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Long Beach Beekeepers


  • 25 Mar 2013 9:49 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Interview with our V.P. Barbara


  • 23 Mar 2013 2:38 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 GMTUpdated: 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

  • 3 Feb 2013 12:26 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Today we had a great class about bee anatomy.  We reviewed the differences between the females, males and queen, wax glands, the pollen pressor and basket, and the honey stomach.  Honey bees are unique and special and never fail to amaze.

    Honey Bee Eggs and Larva From a Rescued Hive
    Getting An Up Close Look at a Bee


  • 6 Jan 2013 11:34 AM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    See us First Fridays in Bixby Knolls.  We can answer questions, you can buy some fun honey sticks and local Long Beach honey is available for sale.  You can find us at the Expo Center 4313 Atlantic Avenue, LB. (200 yards south of San Antonio, west side of street).

  • 11 Dec 2012 11:28 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)



    You can now find Long Beach backyard and rescue honey at the

    Spring Street Farm Stand

    .  They are open Tuesdays and Fridays from 10-5pm.  You can find the stand at the North East corner of the Spring and Long Beach Blvd intersection.  The honey is brought to you by our own Long Beach Beekeepers.  The current Bixby Hills honey is brought to you by Dick.  Here's the story behind the wonderful raw and spectacular honey...


    This batch of honey came from a cutout I did in August on a derelict backyard dresser on Circle Drive in Bixby Knolls. The homeowner said the bees had only been there about two months. Well, as is usually the case, he underestimated. The colony was in a space that was 18 inches by 18 inches and 24 inches deep. And it was solid comb, a lot of it very dark. Had to be a year-old hive.

    The homeowner was a great guy and he loved smoking a cigar and watching the bees, but his family objected and he called our rescue line. So as he sat on the patio and enjoyed a cigar, I cut out comb, tied it into frames, scooped and vac’d bees and made a little nuc. Not much brood comb. Tons of honey. Very sweet bees. No stings. A successful rescue.

    -- Dick


    You can also find flavored honey for just 25 cents each.  Try a bunch of flavors for just a dollar.


  • 3 Dec 2012 2:16 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    The Long Beach Environmental Committee is hearing recommendations for change to the city ordinances related to the keeping of bees, chickens and goats.  They last met 11/27/2012 and city staff were requested to present in the first quarter of 2013 draft ordinance changes.  There was a potential survey presented by staff but that has been post-poned until the draft ordinances are presented.

    Here is the review in the LB report.  LB Report about city meeting.

    The fifth district council member, Gerrie Schipske, has put out an online survey to get a feel for what people think about the proposed changes.  Here is what staff has proposed at the summer meeting.


    City of Long Beach

    Current and proposed policies on the keeping of backyard chickens, goats and bees [source: City of LB website]





    • Up to 20 may be kept at least 50 feet from 1 and 2 family residences or 100 feet from multi-family (3+) residences or hotels
    • 1 chicken may be kept as pet at least 20 feet from any dwelling
    • Up to 4 may be kept without required distance from neighboring residence
    • 5 to 10 may be kept at least 25 feet from neighboring residence
    • 11 to 20 may be kept at least 50 feet from neighboring residence
    • 5 or more must obtain one-time permit from Animal Care Services


    • No more than 1 may be kept at least 100 feet from neighboring residences
    • May not be kept south of Anaheim Street
    • 2 female pygmy goats (only) may be kept without required distance from neighboring residences
    • Must be licensed annually by Animal Care Services
    • Milk products produced are for personal consumption only


    • Hives must be kept at least 100 feet from neighboring residences and public ways (streets and alleys).
    • Must be kept 10 feet above ground
    • Up to 5 hives may be kept at least 5 feet from property line
    • If a hive is less than 15 feet from a property line, a flyway barrier of at least 6 feet high must be maintained around the hive
    • Hives must be registered with Los Angeles County Department of Agriculture


  • 25 Sep 2012 6:35 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Michael Bush is coming to Long Beach.  The event is already sold out and looks to be a great oppurtunity to get together with other natural beekeepers.

    We'll be inspecting hives with him and learning about unlimited brood next management and the 4 steps to keeping healthy bees.

    Stay tuned for updates.  Check the monthly meeting page for event details. 

    Check out this link for Michael Bush's website.


  • 27 Aug 2012 12:14 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Please join us this Sunday for our monthly meeting at 10am.  Following the meeting we'll have a honey tasting where you can learn the difference between store bought honey and the wonders of unprocessed, raw honey from our own neighborhoods.  Here's the agenda.  Hope to see you there.  The honey tasting will start about 11am.

  • 13 Aug 2012 5:13 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    We've been to some great events to speak to people about bees.  It's a great way to show people what a hive looks like by bringing our observation hives.  

    We're going to be having a great set-up and a Beginning Beekeeping Workshop Sept 8th, Sat, at the Admiral Kidd Farmer's Market 11am.  We were at the Farmer's Market and the bees seem to love the place and really loved the lemonade stand. 

  • 30 Jul 2012 1:33 PM | Bee Administrator (Administrator)

    Join us on Sunday for our next meeting. 

Long Beach Beekeepers is a 501(c)3 organization

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