I recently spent a couple of hours with a group of local homeschooling families, sharing with the children a little bit about the honeybees. I had written a post on FB, inviting them to join me for one of the many events that Long Beach Beekeepers hosts, and so many of them expressed a general interest that I thought it might be worthwhile to plan something special with them. The date was set, and the fun began. We started off with a picture book about a beekeeper. Kids and grownups of all ages love a picture book. The Beeman (by Laurie Krebs and Valeria Cis) is a sweet intro to beekeeping, and there are plenty of books at the library to supplement, for kids who want to learn more (I’ll post a short list soon). We then jumped over to inspect the observation hive, and all the kids, from toddlers to tweens, were absolutely fascinated by all the activity taking place inside! They crowded around, pointing and asking questions. After that, we played a game which required the children to run around gathering “nectar” with their “proboscis” from nearby “flowers” and depositing the nectar back at the “hive.” Everybody had a blast, and then they all enjoyed some honey sticks from the LB Beekeepers. I hope that some of our new friends will stop by to see us at First Fridays (this Friday, 6-9 pm, Atlantic and Burlinghall, directly across the street from EJ Malloy’s), at the South 40 hive next month (Nov 5, 8am, 2813 E South St, LB, 90805), or at the next club meeting(Nov 6, 10am).

I’d like to give thanks to Roberta Kato for inviting me to write this guest blog post, to Dick Barnes for trusting me with his bees, to both for all the encouragement, and to Carlos Angeles for allowing me to share the bees with his tribe. You are all the best! ❤️

Reading “The Beeman”
Beating their wings to thicken the honey
 
The observation hive
 
Getting a close-up
 
Gathering nectar

Everybody doing their part to fill the hive with nectar

Back at the hive, cells are filling up with “nectar” (water)

Celebrating a good harvest.

Parental “flowers”

Honey sticks galore

We had so many events for Earth Day in Long Beach!  We introduced many children and adults to the idea of beekeeping and showed how wonderful it can be to learn about bees.  The observation hives were a big hit.  Thanks to all the events that invited us at the Growing Experience, Green Prize Festival, and YMCA.

 

 

 

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.

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

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.