Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanks EDCO

Carlos Sanchez with our gift of gourmet cookies for the crew
For close to a year EDCO Transfer Station has hosted the monthly meetings of the Long Beach Beekeepers.  Many thanks to Carlos Sanchez, Facilities Supervisor, who has opened the doors for us every first Sunday in the morning and has gone out of his way to make sure we have needed supplies and support.  EDCO is a family owned and run business located in Signal Hill but dedicated to providing support for the Long Beach community as well.  We are grateful to Vice President/General Manager Efrain Ramirez and hope our relationship with EDCO will continue for years to come.

Monday, November 4, 2013

New Beekeepers With a Fall Swarm

Joan and Larry had some bees move into a box that they had on their porch.  It was quite a surprise and their first thought was, "Who can take them away?"  But after a little more thought they realized that the bees weren't that bad and maybe they should keep them.  Luckily I know Joan from work and we had a Long Beach Beekeepers class happening so they decided to come and see if were up for it.

I was pretty sure that they could do it since they felt comfortable enough to move the box of bees on their own to the backyard even though the box started to fall apart!  They were naturals and so open to the idea.   We inspected the South 40 hive, I lent them some suits, a smoker and a deep 8 frame box.

In just a couple of days they had the bees moved into the new hive and had attached the new comb to the frames.  Their son joined in the fun.  Can't wait to hear what happens to this little fall swarm.  It's a hard time for bees to establish themselves going into the fall but it can also be a good time to start beekeeping since their are fewer bees to work with.  These seem to be pretty busy bees since they've already made some comb.  Good luck! - roberta

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Outreach At The Children's Clinic's Health Fair and Walk

It was a wonderful day to be out for the Children's Clinic's Beach Walk.  There were hundreds of teen agers and their family members walking around the Long Beach marina.  Before and after the walk, people came by and gazed out our observation hive.  At first the bees were huddled together because it was so cold.  After it warmed up there, they crawled around the frame of honey and brood.  It was great to see how interested everyone was and some were eager to come to our bee classes.

Monday, October 21, 2013

7th Annual Gathering of The Gardens Event

The Long Beach Beekeepers enjoy going to community events to educate the public about the importance of bees and the share how it is possible to have beehives in the urban environment.  On Saturday, October 19th, Luis, Megan and Mike worked our booth at the 7th Annual Gathering of the Gardens.  Teague, the organizer, had a great line up of presentations from biodynamic gardening to chickens and bees.  Luis gave a presentation to would be beekeepers and got a great response.  One of the big hits was Dick's observation hive that held a full frame of honey.  I wish our banner wasn't a little crooked....

Monday, October 14, 2013

A New Hive For The South 40

Lee has wanted to have bees for a while.  We were able to rescue some bees from their backyard but they didn"t make it the first year.  She was also having trouble with the hive being on her roof so we're going to add it to the South 40.  Thanks to Long Beach Organic.

We also did our monthly hive inspection.  After a month the bees have drawn a bunch of new comb and made capped honey.  Unfortunately, it crossed a couple of frames.  Boohoo.  We removed the perpendicular honey comb and put it in an empty box on top since it was filled with nectar and honey.  These bees are busy.  Fall isn't going to stop them!  The bottom box had nice and straight comb which we just admired.  We also added a new top board because our other one had warp a bit.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

This Weekend's South 40 Beehive Inspection

Last weekend we did a bunch to the hive including adding frames, moving frames up, using a medium box as a feeder box and I'm so happy with how it's looking.  Luis, Mike and new beekeeper Greg worked the hive.

We removed the feeder box where the comb had been sucked dry of nectar but there was a bit of capped honey still there that they were still transfer but we didn't want to leave the empty box there too long.  They had already attached the dish to the frames!

We looked through both deep boxes to see if they were building any new comb and we were surprised to find that they had built almost a whole frame and started on another.  And that was in just a week in the middle of the hottest time of the year, also called the dearth but here in an urban environment with people irrigating there is still a great deal of forage.

We saw bees coming in with a bunch of pollen but it didn't seem common and there wasn't much stored pollen.  We'll probably leave them along for the next month and come back for the new schedule of South 40 mentoring at 8am First Saturdays.  We want to start earlier to make sure that we don't disturb the bees when gardeners are working.  Thanks to all the supporters.  - roberta

Monday, September 9, 2013

More Beekeeping at the South 40 Community Garden

This weekend we did another inspection and did some management of the South 40 community garden hive.  Despite being September, the dirth in Southern California, the hive is booming with new nectar and comb.

Next meeting this Sat at 7am!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Beekeeping Class Fun

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.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Beginning Beekeeping Class Session 2

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

Sunday, June 16, 2013

South 40 Community Garden Gets Their Bees

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.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

California Heights in Long Beach Saves Bees

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.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Blessed Bees

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:



Monday, April 22, 2013

LBB Beeks Participate in Film Screening

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.

Where: Hellada Art Center
117 Linden Ave.
Long Beach, CA 90802
(562) 435-5232

For parking information go to: www.hellada.us/

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

Friday, April 5, 2013

Online Video Course: The Sacred Path of the Bee


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:http://bit.ly/yjQ8Ul.
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: layneredmond.com (Layne) and holybeepress.com (Debra). Blessed be, blessed bees.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Readers respond to Tim Grobaty article

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

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!"

Friday, March 29, 2013

LB Environmental Committee Meeting, June 2012

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 @presstelegram.com, 562-714-2104, http://twitter.com/EricBradleyPT

Great article from Long Beach Press Telegram

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

By Tim Grobaty, Columnistpresstelegram.com

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. (www.longbeachlocal.org).
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.

tim.grobaty@presstelegram.com, 562-714-2116 or twitter.com/grobaty

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Bee Anatomy at the Bee Club Meeting 2/3

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

Sunday, January 6, 2013

First Fridays Outreach 1/4

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).