual Calfornia State Beekeepers Association convention at the Kona-Kai Resort in San Diego, CA. What a great time we had mingling with commercial & backyard beekeepers to learn more about honey bees and beekeeping. We heard about the latest bee research from some of the top educators and researchers in the industry. Vendors were on hand demonstrating the latest beekeeping equipment and supplies.    

This is one of the best bee conferences in the country and we look forward to next year. We had a wonderful time and hope you can join us. Check out our photo album on our LACBA Facebook page.  

 Some of our LACBA members gather outside the Kona-Kai

 LACBA members check out the newest Hummerbee!

CSBA Awards Banquet 

(Note: Thank you to everyone for the great pictures for our CSBA 2016 Photo Albumon our LACBA Facebook Page: Eva Andrews, Robin Finkelstein, Bill Lewis, Misty Mussenden, Joy Pendell, Bill Rathfelder, and Jon Reese.)  

Lots of Links from the CSBA - June 27, 2016

CSBA Annual Convention - Recap!


The 126th California State Beekeepers Association Annual Convention was held November 16-19, 2015, at the Hilton Arden West in Sacramento, CA. Every year the CSBA chooses a different city within the state to serve as the convention host city. This year, Sacramento, California's State Capitol, welcomed the beekeeping community for three full days dedicated to the issues currently facing honey bees, urban and commercial beekeepers, and the beekeeping industry. 

The California State Beekeepers Association was organized in 1889 to serve the beekeeping industry of California. 

"The purpose of the California State Beekeepers Association is to educate the public about the beneficial aspects of honey bees, advance research beneficial to beekeeping practices, provide a forum for cooperation among beekeepers, and to support the economic and political viability of the beekeeping industry."  

Carlen Jupe, CSBA Sec/Treas reports, "We had over 380 attendees, including speakers but not those exhibitors who were always at their tables, another 50 or so." 

There were over 30 speakers from across the country: Agricultural Organizations, the Almond Board, California Farm Bureau Federation, US Geological Surveys, biologists, entomologists, scientists, and researchers from leading University Entomology Departments, the USDA-ARS programs, Scientific Beekeeping, Project Apis m., Pollinator Partnership, Bee Informed Partners, and experienced beekeepers.


California Farm Bureau Federation President, Paul Wenger, speaks on California Ag "We're All in this Together," while CSBA President, Brad Pankratz, listens. 

Last year, Bill Lewis (LACBA past president) had the honor and privilege to serve as the 2014 President of the California State Beekeepers Association. A major responsibility of the office of president is to chair the CSBA Convention. Bill praises the efforts of Brad Pankratz, 2015 CSBA President, for an excellent job. At this year's convention, Bill had the good fortune to introduce some of our the excellent presenters at the Concurrent Sessions.  

Dr. Marla Spivak reported on "News and Research from the University of Minnesota Bee Lab." "A special highlight was the presentation of a $10,000 check from CSBA Research funds to Marla Spivak for the U. of Minnesota’s new bee lab," Carlen Jupe. 

Dr. James Tew, a beekeeper for over 40 years, emeritus associate professor at the Ohio State University where he worked for over 30 years, spoke on "Bargain Hunting Forager Bees."

"Randy's Take on Current Bee Topics," Randy Oliver (Scientific Beekeeping), Commercial Beekeeper, Biologist. 

Research Luncheon Speaker, James Frazier, PhD, previously a scientist at DuPont Agricultural Products, has served for ten years as department head/professor of Entomology, Penn State University. Professor Frazier shared his recent research on the impacts of pesticides on honeybees. 

Honey and Pollination Center table at the CSBA Convention. Amina Harris, Director of the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute developed the Honey Color Wheel. Here with Bernardo Nino, Research Associate at the E. L. Nino Bee Research Lab (UC Davis Dept. of Entomology)

The Exhibit Hall is always a great gathering place to catch the latest buzz, hear what's going on with fellow beekeeper, mingle with presenters, and talk with the many vendors selling bee-related equipment, supplies, and services. This year there were over 380 attendees. A lot of buzzing going on.

The "Next Generation Beekeepers Breakout" held off-site at "The Brick House" was packed with 20-30 year old beekeepers. Co-facilitators for the evening were next gen beekeepers, Sarah Red-Laird (Bee-Girl), Katie Lee, Elizabeth Frost, and Steve Marquette. They had a great time.

Members of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association: Jon Reese, Bonnie Reese,
Clyde Steese, Bill Rathfelder, Marguerite Keating, Ron Strong, and Bill Lewis enjoy
the CSBA Annual Convention Banquet.
We would like to say thank you to all the members of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association who volunteered their time and energy at the 2015 Los Angeles County Fair - Bee Booth. Through your efforts, each year we use funds raised at the Bee Booth to donate support for ongoing research and other activities for the benefit of honey bees. At our November meeting, the members voted to provide funding to the following organizations. During the CSBA Convention, the LACBA was privileged to present checks to:

American Beekeeping Federation - American Honey Queen Program
Bee-Girl Organization
Bee Informed Partnership
California State Beekeepers Association Research Fund
California State Beekeepers Association - Right to Farm Act
E.L. Nino Bee Lab - UC Davis
Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility
Pollinator Partnership 
Project Apis m. 

CSBA: Next Gen Beekeepers Breakout - Nov 18

Calling all beekeepers in their 20's and 30's! There's a Next Gen Beekeepers Breakout session at the California State Beekeepers Association Conference, and we want you there! Join us for free beer, some desert, live music, and an opportunity to connect with other young beekeepers.

A January 23rd article in the Wall Street Journal titled, “More Beekeepers Sour on Profession as Winter Die-Offs Continue,” is an all-too familiar sentiment moving through the beekeeping industry. To keep a colony thriving, recruitment must outnumber loss. With the average age of beekeepers nearing 70, and only 8% under the age of 40 (Bee Culture, 2007, Flottum), we are not headed for success. The Next Generation Beekeepers Initiative is aiming to amend this trend, by not just simply listing problems in the beekeeping industry, but identifying real solutions and pairing them with action.

The night will kick-off with beer, desert, and live music by beekeeper Ben Sallmann's jazz/funk band - then we'll get down to the nitty gritty. I'll share what the group came up with in Missoula and Boulder, then we'll spend time putting our present thoughts and experiences down, and come up with the building blocks of a "strategic" plan and a few action items for the coming year.

Your co-facilitators for the evening are next gen beekeepers, Sarah Red-Laird, Katie Lee, Elizabeth Frost, and Steve Marquette. See below for bios, and we hope to hoist a pint for bees and beekeepers with you in November at CSBA!

Join and share our Facebook event here.

We Need All the Bees We Can Get

The Late Bloomer   By Kaye Kittrell    November 22, 2014

“We need all the bees we can get,” a commercial beekeeper told me at the California State Beekeepers Association annual convention this week in Valencia, California. I had been invited by CSBA Ladies Auxiliary president Melinda Nelson, a beekeeper I’d met when I spoke at the Orange County Organic Gardening Club in May, to be the guest speaker at the auxiliary luncheon. My charge was to inspire attendees on organic food gardening, which goes hand-in-hand with beekeeping. Since I arrived the night before, I had a chance to learn a lot more about bees.

The convention welcomes commercial beekeepers with thousands of hives, to the hobbyist beekeeper with only a handful. I asked a beekeeper in passing if the hobbyist beekeepers were treated equally, and that’s when he said, “Yes, we need all the bees we can get.” I heard that more than once! Bees are imperiled and though beekeepers are a very friendly bunch, there was an air of concern about what the future holds, for the almond and fruit growers who depend upon bees, to the beekeepers and their ladies...

Read and view more...

Visit and view videos...

Sarah Red-Laird (Bee Girl) Poses Questions to Beekeepers

Yesterday (Nov. 19) at the California State Beekeepers Association conference, as part of our Next Generation Beekeepers Initiative, I facilitated a panel regarding bridging the gap between "commercial" and "backyard" beekeepers. Now, I'd like to open the floor to you for comment. 

This is a three part question. Answer just one part, two, or all three.

1) What are the differences between the two groups, as well as the similarities? 

2) What DO we do presently to help each other in a POSITIVE way? 

3) What CAN we do in the future to help each other in a POSITIVE way? I'd love to hear specific action items. 

Thank you SO much for participating!!

At the CSBA Convention!!! Updates to Program

2014 CSBA CONVENTION - UPDATES (To Program & Events) We'll post updates on the CSBA Facebook page Attached is the new Convention Program as of 11/17/14. Changes so far: Zac Browning will not be able to attend the convention. Dr. Eric Mussen will share the latest updates on "Bees and Pesticides" on Wed. Nov. 19, at 10:30 am in the Valencia Room. On Tuesday, Nov. 18, for the 4:00 pm Panel: "Bridging the Gap between the beekeeping Industry & the Urban Beekeeper" Roger Everett will replace Zac Browning. On Wednesday, Nov. 19, Exhibits Close at 2 pm. 

At the CSBA Convention!!! Washington DC - Honey Bee Forage and Nutrition Summit Panel

CSBA Annual Convention    November 18-20, 2014   Hyatt Regency, Valenciay, CA

At the CSBA Convention!!! Panel: "Washington DC - Honey Bee Forage and Nutrition Summit" Wed. Nov. 19, 11:15am. Hear the 'take back to the hive' message from some of those who were there and were invited to participate such as Pete Berthelsen, Gene Brandi, Zac Browning, Christi Heintz, Randy Verhoek. Info on the convention: View CSBA Program at: Read PAm report back to the hive at

At the CSBA Convention!!! HoneyLove's Rob & Chelsea McFarland

CSBA Annual Convention    November 18-20, 2014   Hyatt Regency, Valenciay, CA

At the CSBA Convention!!! We are pleased to welcome HoneyLove! Co-Founders Rob and Chelsea McFarland share their expertise in "Fundraising for Bees" at 2PM Tuesday, Nov. 18. Then at 4PM Rob takes part in "Bridging the Gap between the Beekeeping Industry & the Urban Beekeeper" a panel you won't want to miss. Rob and Chelsea are a husband and wife team who started HoneyLove as a nonprofit conservation organization with a mission to protect honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers. They have convinced more than 20 neighborhood councils to send letters of support to the city to legalize beekeeping in L.A., held dozens of events, trained hundreds of new beekeepers, and facilitated the rescue of hundreds of hives. HoneyLove’s Rob (Beekeeper/Co-founder) and Chelsea (Beekeeper’s Wife/Co-founder) McFarland are a driving force in the legalization of urban beekeeping in L.A. 

Convention information on the CSBA website Events page:

Check out the rest of the schedule:

At the CSBA Convention!!! Randy Oliver - Scientific Beekeeping

CSBA Annual Convention   (November 18-20, 2014)

At the CSBA Convention!! Randy Oliver: Beekeeping through the eyes of a biologist.

Randy presents "Honey Bee Pests, Diseases, & Treatments-Following the Label" Nov. 18, 2:30pm. He presents his recent "Research Projects" on Nov. 20 at 11:00am and at 3:30pm Randy joins the Panel: "Keeping Bees Safe in Almonds."

Randy has kept bees most of his life and views bees through the eyes of a biologist, researcher, and nature lover. He owns and operates a small commercial beekeeping enterprise in Northern California.

Randy researches, analyses, and digests beekeeping information from around the world in order to broaden his understanding and knowledge, and to develop practical solutions to many of today's beekeeping problems. He then shares his research with other beekeepers through articles in bee magazines, speaking engagements, and on his website.

CSBA Annual Convention - Sarah Red Laird, the Bee Girl

CSBA Annual Convention   November 18-20, 2014

Sara Red-Laird, the Bee Girl, transformed a childhood fascination with honeybees into an impassioned career as a research scientist, educator, conservationist and revered beekeeper. She brings her love of honey bees and joy of beekeeping to the CSBA Annual Convention with her "Educating the Educators" presentation, on the Panel: "Bridging the Gap Between the Beekeeping Industry & the Urban Beekeeper," and with her Special Movie Night screening: "We Can Save the Bees Together." 

Sarah Red-Laird is the founder and Executive Director of the Bee Girl organization with a mission to inspire and empower communities to conserve bees and their habitat. She brought her affinity for beekeeping to fruition at the University of Montana, Missoula. She chose honey bees and Colony Collapse Disorder as her Davidson Honors College research thesis. 

Sarah's affinity for Apis mellifera was apparent to Dr. Jerry Bromenshenk at the UM Honey Bee Lab, and he gladly put her to work in research. Sarah finished her time as a student at UM with a presentation on her CCD and beekeeping findings at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research titled, "How to Keep 100,000 Girlfriends, the Careful Relationship of a Beekeeper and Her Honey Bees." She graduated with honors, and as a University Scholar from UM's College of Forestry and Conservation with a degree in Resource Conservation, focused on community collaboration and environmental policy. 

Sarah is also the US Ambassador of the International Bee Research Association's (IBRA) BEEWORLD project, the Kids and Bees Director for the American Beekeeping Federation, a mentor in the Oregon State Master Beekeepers Program, Apiary Manager for Southern Oregon University's Center for Sustainability, the Oregon Outreach Coordinator for the Bee Friendly Farming Initiative, and is on the advisory board of the New York Bee Sanctuary. When she is not tirelessly working with bees, beekeepers, kids, farmers, land managers, and policy makers, Sarah heads for the hills with a camera, large backpack, fishing rod, bike or snowboard, and her best friend, Sophie the Yellow Lab.

Jane Thorpe - Two Art Openings Tonight

 Two Art Openings Tonight 
for the work of Southern California, plein air painter, Jane Thorpe.
Jane created "Working the Bees" for the 2014 CSBA Annual Convention.

Pumpkins and Leaves 

Jane Thorpe

Oil on Panel
10" x 20"

The Santa Paula Art Museum

"This year I 'got around to it:' painting the pumpkins I buy to celebrate fall. Although I live in southern California, I grew up in New England so the fall season creates a special feeling in me. Additionally my husband's birthday is October 30th. Orange lights, pumpkins, gourds, dried weeds, even FAKE BROWN OAK LEAVES, all appeal to me this time of year. When I set up a still life, I include things I love which includes textiles I collect. I usually paint plein air, but I do like to mix it up with still life." -Jane Thorpe 

Lavender Blue

Jane Thorpe

Oil on Panel
16" x 20" 

La Gitana Galeria

"June is Lavender Season.  This was painted the first week in July at the Highland Springs Resort in Cherry Valley, CA.  A few of us made the two hour drive to paint the beautiful color and enjoy the amazing fragrance wafting on the breeze. Depending on one's location relative to sun and lavender..." Read More

"Lavender Blue" is one of six oil paintings by Jane Thorpe
in the "Natural California-Landscapes we Cherish"
Exhibit at La Galeria Gitana." 


For original art:   For prints, cards, etc.:

Come visit Jane Thorpe at the 2014 CSBA Annual Convention 
where you will be able to view and purchase her beautiful artwork.  
Jane is donating a percentage of her sales to Honey Bee Research. 


2014 CSBA Annual Convention 

Facebook Post 

"Celebrating 125 Years of California Beekeeping"

 “Celebrating 125 Years of California Beekeeping”

      Commemorative Poster

24” x 18” $20.00 (For Sale at the Convention)

From the original oil painting

 “Working the Bees”

 By Jane Thorpe

 20” x 24” (For Auction at the Convention)

CSBA President, Bill Lewis, commissioned Southern California, award winning, plein air painter,
Jane Thorpe, to create this beautiful original oil painting specifically for the
125th Anniversary of the California State Beekeepers Association.

Bill says, “
What inspired this painting in my mind is the quote by John Muir from
"The Mountains of California" Ch.16 'The Bee-Pastures':

‘When California was wild it was one sweet bee-garden throughout its entire length,

north and south, and all the way across from the snowy Sierra to the ocean.’  -John Muir 

We can only dream about those bygone days.

That combined with my love of old trucks and my old dilapidated 1951 Ford C600 sitting out back.  
That truck is ripe for a restoration.  Anyone interested?”

 “Working the Bees” will be unveiled and up for auction at the 2014 CSBA Convention. 

 Proceeds from the painting will be donated to honey bee research.

Poster Graphics by Cindy Henderson

Thomas Seeley to speak at the 2014 CSBA Convention

California State Beekeepers Association  November 5, 2014

Thomas Seeley, a professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior at Cornell University (and a beekeeper) will be the keynote speaker at the 2014 CSBA Annual Convention, Nov. 18-20.

Dr. Seeley will share the results of his study, "A Survivor Population of European Honey Bees Living in the Wild in New York State" at the Research Lunch.

He is one of the leading researchers in the field of Swarm Intelligence, certainly the best specialist of the collective behavior of honeybees (and probably bees in general).

"Choosing the right dwelling place is a life-or-death matter for a honeybee colony," he writes in his book,Honeybee Democracy. "If a colony chooses poorly, and so occupies a nest cavity that is too small to hold the honey stores to survive winter, or that provides it with poor protection from cold winds and hungry marauders, then it will die."

Seeley says: “Swarm intelligence is the solving of a cognitive problem by two or more individuals who independently collect information and process it through social interactions.   With the right organization, a group can overcome the cognitive limitations of its members and achieve a high collective IQ.   To understand how to endow groups with swarm intelligence, it is useful to examine natural systems that have evolved this ability.   An excellent example is a swarm of honey bees solving the life-or-death problem of finding a new home.   A honey bee swarm accomplishes this through a process that includes collective fact-finding, open sharing of information, vigorous debating, and fair voting by the hundreds of bees in a swarm that function as nest-site scouts.”

The third talk by Dr. Seeley "The Bee Hive as a Honey Factory" is about the inner working of a honey bee colony so that it gathers and processes its nectar efficiently, despite tremendous day-to-day differences in nectar availability. An important part of the organization of honey production is the division of labor between foragers, elderly bees who work outside the hive to gather the nectar, and food storers, somewhat younger bees that work inside the hive to process the nectar into honey. We will see how the bees keep the rates of nectar collecting and nectar processing in balance—by means of the tremble dance and stop signal—and so boost the efficiency of a colony’s energy acquisition. (For this talk, he will draw heavily on material reported in his book The Wisdom of the Hive.)

Check out Dr. Seeley's video: Swarm Intelligence in Honey Bees

More about Dr. Seeley on this website: 

CSBA Annual Convention: Register Now!

 You can Save on the 2014 CSBA Annual Convention if you Register Now!
Online Pre-Registration Cut-Off is November 6.  Mail no later than October 30. 

"Celebrating 125 Years of California Beekeeping" 

When the California State Beekeeper's Association, founded in 1889, meets November 18-20, in Valencia, CA for its 2014 convention, it will mark a milestone: 125 years of beekeeping. Thus the theme of this year's convention: "Celebrating 125 Years of California Beekeeping."

CSBA President, Bill Lewis, has put together a Convention Program that will inform, entertain, and enlighten.  Take some time to look it over. You should be able to find presentations addressing your level of beekeeping, from the beginning backyard hobbyist to the largest commercial beekeeper.  The hard part will be making decisions as to which sessions to attend.

Learn About Our Excellent Speakers!
 "We'll hear about things going on in the world of beekeeping on the local, state, and national levels," says Lewis. Our Keynote Speaker is Dr. Thomas Seeley, bee behavior expert from Cornell University. He'll share with us the results of his study, "A Survivor Population of European Honey Bees Living in the Wild in New York State."

Read more about A Gathering of Beekeepers.

If you're visiting from out of town and have a few more days to spend, there's lot's of Activities in Valencia/Santa Clarita Valley/and Beyond!

Each year funds raised at the CSBA convention go to research. Researchers attend the conference and provide updates. They are in "the front lines of the bee health battle," Lewis noted.

The convention (as well as membership in the California State Beekeeper's Association) is open to all interested persons.

CSBA President, Bill Lewis, says: "I hope everybody noticed page 92 of the October 2014 'Bee Culture' magazine.  Thanks Kim!"
It's going to be a great convention!  Don't Miss It!

2014 CSBA Annual Convention

“Celebrating 125 Years of California Beekeeping”

The California State Beekeepers Association kicks off its 2014 CSBA Annual Convention on November 18-20, in Valencia, California.

Panel discussions “Keeping Bees Safe in Almonds,” “Land Trusts Working with Beekeepers,” and a session by Dr. Reed Johnson on “The Effects of Bee Safe Insecticides,” are among the hot topics being presented.

CSBA President Bill Lewis says, “We will hear about things going on in the world of beekeeping on the local, state, and national levels.”

Multiple generations of family owned commercial beekeeping operations, bee hobbyists, and those hoping to start their very first bee hive will gather to learn the latest about beekeeping from world renowned researchers and authorities in the industry.

Topics include components that affect the “Honey Factory:” forage, land management, queen health, genetic diversity, and pests and diseases to treat or not. Dr. Thomas Seeley will speak on “A Survivor Population of European Honey Bees Living in the Wild in New York State” at the research luncheon on Wednesday.

“Urban Beekeeping, Beginner to Advanced” as well as “Mead Making,” will be covered. A look at the world’s largest managed pollination event, Almond Odyssey - the photo-documented trek to California’s almond farms is a featured presentation.  A complete list of sessions and the bios of industry experts who will be presenting are listed at  Registration information is also available at the web site.

Each year funds raised at the CSBA convention go to research. Presentations of the results of these ongoing projects will be made in person by the researchers and scientists on the front lines of the bee health battle.

The exhibit area features a variety of vendors offering products and resources for all beekeepers.

CSBA was formed in 1889 to support and promote commercial beekeepers and pollination services in California’s agricultural farm lands.  The health of honey bees is a crucial element in our food chain and great interest is being focused on their survival. Learn more at the 2014 CSBA Annual Convention; it’s open to everyone. (LIKE US)

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:


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!"