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Long Beach Beekeepers


  • 18 Aug 2013 10:32 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    We've had a great turn out for classes and now we have monthly meetings.

    Stay tuned for the schedule.  Our last class was the 2nd Saturday.  It was a one-on-one mentoring day with Janneke.

    I got to see a queen laying in action and that was really exciting and I was able to catch her action.

    The previous classes have included basics for beekeeping, the codes in Long Beach and how to inspect the hive.  We've tried adding a swarm and now our hive is from a cutout from under the floor of an old apiary that was torn down.



  • 18 Jun 2013 8:54 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Even if you missed the first class you are welcome to attend Session 2.  Just let us know to expect you.

    South 40 Community Garden

    Introduction to Bees and Beekeeping

    A beehive is a wonderful addition to any garden to improve pollination and add energy to your backyard space. Come and join us at the Long Beach Organic South 40 Community Garden for a beginning class about how you can get started and what you can do to support urban beekeeping. 

    Classes are free*Donations to Long Beach Organic are welcomed.

    June 15, 2013. 9-11AM

    Session 1:

    Bee friendly environment



    Life cycle of a bee

    Beekeeping Equipment

    Introducing the bees to their new home

    June 29, 2013. 9-11AM

    Session 2:

    Management of bees/hive for an urban environment

    What can go wrong?

    Harvesting, processing and storage of honey

    *Bring your own bee suit or we can supply a few of them, courtesy of…HoneyLove

    Long Beach Organic

    South 40 Garden

    2813 South Street

    Long Beach, CA 90805

    Reserve your spot and a suit if necessary:

    Luis Sanchez

  • 16 Jun 2013 8:53 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    We just had our first beginners beekeeping class at Long Beach Organic's South 40 Community Garden.  The turn out was great with 20 people coming for the two hour class that ran three hours!  See below for the class information.  I brought the swarm from California Heights and they sat on the table while we discussed beekeeping.  Luis discussed the what makes a bee friendly environment and life cycle.

    There were a lot of questions and comments, of course, when we got to city codes and misconceptions.  But the real fun started when everyone put on their Honeylove beesuits for the transfer of the swarm to the new hive.

    The bees were so sweet, I hadn't even taped up the box.  When we opened the nuc there were two small groups of bees and then I turned the box over to "dump" the bees into the hive.

    The interesting part was that they were still in two groups.  We discussed that the bees would be surrounding the queen and we could see some fanning.  It was great was someone in the class (she wasn't really a beginner and already had her own suit) saw the queen in one of the clumps of bees and then we saw a second queen in the other clump!

    Can you find the queen?

    It made sense and there were definitely two different queens, one a little darker than the other.  We nudged them both between the frames and eventually the rest followed.

    It will be very interesting when we do the inspection in a couple of weeks at the second session of our beginners beekeeping class.  I sure hope both queens stay and if not all of them, at least one queen and some workers.

    We'll also be setting up monthly mentoring classes so please stay tuned for those dates.  And if you are interested in becoming a member of LongBeach Organic, and want your own plot, check out the website for more information.  There are still plots available and one is near the bees.

  • 15 Jun 2013 6:30 AM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Jim first noticed a small docile swarm of bees in his wife's Japanese maple tree a few days ago.  They were there minding their own business and he thought that they would be perfect for a beekeeper's hive.  He searched the web and the first call he made was to a person who said for $150 he could come and kill them.  Aghhh!!!  Not what he was looking for.  He then came across Henry who forwarded the info to our club, the Long Beach Beekeepers.  In no time we came to the rescue.  I came after work and Jim and his wife were sitting on their front porch. They were so nice and welcoming.   And they didn't even know I was the bee person at first!

    He showed me the cute group of bees, just the size of a tiny melon resting in the tree, content to be in their beautiful front yard.  They had already started building some comb but were ready to move into the little nuc that I had.  They'll be part of our beginning beekeeping class today.  If you are interested in learning beekeeping, we'll have these classes at least twice a year and will be working on a monthly mentoring session.  Look out for more details.  Thank-you, Jim, for calling us.


  • 20 May 2013 3:00 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)


    Four members of the club answered the call to help rescue a hive of bees at the Bethany Church School in Long Beach.  Jaime had checked it out the previous day with the time honored bee location method – an ear to the wall – and heard loud buzzing across several feet.  

    Surely it had to be a huge hive but things with bees aren’t always – actually hardly ever – what they seem.  The bees were in the outside wall at the very top of a narrow staircase leading to the second floor.  With the help of Dan, the head of maintenance for the church, we located the hive by drilling a few test holes until comb was visible. 

    The room quickly filled with bees and dust as the comb was exposed.  Oddly there did not seem to be all that many bees on the panes of comb which were large and almost pure white; obviously new comb.  It was filled with lots of healthy brood but virtually no stores.   Once we reached the ceiling header we could not continue.

    Our suspicion was that there was more to the hive than met the eye.  It was very possible that the majority of bees and older comb were in the attic to which we did not have access other than to cut into the roof.   At that point we came to a consensus decision that it was a job for pros and we reluctantly let Dan know that we had to withdraw.  Fully suited and a rescue veteran of a few hours, he later accessed the attic but did not find the expected large numbers of bees or any comb.  At least we had a box of healthy brood and enough bees to support it.  Hopefully there will be a potential queen.   The mystery continues – Stay tuned. Barbara, Jaime, Dick, Howard and Dan


    for short videos click on the following links:








  • 22 Apr 2013 11:20 AM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)


    Conscious Cinema

    proudly presents

    Vanishing Of The Bees

    a film by George Langworthy and MaryamHenein

    Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon threatens the loss of much more than honey as we depend on honeybees to pollinate one third of the food on our tables. Vanishing of the Bees chronicles the innermost thoughts and feelings of beekeepers and scientists as they fight to preserve the honeybee and make it through another day.

    Featuring experts like author MichaelPollan, the film also presents a platform of solutions, encouraging audiences to be the change they want to see in the world. This award-winning documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between Humankind and Mother Earth.

    Special Guest Speakers: Henry Kurland, President, and Barbara Sinclair, Vice President of Long Beach Beekeepers. They will bring an observation hive and honey sticks will be available for sale to support Long Beach Beekeepers.

    Join Us As We Celebrate International Mother Earth Day And Explore This Important Issue!

    Donation: $5.00

    When: Friday, April 26th @ 8 p.m.


    Hellada Art Center

    117 Linden Ave.

    Long Beach, CA 90802

    (562) 435-5232

    For parking information go to:


    Our host, Hellada Art Center is graciously providing wine and other refreshments. Don't forget to drop something in their tip jar if you wish to enjoy some wine and light refreshments. Thank you!


    Conscious Cinema: Without Awareness, There Can Be No Peace


  • 5 Apr 2013 3:42 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)
    Ancient traditions of the bee priestesses awakening in our lives today!

    Online Video Intensive (6 Sessions)
    with Layne Redmond and Debra Roberts

    First Session: April 11, Open to the Public at no charge.


    Layne Redmond and Debra Roberts are co-teaching a special video online course called The Sacred Path of the Bee: The Ancient Traditions of the Bee Priestesses Awakening in Our Lives Today. The Introductory episode is free and will be on April 11 at 8pm (the other five sessions will begin in July). If you are interested, make sure you are on Layne’s newsletter list at this link:


    Time with Layne will include learning about the amazing history of the ancient bee priestesses who were frame drummers. She will also be teaching the yogic breathing and mantra practices from the Indian bee goddess, Bhramari Devi. Debra’s part focuses on the contemporary sacred path and practices with the bees. Together, we are calling back and enlivening the ancient in our lives, now. It’s time … Please feel free to share this with anyone you think might be interested. For more information about us, please visit: (Layne) and (Debra). Blessed be, blessed bees.

  • 1 Apr 2013 7:40 AM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Tim Grobaty: Readers say animal rules don't pass smell test

    By Tim Grobaty Long Beach Press Telegram




    MAIL CALL: After our column about the proposal of new rules regarding chickens, goats and bees in Long Beach, readers have been clucking and whinnying and buzzing with concerns and fears, with the main beefs having to do with what scatologists refer to as "No. 2."

    "May Tim enjoy the fragrances from the chicken pens," writes hex-caster Marilyn Stanley McKellips on Facebook. "People don't pick up after the animals they have now."

    Another, from a fellow who called us at 6:30 on a school morning, left a message that we should "bring more attention to the fact that the chicken and goats will increase the number of flies. There are already too many flies. It's made the environment, particularly in Belmont Shore, horrible. You can't even spend a nice day in the yard because of the flies. People close their garbage container lids, but the trash collectors always leave them open, and that attracts more flies."

    OK, we don't know what to say about that, but presumably, or at least ideally, chicken ranchers will use chicken output for fertilizing their crops. In gratitude, the chickens will eat annoying insects and God will be in his heaven.


    The truth is, very few people want to live close to a family that has a rooster crowing at 5 in the morning. You're not allowed now, nor will you be allowed under the new rules, to have a rooster. Because they make too much noise. You'll only be allowed to have gently clucking chickens. Forget being jarred from sleep; you'll have more trouble keeping from being lulled to sleep early.

    A couple of alarmists checked in. On Facebook, Leslie Abrahams Gosling predicted a scene out of Revelations, "next there will be backyard slaughtering of the chickens, goats and more." And Seal Beach Dan, who admitted that he doesn't think the chicken/goat thing is a bad idea, wonders if the city isn't opening a Pandora's Box. "What about exotic pets, like a lion or a tiger. If I can have a chicken, why can't I have a python?" Well, just because you can't, that's why. Why can't we have a python if we have a dog? That's it: We're getting a python.

    And, in fact, we might get a lion or a tiger, too, to take care of our burgeoning and lively mice population. After writing about that plague, Greg on Monlaco called to advise us that "the best answer for mice around the house is a cat. A neighbor's cat, an alley cat, any kind of cat will do. And if that doesn't work, get another one."

    OK, we admit that the cat is looking like a good idea. But, then, what about the problem posed by reader Paula, who sends her future column request, with a nice preamble: "I enjoy your column. I do not like your detractors. I wonder if you'd be interested in doing a column about how to keep cats from using other people's planters and flower beds as their personal litter boxes.

    We wonder if a variation on some of today's mailbag responses might be the answer. Get a dog. A neighbor's dog, an alley dog, any kind of dog will do.
    And if that doesn't work, get a python.

    Our unwillingness to slaughter the little mice earned us a nice pat on the back from our pal at Wilson, Wes Edwards: "OK, so you are a known Wilson grad, liberal, anti-war, pro-gay, libertarian type, but now, animal rights? We applaud you again!"

    Then, Edwards told us a story about a mouse "waltzing" across his son's chest in his sleep. That kept us up all night.

    Finally, our failure thus far using Havahart traps, drew this from Christina Nigra Johnson who, like us, is a bleeding heart nonviolent sort: "Thank you for trying Havahart! I have used them with great success. The key is to find the right bait, so try different things. Compassion often takes courage, which is why it is in too short supply. Please don't give up!"

    , 562-714-2116 or

  • 29 Mar 2013 11:37 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    LB eyes easing rules on goats, hens, bees

    COUNCIL: Committee will seek lengthy public comment before any changes.

    Long Beach Press-Telegram (CA) - Wednesday, June 27, 2012

    Author/Byline: Eric Bradley Staff Writer
    Edition: MAIN
    Section: NEWS
    Page: 3A

    LONG BEACH - Goats will continue to be barred from being kept south of Anaheim Street, at least for now.

    The seemingly eccentric rule, a relic of Long Beach's 20th century urbanization, was part of a pack of changes to the municipal code debated by the City Council's Environmental Committee on Tuesday.

    Urban agriculture advocates are pushing city officials to relax property line setback regulations governing the keeping of hens, goats and bees to expand opportunities to produce organic eggs, milk and honey.

    Committee members eventually voted 2-1 to direct city staff to continue to study altering current restrictions, but not before lengthy public comment.

    About two dozen residents lined up to speak for and against the measures, with most in favor.

    Long Beach Grows Executive Director Donna Marykwas countered concerns about animal abuse by saying that her chicken and goats are treated "like royalty" compared with animals that produce the majority of eggs and milk in the United States.

    "We don't tell other people what they can or cannot eat," Marykwas said, "and not allowing individuals to raise our own eggs and milk equates to more factory farm animal abuse in a commercial setting."

    The proposed law would allow up to four hens with no restriction, five to 10 chickens at least 25 feet away from a neighboring residence and 11 to 20 of the birds at least 50 feet away from homes.

    Currently, up to 20 hens can be kept on a property if they are at least 50 feet away from single and two-family residences and 100 feet from homes of three families or more.

    The outlined changes would also allow two female pygmy goats, licensed annually, without restriction.

    Goats are now limited to one animal 100 feet from residences - and only north of Anaheim Street, once considered a rural area of Long Beach.

    The proposed rules would allow two beehives on property at least five feet from property lines. Those less than 15 feet from a property line would require a surrounding flyaway barrier at least six feet high.

    Hives must now be kept 100 feet from homes and 10 feet above ground.

    The proposals were modeled after small-scale animal husbandry laws in cities such as Seattle, Santa Monica and San Diego, according to staff.

    The possibility of bees buzzing around near her home had one resident worried.

    Heather Altman, who lives in Belmont Heights, said she hopes the committee will look into creating safeguards to protect bee -allergic residents.

    "This is a very real concern for me, and I'd like to be able to use my backyard," Altman said.

    Councilman Patrick O'Donnell submitted the lone "no" vote Tuesday after expressing concern over the committee's asking the City Attorney's Office to come back with draft changes to city code in September meeting.

    "To go ahead and slide it into legal language, to me, solidifies it," O'Donnell said.

    Regardless of what results from the process, Long Beach citizens won't have to deal with roosters crowing at the break of dawn.

    "Roosters aren't allowed per city code, and we're not proposing to change it," said Larry Rich, city sustainability coordinator.

    eric.bradley, 562-714-2104,


  • 29 Mar 2013 3:24 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Tim Grobaty: Long Beach's proposed relaxation of urban farming rules may return us to our roots

    By Tim Grobaty,

    Posted: 03/27/2013 02:29:45 PM PDT

    March 27, 2013 9:38 PM GMT

    Updated: 03/27/2013 02:38:58 PM PDT


    We had a duck when we were 2. You should know that about us. His name was Webster Webfoot and he was taller than we were.



    We were living with our grandparents at the time over on Keever Avenue, and we guess they probably gave us a cute little duckling and the thing grew up. Or maybe it just flew or waddled into our backyard. We don't know.


    How many ways are there to get a duck? Anyway, knowing us, we were probably afraid of the duck. Who wouldn't be? How would you feel right now if a duck larger than you barged into your house right now?


    (John Foxx)

    One day, our granddad gave the duck to a man he felt sorry for. "Here, have a duck, that oughta cheer you up."


    The man, we later came to find, ate the duck, and we slept like a baby.



    This instructive story is meant to show that we are no stranger to farm animals. There are more stories, like the week we spent inoculating piglets and cows with our cousin at his farm in Iowa - a farm that had been in our family for 100 years.


    The piglets were easy, you just pick them up by a hind leg, jab a needle into them and mark them with a big grease marker so you don't accidentally inoculate them again. The cows were more problematic. You had to muscle them into a little cow-sized pen before you could give them a shot. Our cousin was your typical big Iowa boy built like a defensive tackle. In those days we were more of a scatback. Spry. Nimble. Unable to move a cow.


    Farming is somewhere deep in our genes, just as it is in Long Beach's. The massive migration to this city in the early 1900s was chiefly from the Midwest Grain Belt, especially Iowa. Many were elderly, retiring from a life of hard work in extreme weather to a glorious life in the California sunshine in a young seaside town that was rapidly filling up with their neighbors and, later, younger farmers being pushed out of jobs by advances in farming technologies that allowed one farmer to work hundreds of acres practically by himself.


    So maybe it shouldn't be surprising, this reawakening of a hankering for good, old-fashioned agriculture in a town that was for decades known as Iowa By the Sea.

    The Long Beach City Council is now considering expanded and relaxed

    rules regarding raising and keeping chickens, goats and bees within the city limits. The changes have already been approved by the council's Environmental Committee headed by 2nd District councilwoman Suja Lowenthal. They await only final approval by the council, which is still studying the rules, which mainly allow for the keeping of chickens (up to 20), goats (limit of two pygmy goats) and beehives (five), and lessening the restrictions on how far these creatures are from neighboring properties.


    Some citizens of Long Beach see this as a return to Hicksville, with country folk raising critters out in the yard. Some are worried about noise. We've already got noise, with chattering squirrels, barking dogs, cawing crows, UPS trucks, overflying airplanes and round-the-clock gardeners. The odd cackle or whinny might be an interesting addition to the sounds of the suburbs. And we've had beehives on our property (millions and millions of bees)- without getting stung.


    Others, including your former farming correspondent, as well as Lowenthal, see urban (or suburban) it as progressive and a boost to the rapidly advancing urban farming movement in Long Beach. That movement has been brought about to a large degree by the sins and excesses of Big Food such as Monsanto and Cargill and other companies that have swamped family farms and have been crazily and dangerously tinkering with agriculture and Frankenfood products.


    Sustainable farming has been chatted about a lot, but it's a great way to go. There are scores of Long Beach farmers and chefs growing their own food on small lots throughout the city, and some of them grow enough surplus to sell to the public. Check out one of the more notable ones, Sasha Kanno's Farm Lot 59 at 2714 California Ave. (

    And, finally, the movement is a return to the sort of simplicity and do-it-yourself farming that most of us who can trace our heritage to the heartland, have in our subconscious, even if it hasn't awoken yet.


    Does that mean we want to live next door to a family raising chickens, goats and bees? Yes, it does.


    , 562-714-2116 or

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