The Plants the Help Monarchs Also Help Honey Bees

CATCH THE BUZZ  By Candace Fallon   December 15, 2016

Candace Fallon
Senior Conservation Biologist
Endangered Species Program

Monarchs are in decline across North America. With milkweed loss in the east identified as a major contributing factor to this decline, the national call to action has understandably focused primarily on planting milkweeds, which are the required host plants for monarch caterpillars, and a favorite for honey bees, too. Yet while restoring the millions of milkweed plants that have been lost is certainly an important strategy, monarchs need more than milkweed to support them throughout the year. Adult monarchs need nectar to fuel them during spring migration and breeding and to build up stores of fat which sustain them during fall migration and winter.

There are many sources of information about which species of native milkweeds are best for your region, but information on which nectar plants are best for monarchs has not been available for large areas of the U.S. Working with the Monarch Joint Venture and the National Wildlife Federation, the Xerces Society has created a series of nectar plant lists for the continental U.S. based on a database of nearly 24,000 monarch nectaring observations. Each of the 15 regional guides highlights species that are commercially available, are native to and widely found in the region, and are known to be hardy or relatively easy to grow in a garden setting.

Read more about this project at  or find a nectar plant guide for your region here

These plant lists are works-in-progress and benefit from your help. You can submit additional monarch nectaring observations via our online survey. We are grateful to the many different researchers and monarch enthusiasts across the country who have already contributed to our database – thank you! 

To Save Monarchs We Need More Than Just Milkweed

Xerces Society  By Candace Fallon   December 7, 2016

Candace Fallon
Senior Conservation Biologist
Endangered Species Program

Tall blazing star (Liatris aspera) was the plant with the most records of nectaring 
monarchs of any plant in the database. (Photo: Joshua Mayer/Flickr) 

The message is out: Monarchs are in decline across North America. The loss of milkweed plants due to extensive herbicide use and changes in farming practices, such as the widespread adoption of herbicide-resistant crops, has been identified as a major contributing factor of monarch’s decline in the eastern U.S. Disease, climate change, widespread insecticide use, and loss or degradation of nectar-rich habitat may also be contributing to declines. A memorandum issued by President Obama and subsequent U.S. national strategy to protect monarchs and other pollinators, in addition to a recent petition to list monarchs under the Endangered Species Act, has highlighted their plight and led to a surge of interest in protecting these amazing animals and their phenomenal fall migration.

The national call to action has focused primarily on planting milkweeds, which are the required host plants for monarch caterpillars, a simple and effective way to support monarch conservation. However, it is important to remember that milkweed may not be appropriate in every landscape. For example, we do not recommend planting milkweed in areas such as coastal California, where it did not historically occur.

While restoring the millions of milkweed plants that have been lost is certainly an important strategy, monarchs need more than milkweed to support them throughout the year. Adult monarchs need nectar to fuel them during spring migration and breeding and to build up stores of fat which sustain them during fall migration and winter. Too few nectar plants in the landscape may reduce the number of monarchs that successfully arrive at overwintering sites in the fall.

There are many sources of information about which species of native milkweeds are best for your region (including from the Xerces Society), but information on which nectar plants are best for monarchs has not been available for large areas of the U.S. To address this need, the Xerces Society has created a series of nectar plant lists based on a database of monarch nectaring observations compiled from a wide variety of sources, including published and technical reports, research datasets, and personal communications with monarch researchers, lepidopterists, botanists, and other experts. This database now houses nearly 24,000 reported monarch nectaring observations on 358 native plant species.

Working with the Monarch Joint Venture and the National Wildlife Federation, the Xerces Society used this database to develop monarch nectar plant guides for all regions of the continental U.S.  Each of the 15 guides highlights species that are commercially available, are native to and widely found in the region, and are known to be hardy or relatively easy to grow in a garden setting—although, as with any plant choice, we encourage you to use additional references when making final species determinations for your location. 


 Second place in the “Nectar Plant Top 10” went to bearded beggarticks (Bidens aristosa),
which is native in eastern and central North America. It blooms in late summer,
just in time for the monarchs fall migration. (Photo: Dennis Burnette) 

Whenever possible, we included species that were reported by multiple sources or were noted to be exceptional monarch magnets. Each list is also tailored to include only species that bloom during the times of year that monarchs are expected to be in each region. Only native species were included. (These plant lists were compiled using the best available data, but we expect to update them as new information is available. You can help us improve them by submitting your own monarch nectaring observations via our online survey.)

These guides are geared toward gardeners and landscape designers but will also be useful for land managers who are undertaking large-scale monarch restoration projects. And importantly, the plants on these lists will attract not only monarchs but also many other pollinators, from butterflies and moths to bees and hummingbirds.


Nectar Plant Top 10: The ten flowers in this table are those with the greatest number of recorded observations of nectaring monarchs—but be sure to check the nectar plant list for your region to find out which plants are the best for where you live!

Bill's Bees Has Bees For Sale for the 2017 Beekeeping Season!

Bill's Bees Has BEES FOR SALE for the 2017 Season! Pre-order NOW AND SAVE! Package Bees Nucleus Colonies A Complete Hive VSH-Italian Queen Bees


Bill's Bees sells VSH-Italian Queen Bees and Italian Honey Bees from California. These bees are gentle, easy to work with, and build up abundantly for pollination and honey making. Whether you are beginning beekeeping or already an experienced beekeeper, these bees are perfect for you. Their known gentle genetics make them ideal for Backyard Beekeeping in Los Angeles.


Artist Transforms Old, Broken Objects by Placing Them Inside Beehives!!!

Daily Mail   By Carly Stern    December 23, 2016

Buzzworthy creations! Artist transforms old, broken objects by placing them inside BEEHIVES - where bees then cover them in honeycomb 

  • Aganetha Dyck, a sculpture artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, uses beehives in her work
  • She collects broken objects from secondhand stores and places them inside beehives before letting the bees get to work
  • The bees repair the cracks and holes with beeswax in intricate honeycomb structures 

Experimental artists can work with some strange mediums, but one Canadian woman's earning some buzz thanks to her particularly creative work.

Aganetha Dyck, a sculpture artist from Winnipeg, Manitoba, uses beehives in her work, transforming old, broken objects she finds at secondhand markets with the waxy honeycombs.

In fact, the bees themselves are her collaborators, as she sets the scene before letting them get to work on 'mending' the broken objects with more beeswax.

Genius! Aganetha Dyck creates artork using bees and beehives.
Expert: The Manitoba-based sculpture artist has 20 years of experience.


 Objects: She finds old, broken items like sports equipment at secondhand stores. 

 Methods: She then places them inside beehives and uses
special materials to attract the bees to certain places.

Aganetha has worked with beekeepers, scientists, and bees themselves for over 20 years and has a real understanding of the insect.

For her art, she scopes out secondhand markets for old, broken pieces. She then places them inside already-constructed beehives, adding special materials to attract the pieces to certain holes and crevices.

With patience, she allows them to get to work, filling in the cracks with more honeycomb figures.

and scroll down to video. 

Teamwork: She works patiently with the bees, who create
more beeswax honeycomb. 

The bees cover the objects with honeycomb and fill in 
some of the cracks with crevices.

 Natural: Each of the objects has a sort of reclaimed-by-nature look.

 Unique: She works with pieces of paper as well
and lets the bees get to work.

 Looks cool! She especially likes to use figurines like these.


The process gives the pieces she chooses — old figurines, sporting equipment, vintage accessories — a sort of taken-back-by-nature feel.

'Throughout my life I’ve had an interest in figurines and collectibles. I wondered about dust and dusting of figurines and of the glass cabinets containing these untouchable treasures. These collectibles were beyond my reach as a child and adult alike,' she told The Creators Project.

'While working with honeybees I discovered their methods of construction and their ability to mend the hive's cracks and crevices with honeycomb, wax and propolis,' she went on. 'I thought of the vast number of damaged figurines in antique shops and second-hand stores. I knew honeybees were masters of mending and decided to give a selection of these now unwanted, damaged, figurines to the honeybees.

Not for wearing: Her art has been on diplay at
MOMA in NYC and LACMA in LA.

A second life: She said her work transforms discarded items
back into collectibles.

 Research: She has studied with beekeepers and
scientists to work on her methods.

 Don't get stung: She added that bees have routines 
and shouldn't be disturbed.


Of course, each piece takes time, and she certainly can't rush the bees at their work — but she is OK with that 

'My patience is due to the honeybees themselves. They have routines; they must not be disturbed any more than necessary and only for a few minutes at a time,' she said.

Her work has been acquired by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Center George Pompidou in Paris, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Read more: 
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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!
Image: American Bee Journal - December, 1927
Image not related to article..
Via. Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History

Christmas Folklore and Traditions - Bees and Honey

-Pennsylvania Germans held the belief that on Christmas night between eleven and twelve, bees lose their numbness and crawl on the outside of the hive, no matter how cold or snowy the weather may be.

-One of the most enchanting of old English traditions is that even the bees must be wished a Merry Christmas and a sprig of shiny green and bright red holly must adorn each hive.

-A Ukraine custom is to sit down to honey and porridge on Christmas Eve, -they call it ‘koutia‘, Each dish is said to represent the Holy Crib. First porridge is put in, which represents putting straw in the manger; then each person helps himself to the honey and fruit, and that symbolizes the Christ Child. A place is made in the porridge, and then the honey and fruit are poured in; the fruit stands for the body of Christ and the honey for the spirit or the blood.

The Winter Solstice

The Winter Solstice has been observed as an important date in beekeeping for over 2000 years.
Join us at: Historical Honeybee Articles - Beekeeping History
Read more to find out what the ancients have to say about winter and bees.

Aristotle says in Historia Animālium (History of Animals) Book IX 
 circa. 4 B.C.

"In healthy swarms the progeny of the bees only cease from reproduction for about forty days after the winter solstice."


Pliny the Elder says in Naturalis Historia (Natural History) 
circa. 77 - 79 AD

"From the winter solstice to the rising of Arcturus the bees are buried in sleep for sixty days, and live without any nourishment. Between the rising of Arcturus and the vernal equinox, they awake in the warmer climates, but even then they still keep within the hives, and have recourse to the provisions kept in reserve for this period."


Virgil says in Georgics, Book IV
circa. 29 B.C.E

"Contracto frigore pigrae."
"With cold benumbed, inactive they remain."


Image: Stonehenge - Winter Solstice 2014

Ontario Launches Action Plan to Protect Pollinators

Ontario Newsroom   Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs     December 15, 2016

Ontario is continuing its work to support a sustainable food supply, resilient ecosystems and a strong economy by implementing its plan to protect the province’s pollinators.

The new Pollinator Health Action Plan will help keep the province’s agricultural sector sustainable and productive and support a healthy environment by better protecting pollinators. Pollination by bees, butterflies and other insects enables crops and other plants to grow, providing over one-third of the produce consumed in Ontario and contributing $992 million annually to the province’s economy.

The action plan outlines strong steps Ontario will take to help pollinators thrive, including:

  • Restoring and protecting one million acres of pollinator habitat across the province
  • Supporting new pollinator health research
  • Collecting more data to better monitor managed honey bee colonies and wild pollinators, and to track neonicotinoid levels in the environment
  • Consulting to modernize the province’s legislative framework on beekeeping, which may include modernized tools for pest and disease management.

The plan builds on the province’s ongoing work to protect pollinators, including providing production insurance for beekeepers and reducing the use of neonicotinoid-treated seeds in the agricultural industry. It also supports the work being done by Ontario farmers to protect the environment, including pollinators, through on-farm Environmental Plan Projects.

Supporting pollinator health is part of our plan to create jobs, grow our economy and help people in their everyday lives.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s pollinators include wild bumble bees, managed honey bees, solitary bees, butterflies and moths, some beetles and flies.
  • Ontarians are encouraged to help improve pollinator health by planting pollinator-friendly flowers or supporting one of the many organizations involved in improving pollinator health.
  • Ontario is home to more than 400 bee species, which are the most common pollinators.
  • On July 1, 2015, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in North America to protect bees and other pollinators through new rules to reduce the number of acres planted with neonicotinoid-treated corn and soybean seeds by 80 per cent by 2017.
  • Ontario farmers have completed more than 23,900 on-farm Environmental Plan Projects since 2005, including projects like building wind breaks and planting cover crops to boost pollinator health. The province and the federal government have invested $99 million to support these plans.
  • Many crops such as apples, cherries, peaches, plums, cucumbers, asparagus, squash, pumpkins and melons rely on pollinators.

Two Would-Be Buglars Break-In Attempt Foiled By Their Intended Victims' Beehives

CATCH THE BUZZ   By Saundra Weathers, Reporter Channel 13 St. Petersburg    December 1, 2016

St. Petersburg Police are searching for a pair of would-be burglars whose break-in attempt was foiled by their intended victims’ beehives.

On Nov. 13, JoAnne Medenhall and her husband Burt woke up to bees everywhere and a damaged fence outside their St. Pete home. When they checked the video from their surveillance cameras, they discovered it was the work of burglars.

The video showed the two would-be intruders trying to scale the fence. One burglar literally falls right into Medenhall’s beehive after his foot kicked the top of the hive.

They also saw his accomplice kicking in the side of the fence and falling into another hive. Both burglars bolted before making it any further.

The Medenhalls couldn’t believe what they were seeing.

“First, we called the police and they were absolutely fantastic,” said JoAnne. “The officers that came out, one of them put on the bee suit and went back and took pictures, and then the other officer came out and did finger printing and everything. And then we put on our bee suits and came back out and put the hive back together the way it was supposed to be.”

The Medenhalls use the hives to make honey. They became bee keepers two years ago after their son gave them a beehive as a gift.

JoAnne said the bees are normally harmless unless they’re disturbed at night, which is when the incident happened. She said she’s pretty sure her sweet bees gave their unwanted guests more than they bargained for.

“I hope they got stung a lot and have learned a lesson about trying to break into people’s houses,” said JoAnne. “That there might not be on the other side of the fence what they think there’s going to be.”

Officers stated the need for the burglars to get treatment for their bee stings. They made it clear, however, that arresting the would-be home invaders was their top priority.

Has Chromatography Exposed "Deceptive" Plants?

Chromatography Today    December 2, 2016

A researcher at the University of Bayreuth in Germany has found a fascinating example of plants being deceptive to ensure that they are pollinated — and it is thanks to the help of gas chromatography with electroantennographic (GC-EAD) and mass spectrometry (GC-MS). So, let’s look at the deceptive plants and find out how chromatography helped.

Pollination and insects Pollination is simply the transfer of pollen from the male anther to the female stigma — an essential process in the fertilization of many plants. Some plants are self-pollinating and don’t need a bee or other insect to transfer the pollen. But many plants do need a little help from nature in the form of a pollinator. The most widely known pollinators are bees, and they are also one of the most important pollinators for plants that we use and eat — which is why the decimation of bee colonies is causing so much concern.

To ensure their survival, some plants actively attract pollinators through various methods, not just relying on their attractiveness to the pollinator. For example, some plants send out chemical signals when they need to be pollinated — attracting the right insects at the right time of year. But some plants are not content to let nature take its course and actively practice the dark art of deception to make sure of their survival.

Bees and carnivorous flies

Annemarie Heiduk, a researcher at the University of Bayreuth, has been investigating one plant — Ceropegia sandersonii, Sanderson’s parachute flower — that lures and traps carnivorous flies to make sure it gets pollinated. The flies it lures are Desmometopa — a fly that feeds on honeybees.

The flies don’t hunt the honeybees themselves, — no, they wait for spiders and other insects to kill the honeybees. The flies can detect chemical signals — alarm pheromones that the bees give off as they are attacked. They can then join in the party and feast on the honeybees along with the original predators.
The flies are known as kleptoparasites — animals that steal food from the predators.

Deception and lies with Ceropegia sandersonii

To attract the flies, the parachute flowers release a fragrance that mimics the scent of dying honeybees. Irresistible to the flies, which are attracted to the flower but they find no bees — instead, the flies find themselves imprisoned in the flowers. Because the flowers have nothing to offer the flies, no food or nectar, the flowers are known as ‘deceptive flowers’ and they trap the flies for 24 hours, coating them in pollen, before releasing them. The flies, now hungry, are attracted to other parachute flowers mimicking dying honeybees transferring the pollen and completing the pollination cycle.

Heiduk used GC-MS to analyse the scent of the pollinators and GC-EAD to analyse which scents the flies were attracted to. Gas chromatography is commonly used to analyse fragrances and other aroma samples as discussed in the article, Sample Preparation Options for Aroma Analysis.

See more at:

Los Angeles: A New Age of Beekeeping

The Best Bees Company    By Kelly Allin   December 14, 2016

As a biology student at Northeastern University, I was fascinated with ecology and sustainability. Northeastern offers an amazing co-op program that allows students to leave the classroom and work in their field professionally for 6 months. Being in Boston, most co-op jobs were in the pharmaceutical industry, which I found out the hard way was just not for me. After tirelessly scrolling through an endless list of internships at medical and pharmaceutical research labs, my ears immediately perked up when I heard about an opening at The Best Bees Company. I was without a doubt on board. My cool punk rock cousins from back home in Providence were beekeepers, and if they were into bees, I HAD to try it out, right?

Fast forward three years and I find myself on the opposite side of the country, installing two rescued swarms on the 30th story of a high rise in Los Angeles. Never did I think my quirky honey bee obsession would follow me to LA!

Beekeeping In Los Angeles

Southern California’s climate is both a blessing and a curse for beekeepers in the region. The year-round sunshine and high temps mean that the “season” never really ends. There’s no period of hibernation. Beekeepers must work their hives year round, but don’t have to wait out the winter wondering if their colony survived. With the warm temperatures brings the challenge of a longer swarm season and sometimes more aggressive bees. Although they’re uncommon, aggressive Africanized bees have become infamous in the region. All of these challenges are worth the struggle for the abundance of honey that can be harvested through the fall months.

Until last year, beekeeping was not legal in LA County. Local organizations fought for many years to get the ordinance passed, and they were finally met with success in October of 2015. Beekeeping had been outlawed for nearly 100 years, so this was a huge win for local beekeepers and nonprofit organizations like HoneyLove, who are fighting to save the bees. Legalized beekeeping means increased awareness and education surrounding honey bees and their complex societies. Thanks to amazing organizations like HoneyLove and the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, residents are learning that honey bees aren’t so scary after all. Many are suiting up to see for themselves the challenges and rewards that the crazy world of beekeeping as to offer. The growing interest and awareness makes it an exciting and inspiring time to be a member of LA’s beekeeping community!

The Best Bees Company is actively hiring beekeepers in all nine cities where we operate. We’re proud to provide paying jobs for local beekeepers, both experienced and new to the field. Currently all positions are part time, but we encourage all interested participants to reach out. Responsibilities include hive inspections, equipment building, and honey jarring, among other related tasks. In some cities we have the opportunity for staff to do light rooftop farm work in addition to beekeeping.

If you’d like to apply as a part time beekeeper, please send a resume and cover letter to Sean Smith at

(NOTE: The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association does not advocate the keeping of Africanized Honey Bees. Please see our Africanized Honey Bee page for more info: /africanized-bees/.)

Honeybee Memories: Another Piece of the Alzheimer's Puzzle

Medical Press    December 8, 2106

A breakdown of memory processes in humans can lead to conditions such as Alzheimer's and dementia. By looking at the simpler brain of a honeybee, new research published in Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience, moves us a step towards understanding the different processes behind long-term memory formation.

"We show that DNA methylation is one molecular mechanism that regulates memory specificity and re-learning, and through which experiences of the organism could be accumulated and integrated over their lifetime," says Dr Stephanie Biergans, first author of the study and researcher at the University of Queensland, Australia.

"Honeybees have an amazing capacity to learn and remember," says the researcher. "They can count up to four, and orientate themselves by learning patterns and landmarks. They are also social insects that interact, teach and learn, making them successful foragers. Bees remember how to find a food source, how good the source was, and how to return to the hive."

As such, the honeybee can form complex memories through processes much like those happening in human brains. But, the honeybee brain is simpler and they have a smaller genome. This makes them an ideal model for investigating how the different processes needed for long-term memories happen.

Scientists know that when a memory is formed,  can trigger physical changes to the brain, including new or altered neural connections and activity. These build up over a lifetime to create our long-term memory.

One series of molecular changes that can occur due to experience or environmental changes and that affect memory formation is the differential expression of certain genes, mediated, among others, through processes collectively called epigenetic mechanisms. They regulate gene expression through modifications of the DNA or its associated proteins, without changing the genes themselves.

"We knew that DNA methylation is an epigenetic process that occurs in the brain and is related to memory formation," Biergans explains. "When we block this process in honeybees it affects how they remember."

Biergans taught two groups of honeybees to expect sugar in the presence of a particular smell. One group learned over an extended period, being exposed to the sugar and smell together many times. The other was given the combination only once. Using an inhibitor compound, Biergans halted DNA methylation in some bees in each group. The bees'  in the two groups were tested and compared, with and without, DNA methylation occurring. By changing the smell that accompanied the food, Biergans and colleagues also found that DNA methylation affects how a bee can re-learn.

"When the bees were presented with sugar and a smell many times together, the presence of DNA methylation increased memory specificity - they were less responsive to a novel odour. On the other hand, when only introduced to the combination once, DNA methylation decreased specificity," she summarises.

For a foraging honeybee, this makes total sense. When a bee gets food from a single flower, it's not worthwhile remembering how it smells. That bee will have a general memory of the site, but will shop around and try other flowers - there is no specificity to its foraging. But, when each flower with that smell proves over and over to be a good source of nourishment, the bee will stick to those flowers and seek them out.

DNA methylation also occurs in the human brain and the team's findings are key to understanding how we remember. And, how we forget.

"By understanding how changes to the epi-genome accumulate, manifest and influence brain function, we may, in the future, be able to develop treatments for brain diseases that also develop over a lifetime. There is thought to be a genetic predisposition for some conditions, such as Alzheimer's and dementia, but in many cases environmental factors determine whether the disease will manifest," Biergans concludes.


Although Honey Bees Declining, LA. Faring Well

The Advertiser    By Greta Jines, Manship School News Service    December 8, 2016

In recent years, there has been considerable buzz about the health of one small insect: the honey bee. No one is sure why there is an increase in their premature deaths.

Despite the various reasons for decline, one thing is certain, says Robert Danka, research leader at the USDA Honey Bee Breeding, Genetics and Physiology Laboratory in Baton Rouge:  Whatever the root cause or causes, the short-term annual loss of honey bee colonies is a problem for beekeepers.

Danka said beekeepers in the past would lose roughly 10 to 15 percent of their colonies annually, a loss that was sustainable. However, they are presently losing colonies at twice that rate.  

“(Beekeepers) are working harder just to keep the numbers up,” Danka said. “…Some bee colonies die every year. But 10 percent is one thing. Thirty or 40 percent is something different.”

Even with the decline, which first became an issue 10 years ago, there has not been a decrease in production — as yet — he notes.

Danka said several causes, or stressors, threaten honey bee health. These include pests, parasites, pathogens, pesticides, habitat loss and overworked bees. 

In the Baton Rouge area, he noted, the expanse of student housing has contributed to the bees’ habitat loss. The land that’s now dedicated to apartment complexes The Woodlands and The Cottages used to house bees. 

Danka said honey bees have faced a variety of pests throughout the years, but the Varroa mite, from the far east of Asia, is threatening colonies of a European species of honey bee around the world, except in Australia. These particular honey bees are present at the USDA research facility here. The mite, which will only last for a few days if not on a honey bee, reproduces during a bee’s formation process. 

Although the federal facility engages in a range of tasks, Danka said, they have been identifying characteristics of mite-resistant bees and breeding bees for resistance to the parasitic mites for the past 20 years.  

However, Danka and Kristen Healy, an assistant professor of medical entomology at Louisiana State University, believe Louisiana has fared relatively well in terms of the overall honey bee decline.

Healy listed temperature as another honey bee stressor, noting that these bees typically don’t do well in cooler climates.  Louisiana’s warmer year-round climate is more suitable. 

Like Danka, Healy said it’s likely multiple factors contribute to decline instead of one root cause. 
“Think about how a human deals with stress,” Healy said. “You pile so many stressors onto an individual that it compounds the effects of each one of those stresses.”

Healy, along with several others at the university, is studying the effects of pesticides on bees, primarily the risk factors of toxicity and exposure. 

While she said some pesticides are worse than others, the goal is releasing the pesticides at night when bees are back in their hives. 

“Generally, beekeepers have pretty close contact with their bees,” Healy said. “…(With pesticides), it tends to be more acute mortality so you’ll see all of sudden a lot of dead bees in front of a hive.”

Chris Frink, an avid beekeeper and president of the Capital Area Beekeeping Club in Baton Rouge, currently has three honey bee hives in his backyard. 

Frink said he lost two colonies during the summer but attributed that to the excessive rain and wet weather. 

“(The weather) kept them from flying and might have made it easier for pests to flourish,” he said. 
Club meetings include discussions on how to test for Varroa mites and treatment and how to keep colonies healthy, he said.

“We’re not rescuing bees from extinction by getting backyard beekeepers going,” Frink said, “but we are raising awareness about the importance of bees to our food system, gardens and yards.”

2017 Hive Registration & Notification Links for LA County

LACBA Webmaster     Eva Andrews     12/8/2016

Persons registering their Apiary in Los Angeles County must do so before December 31, 2016.

The 2017 Apiary Registration Form and 2017 Apiary Registration Notification link to files on our LACBA website. They have been provided to us by Conrad Burton, Inspector, LA County Apiary/AHB/Haz Mat Programs Pesticide Regulation Division. When the LA County Apiary links are active on the County website, they will be posted on our LACBA website. If you have a problem accessing the links on our website, PLEASE DO NOT contact the LA County Apiary Inspector, CONTACT LACBA Webmaster at If you have questions regarding hive registration, please do not contact our Webmaster, see our Hive Registration page or contact Conrad Burton, Apiary Inspector. His information is on our Hive Registration page. Thank you!)

2017 Apiary Registration Form (Print out, fill out, return with appropriate fee. Form is revised yearly.)  

2017 Apiary Registration Notification (Contains valuable information.)

Registration in California:

Anyone who keeps bees in California must register with their local County Agricultural Commissioner (CAC) on a yearly basis. There are many reasons to make sure your bees are "on the books."  Your County Agricultural Commissioner can be of assistance in:

  • dealing with neighbors and local regulatory agencies
  • notifications about local pesticide/herbicide applications
  • referrals for swarm captures if you want them 

At a nominal fee per beekeeper, regardless of the number of colonies or apiaries, it's well worth it.

Regarding the City of Los Angeles: Although we have some helpful information on our Hive Registration page regarding the City of Los Angeles, you will need to contact the City of Los Angeles for their regulations.  

For more information visit the LACBA Hive Registration page. 

LACBA Annual Holiday Dinner - Monday, December 5, 2016


WHERE: Pickwick Gardens
1001 Riverside Dr.
Burbank, CA 91506
Conference Center 

WHEN: Monday, December 5, 2016
TIME: 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM  (Doors open at 6, we dine about 6:30)

In case you didn't get the Evite email, please RSVP at the Evite pagePickwick GardensMap.

ON THE AGENDA:  Our president, Keith Roberts, will be speaking about his visions for our future. We will be voting on new officers, and ratifying our legalization as a 501(c)3 non-profit!

WHO: This is a family-friendly open event - feel free to bring your spouse, partner, kids, and friends.

HOW MUCH: $10/person.  

WHAT TO BRING: Please bring either an appetizer or dessert to share (6-8 servings is plenty).
Potluck by last name: A-M Desserts  N-Z Appetizers    

RAFFLE: Tickets are $1. Members renewing for 2017 get 5 free tickets. Please bring any items you'd like to contribute to the raffle on the night of the dinner.

CATERING: Once again, we are so pleased to announce our wonderful dinner will be provided by Outback Catering (LACBA Member, Doug Noland).  Beverages will be provided by Pickwick Gardens. 

CSBA Honors Clyde Steese with the 2016 Young Beekeeper of the Year Award

California State Beekeepers Association 
2016 Young Beekeeper of the Year
Clyde Steese 

At the CSBA Awards Banquet on Thursday, November, 2016, Clyde Steese was honored with the 2016 Young Beekeeper of the Year Award. Awards Chairman, Alan Milkolich, presented the award to Clyde and had these choice words to share with us: 

"A young man he is not.  A young beekeeper whom the bees have taught many lessons he is.  He is a successful (meaning the bees are paying for themselves with a little $ left over) 1st generation beekeeper.  Honey bees found him when they swarmed into a box in his backyard about 16 years ago.  He could not find anyone to take the bees or remove them for a reasonable cost so he decided to keep them and gave them a home.  Soon the back yard was overrun with bee hives, the neighbors were starting to complain, and more importantly his wife was starting to tell him he had to do something about all the bees. 

He connected with his local Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association and soon found an alternate location to pursue his new passion.  When he was up to about 30 colonies, he purchased a 24 foot flatbed truck, no forklift and no place to park a truck that size.  What do you do?  Call a friend.  Fast forward: 

He has served as Vice President and President of the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association and currently is on the Board of Directors.  His most notable contribution has been as coordinator for the LACBA annual fundraiser/bee display at the Los Angeles County Fair going on too many years to remember. 

He is currently serving a term as a member of the Certified Farmers Market Advisory Committee that advises CDFA  on issues concerning Direct Marketing of Agricultural Products and Farmers Markets.  

He gives back with plenty of advice and lessons learned by teaching newbees at monthly Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association bee classes.    

Just a few of the lessons learned include: 

Do not buy a bunch of used equipment:  You may just inherit a bad case of foul brood.                      

Do not spend a lot of $ on an untested solution to varroa and always go back and test for mites to see if your plan for surviving with mites is working:  $5000 worth of Russian bees and queens that did not make it through the winter.

What to do when your truck breaks down with a full load of bees:  Blown water pump on the International flatbed truck with a full load of hives.  Fortunately only 1/4 mile from the top of the grade and was able to limp to the top before all the coolant ran out of the engine.  From there a 3 mile coast with no power steering and limited amount of air for the brakes.  2 right turns another 1/4 mile and a left turn into the driveway close enough to unload the bees and run them to the drop location with the forklift.  Then call your wife at 1am to come and get you, a 2 hour drive from home.

Have a plan in place for a flat tire:  Blown tire at about midnight on a Sunday night with a full truck load of bees and still a 3 hour drive ahead of you.

Always securely tie down your load even if you are only going 100 yds. so a 3000 lb. tote of sugar syrup does not fall off your truck, split open, and flow down hill through the back door of your partner’s house and into his wife’s kitchen.  

Beekeeping keeps Clyde Steese young.

Stubbornness and persistence are virtues."

(Note: Congratulations, Clyde. Thank you for all you do for the betterment of honey bees, beekeepers, and the beekeeping community. ~ LACBA)

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.)  

CSBA News Update: December 2, 2016

California State Beekeepers Association   From Joy Pendell, CSBA Media Director  December 2, 2016

CSBA News Update for your reading enjoyment. Happy reading! 

Disclaimer: Inclusion of items in this email does not imply CSBA endorsement unless such endorsement is specifically stated.

Nice to Read  

WAS – News From The World Of Beekeeping

WAS – News From The World Of Beekeeping

WAS – November WAS Journal 

Catch The Buzz – Honey Wars: Crime And Killings In New Zealand’s Booming Manuka Industry

ABC - Honey Bee Health Depends On Almond Grower, Beekeeper Communication

Agriculture.Com - The Hunt For A New Secretary Of Ag

Catch The Buzz – Mustard Farmers Join Forces To Protect British Honey Bees

Catch The Buzz – The Bee Informed Partnership Kicks Off A Fund Raising Program To Help The Bees. You Can Help!

Phys.Org - Why Brexit Could Be Bad News For Bees 

Catch The Buzz – Veterinarians’ Loans Repaid For Working In Rural Communities

The Kim & Jim Show – Webinar, Dec 8th: “What’s New For 2017”

Student Science - Sweet: Is Honey The Key To The Next-Generation Of Antimicrobials?

Catch The Buzz – Feds Hit Brakes On Loans To Big Farms. Do The Environmental Evaluation Before You Ask For A Loan.

Catch The Buzz – U.S. Organic Farmland Reached 4.1 Million Acres In 2016, A New Record

Catch The Buzz – Court Fails To Protect Bees And Beekeepers. Pesticide-Coated Seeds Remain Unregulated By EPA As Pollinator Populations Plummet.

Catch The Buzz – Protecting Bees From Pesticides Just Got Easier With The Release By Oregon State University Of A Smartphone App

Catch The Buzz – Seedless Fruit Varieties Seen As Food Security Boost 

Catch The Buzz – Bees Use A Variety Of Senses And Memory Of Previous Experiences When Deciding Where To Forage For Pollen, Research Suggests.

ABF – November E-Buzz 

ABC - Almond Conference, Sacramento, CA Dec 6-8th 

“Bee Audacious” Conference, San Raphael, CA Dec 14th

California Honey Festival – Woodland, CA, May 6th, 2017

UC Davis – Honey & Pollination Center Newsletter 

2017 North American Beekeeping Conference & Tradeshow Agenda 

USDA - National Honeybee Disease Survey in Southern CA

Request For Honeydew

“Folks, the fungi that grow on the honeydew of scale insects are called Sooty moulds. I was looking for CA producer of honeydew honey that I could try to grow my fungi on. Can you help?” Please contact Martin MacKenzie at or 209-288-6348 

Request To Visit An Apiary

“I'm a student from Richardson Middle School. I am part of a team that participates in FIRST Lego League and we are doing a project about Colony Collapse Disorder. We were wondering if we could come visit your bee farm to learn about bees.” Please contact Cindy at

Request for TV show

“Hi CA BeeKeepers!! This might be a random message to receive but I'm a casting producer for a new CBS show called Candy Crush it's an upcoming competition game show based off the popular mobile game. We're looking for dynamic, diverse duos and would love to have at least a duo of Beekeepers represented on the show! I'd personally love to invite you and your team to apply for this fun opportunity!!! It's going to be a one-of-a kind experience to win a HUGE CASH PRIZE. 

More info on the show: 

NOW CASTING NATIONWIDE: Teams of 2 for CBS’ New Live Action Game Show: CANDY CRUSH! Win a big cash prize!

It’s time for you and a partner to test you CANDY CRUSH skills on our revolutionary interactive stage. We want outgoing CANDY CRUSH fans of all levels who want to compete in our CANDY CRUSH ARENA to win a big cash prize!

To apply, please email ASAP with: - Names - Phone numbers - Emails - Photos - Ages (open to all ages, 18+) - City/States - Occupations 

* You must be a legal US Resident and 18+ to be considered. Please let me know if you or anyone there is interested and I'd be happy to walk you through the audition process. Thank you!”

You're a Bee. This Is What It Feels Like

 The New York Times    By Joanna Klein   December 2, 2016

A honey bee gathering pollen on a white flower. Dagmar Sporck/EyeEm, via Getty ImagesSet your meetings, phone calls and emails aside, at least for the next several minutes. That’s because today you’re a bee.

It's time to leave your hive, or your underground burrow, and forage for pollen. Pollen is the stuff that flowers use to reproduce. But it’s also essential grub for you, other bees in your hive and your larvae. Once you’ve gathered pollen to take home, you or another bee will mix it with water and flower nectar that other bees have gathered and stored in the hive. But how do you decide which flowers to approach? What draws you in?

In a review published last week in the Journal Functional Ecology, researchers asked: What is a flower like from a bee’s perspective, and what does the pollinator experience as it gathers pollen? And that's why we're talking to you in the second person: to help you understand how bees like you, while hunting for pollen, use all of your senses — taste, touch, smell and more — to decide what to pick up and bring home.

Maybe you're ready to go find some pollen. But do you even know where to look?

Good question. How about an answer?
No, I’m an expert bee. Get me out of this hive.