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"Most people don't have any idea about the complicated life going on inside a hive.
Bees have a secret life we don't know anything about."
~Sue Monk Kidd, "The Secret Life of Bees"

Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping 101:
A Class for beginning beekeepers – Hosted at The Valley Hive

Who: Current 2019 Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Members. The membership is a family/household membership, children under the age of 18 are welcome with accompanying adult member.

What: 8 Classes to guide you during your first year as a beekeeper

Where: Chatsworth, CA: Class topic will determine class location

When: The 2nd Sunday of the Month (See full class schedule below for dates)

Time: 9am to Noon

Cost: Suggested donation of $20 per class per household or $100 per household for all 8 classes. (LACBA non-profit 501c3 status is pending.)

Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Protective clothing – for classes located in the apiary

  • Full bee suit with veil

  • Gloves

  • High top boots/shoes (no sandals or open shoes)

  • Not required, but suggest you have a roll of duct tape in case you rip a hold in your suit.

  • Seating is limited. If you a want chair, you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!

Most of the information you need to attend our Beekeeping 101 Classes can be found here. Class location, parking information and specific class information will be e-mailed to registered participants the day before class. Beekeeping is weather dependent. All classes will be held outside. While we make every effort to stick to our schedule sometimes class content will change due to the weather (rain, fog, cool temperatures, excessive heat, change in weather) and/or needs of the bees.

Class Goals: The Los Angeles County Beekeeper Association Beekeeping 101 Classes will walk you through your first year of beekeeping. Things you should learn:

  • Meet like minded people who can support your efforts in becoming a beekeeper

  • Responsible beekeeping in an urban environment

  • Safe placement of a hive

  • Basic bee biology

  • The life cycle of a colony

  • Proper protective equipment

  • Construction of a hive

  • Flowers that bloom in our area that benefit the bees

  • Learn about keeping bees in the Los Angeles area from experienced beekeepers

  • General maintenance of a hive

  • Pest & Diseases that can affect a colony

  • What to do if you come in contact with an aggressive hive

  • What can happen if you get a bee sting

Registration is required to attend classes. Registration for classes must be done on-line.

Click here to register for all 8 classes or you can individually register for each class you want to attend. We suggest that you attend all 8 classes to get the most out of the classes.

Class Schedule

Class# 1: Sunday February 10, 2019 from 9am to noon

Registration is Required
Class Topic: Is Beekeeping right for you? We suggest that you do not purchase equipment and protective gear until you attend this class. This class will discuss topic to prepare you to become a beekeeper:

  • Time commitment

  • Equipment needed

  • Protective gear/equipment needed

  • Space requirements/hive placement

  • Los Angeles City Ordinance

  • Registering your hive with the county of Los Angles

  • Life cycle of the colony and basic bee biology

Class Location: The Valley Hive – 10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth, CA 91311
Parking for Class: Please park on Topanga Canyon Blvd. No parking restrictions on Sundays.
Time: Gates and Check in open @ 8:30am. Class Starts @ 9am
Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • This is an ‘educational’ class, not a ‘hand’s on’ class. The third class begins the hand’s on classes (when we open the beehive). You do not need a bee suit or protective clothing for this class because we’re not opening a beehive.

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Seating is limited if you want chair you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!

Price: This class is free

Class# 2: Sunday March 10, 2019 from 9am to noon

Registration is Required
Class Topic: What to plant in a bee friendly garden. The importance of well-built hive equipment. How to build/assemble your own Hive Equipment. The life cycle of the colony and basic bee biology. How to install a package or nuc of bees into your equipment.
Class Location: The Valley Hive – 10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth, CA 91311
Parking for Class: Please park on Topanga Canyon Blvd. No parking restrictions on Sundays.
Time: Gates and Check in open @ 8:30am. Class Starts @ 9am
Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • This is an ‘educational’ class, not a ‘hand’s on’ class. The third class begins the hand’s on classes (when we open the beehive). You do not need a bee suit or protective clothing for this class because we’re not opening a beehive.

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Seating is limited if you want chair you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!

Price: This class is free

Class# 3: Sunday April 14, 2019 from 9am to noon (Protective equipment required)

Registration is Required
Class Topic: To Be Determined based on when packages of bees are scheduled for pick up. Typically, the April class is the first class that we go into the Apiary and open up hives. Once we have a date for package pick up, we will have a better idea as to what this class topic will be. Probable topic for class will be the life cycle of a colony and basic bee biology. Hive inspection techniques – what to look for on you first hive inspection after installing your package of bee.
Class Location: Chatsworth, CA – To Be Determined
Parking for Class: To Be Determined
Time: Gates and Check in open @ 8:15am. Class Starts @ 9am
Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Protective clothing (This is the first ‘hand’s on’ class of the season. You MUST have protective clothing for this class.)

  • Full bee suit with veil

  • Gloves

  • High top boots/shoes (no sandals or open shoes)

  • Not required, but suggest you have a roll of duct tape in case you rip a hold in your suit.

  • Seating is limited if you want chair you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!·

Price: Suggested donation of $20 per person per class or $100 for all 8 classes. LACBA is a 501c3, your donation is tax deductible.

Class# 4: Sunday May 12, 2019 from 9am to noon (Protective equipment required)

Registration is Required
Class Topic: Pest & Diseases – Learn about things to watch out for. Hive inspection techniques – what to look for during your hive inspection. Compare the growth of your colony to ours.
Class Location: Chatsworth, CA – The Valley Hive Apiary – details send out to registered participants.
Parking for Class: Details send out to registered participants.
Time: Gates and Check in open @ 8:15am. Class Starts @ 9am
Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Protective clothing (You MUST have protective clothing for this class.)

  • Full bee suit with veil

  • Gloves

  • High top boots/shoes (no sandals or open shoes)

  • Not required, but suggest you have a roll of duct tape in case you rip a hold in your suit.

  • Seating is limited if you want chair you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!

Price: Suggested donation of $20 per person per class or $100 for all 8 classes. LACBA is a 501c3, your donation is tax deductible.

Class# 5: Sunday June 9, 2019 from 9am to noon (Protective equipment required)

Registration is Required
Class Topic: Testing for Varroa Mites. Hive inspection techniques – what to look for during your hive inspection. Compare the growth of your colony to ours.
Class Location: Chatsworth, CA – The Valley Hive Apiary – details send out to registered participants.
Parking for Class: Details send out to registered participants.
Time: Gates and Check in open @ 8:15am. Class Starts @ 9am
Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Protective clothing (You MUST have protective clothing for this class.)

  • Full bee suit with veil

  • Gloves

  • High top boots/shoes (no sandals or open shoes)

  • Not required, but suggest you have a roll of duct tape in case you rip a hold in your suit.

  • Seating is limited if you want chair you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!

Price: Suggested donation of $20 per person per class or $100 for all 8 classes. LACBA is a 501c3, your donation is tax deductible.

Class# 6: Sunday July 14, 2019 from 9am to noon (Protective equipment required)

Registration is Required
Class Topic: More practice on testing for Varroa Mites. Hive inspection techniques – what to look for during your hive inspection. Compare the growth of your colony to ours. Typically your first year you don’t get honey, but just in case you do techniques on how to extract honey.
Class Location: Chatsworth, CA – Part 1: The Valley Hive Apiary Part 2: Extraction Demonstration – details send out to registered participants.
Parking for Class: Details send out to registered participants.
Time: Gates and Check in open @ 8:15am. Class Starts @ 9am
Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Protective clothing (You MUST have protective clothing for this class.)

  • Full bee suit with veil

  • Gloves

  • High top boots/shoes (no sandals or open shoes)

  • Not required, but suggest you have a roll of duct tape in case you rip a hold in your suit.

  • Seating is limited if you want chair you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!

Price: Suggested donation of $20 per person per class or $100 for all 8 classes. LACBA is a 501c3, your donation is tax deductible.

Class# 7: Sunday August 11, 2019 from 9am to noon (Protective equipment required)

Registration is Required
Class Topic: Hive inspection techniques – what to look for during your hive inspection. Compare the growth of your colony to ours. What to do to preserve you wax if your colony dies. How to winterize your hive/
Class Location: Chatsworth, CA – Part 1: The Valley Hive Apiary – details send out to registered participants.
Parking for Class: Details send out to registered participants.
Time: Gates and Check in open @ 8:15am. Class Starts @ 9am
Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Protective clothing (You MUST have protective clothing for this class.)

  • Full bee suit with veil

  • Gloves

  • High top boots/shoes (no sandals or open shoes)

  • Not required, but suggest you have a roll of duct tape in case you rip a hold in your suit.

  • Seating is limited if you want chair you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!

Price: Suggested donation of $20 per person per class or $100 for all 8 classes. LACBA is a 501c3, your donation is tax deductible.

September: No Bee Class, due to the Los Angeles County Fair. Please give back to the bee community and donate a 5 hour shift to work at the LACBA Bee Booth at the Los Angeles County Fair.

Class# 8: Sunday October 13, 2019 from 9am to noon (Protective equipment required)

Registration is Required
Class Topic: Culmination of what you have learned this year. Be prepared for a final exam.
Class Location: The Valley Hive – 10538 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Chatsworth, CA 91311.
Parking for Class: Please park on Topanga Canyon Blvd. No parking restrictions on Sundays.
Time: Gates and Check in open @ 8:30am. Class Starts @ 9am
Class Requirements:

  • You must have a paid 2019 LACBA Membership

  • Bring a notebook and pen/pencil to take notes

  • Protective clothing (You MUST have protective clothing for this class.)

  • Full bee suit with veil

  • Gloves

  • High top boots/shoes (no sandals or open shoes)

  • Not required, but suggest you have a roll of duct tape in case you rip a hold in your suit.

  • Seating is limited if you want chair you should bring one with you

  • Positive attitude with a willingness to learn!

Price: Suggested donation of $20 per person per class or $100 for all 8 classes. LACBA is a 501c3, your donation is tax deductible.

History of LACBA Beekeeping 101

LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 2009.jpg

The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101 first began in 2009 at Bill’s Bees Apiaries in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains.

We'd like to thank Bill Lewis and Clyde Steese of Bill's Bees for making their apiaries available to us year after year and for sharing their experience, knowledge, and time with us. Their dedication to the art and craft of beekeeping made these classes available, affordable, and highly enjoyable. Their steadfast adherence to Best Management Practices for the bees and beekeepers continue to make keeping bees an adventure in responsible beekeeping. We’d also like to thank the experienced beekeepers from the LACBA who give of their knowledge and time to make these gatherings of beekeepers intimate groups of hands on learning. Thank you to all the beekeepers who have participated in our Beekeeping Class 101 over the years. Our Beekeeping Class 101 grew from under 20 newbees in 2009 to over 200 in 2016. There's nothing like the beauty of standing on top of a mountain, surrounded by millions of honey bees. We are forever grateful to Bill and Clyde for giving us the appreciation for the gift of the bees!