LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 - #2: March 18, 2018, 9AM-Noon, at The Valley Hive

The Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101 - Class #2 is Sunday, March 18, 2018 from 9:00AM-Noon, at The Valley Hive.

All the information you need in order to attend our Beekeeping Class 101 is posted on our website: /beekeeping-classes-losangeles/. We do not send out notifications of changes in dates, schedule, times, locations. The first two classes will be held at: 10538 Topanga Canyon, Chatsworth, CA. The location for the rest of the classes TBD. You can register at the class.

Beekeeping 101 is the entire session of beekeeping classes: from February through October 2018 (No class in September). We highly suggest you begin in February and continue through all the classes. Although you are welcome to come in the middle of the season of classes, you will have missed out on valuable information.

Honeybees at Work

Los Angeles Daily News    By Suzanne Sproul   December 7, 2015 

Honeybees at work producing honey combs in the “hive body” at the La Canada Flintridge home of Max DeBrouwer. Worker honeybees raised during the spring or summer months may live for 6 or 7 weeks. Their lives are especially busy, with lots of hungry larvae to feed, and honeycomb to be produce. (Photo by James Carbone for the Los Angeles Daily News) Have you heard the latest buzz? Los Angeles has laid out the backyard welcome mat for honeybees.

Urban beekeepers couldn’t be happier. After several years of discussion, lawmakers recently joined an increasing number of cities, including Santa Monica, Redondo Beach and Culver City, in attempts to help protect them.

Honeybee fans are thrilled, but some people still worry about safety concerns, particularly for those with bee allergies. The new ordinance requires urban beekeepers to register their hives with Los Angeles County, regulates their distance from property boundaries and nearby streets and calls for them to be kept high above ground and surrounded by a structure, such as a wall or hedge. Typically, only two hives would be allowed at a residence. 

“We are very happy that more people and cities are recognizing the importance of honeybees, but everyone should know they’re already here. On average in Los Angeles, there are nine to 11 colonies per square mile. The honeybees live in attics, trees and everywhere, so it’s not that we’re bringing in more. We’re simply trying to protect the ones here,” said Chelsea McFarland, an urban beekeeper along with her husband and the chief executive officer of HoneyLove, a nonprofit in Santa Monica.

Bees pollinate about 80 percent of plants, which directly impacts the community. 

“If you want a green city, we need beekeepers and a place to keep bees,” she said.

Organic gardening and providing backyard pollinator gardens rich with plenty of bee-friendly plants such as sage, goldenrod, lilac and lavender will help.

Maxime DeBrouwer of La Cañada Flintridge is a relative newcomer to beekeeping, but he’s a huge fan.

“My friend Paul (Hekimian) got me interested. He came over when we were having a party and brought a whole frame of honey which he harvested and gave to everyone at the party. He then told us how easy it is and offered to give us a hive, which he rescued through HoneyLove,” DeBrouwer said. “We love honey, heard about the die-off of bees and wanted our kids to learn about them. I then bought some books and went to a local beekeepers’ meeting that turned out to be down the street from my house. I was surprised to find 100 people at that meeting.” 

Paul Hekimian isn’t so surprised at the interest. The Santa Monica man is a second-generation beekeeper.

“I learned from my dad, but then got away from it until a few years ago when my son found an open-air hive in the backyard. We rescued the bees and now care for them as a hobby,” he said, adding that he bottles the honey to give as gifts to friends.

DeBrouwer understands the concerns about stings and allergies but believes if people really knew how important bees and the many misconceptions there are about them, many fears would disappear. 

“We find bees so fascinating and love watching them and learning. My daughter Alexa loves to handle them and has written stories about it at school. My younger daughter Maya loves to brag that she has 10,000 pets. Honeybees are quite calm and friendly.”

Beekeepers are quick to point out that many individuals confuse honeybees with yellow jackets or wasps, both of which are more aggressive.

“Bees do all the hard work,” McFarland said. “And we get to enjoy their labors. We should be good stewards and help maintain colonies.” 

One solution to help ease fears, he said, would be to attend a beekeepers’ meeting and learn more.

“It’s very easy. Just go to a club meeting and learn and then take the plunge and get a hive once you learn the basics.”

Erik Knutsen enjoys nature and gardening and did just that. The Silver Lake man already kept chickens so he said he thought he’d research beekeeping. He liked what he discovered.

“Working with them is magical,” he said. “You get a front seat to some miracles of nature.”

His understanding of the beneficial relationships between Mother Nature, man and bees has increased, and he hopes others will learn more, too. 

HoneyLove is a Southern California nonprofit that began in 2011. Its goal is to educate the public about honeybees and to raise awareness about their importance. Bees actually are an essential part of the food chain through pollination of crops, gardens and flowers. According to the USDA, bees help produce about one-third of what is eaten. HoneyLove believes cities, now including Los Angeles, represent the last refuge for honeybees.

There are several groups in the area that provide classes, workshops and meetings for those interested in beekeeping. They include the Beekeepers Association of Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties), which normally meets at the La Mirada Civic Center, 13710 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada; the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, which dates back to 1873 when it held its first meeting in El Monte and offers “Beekeeping 101” classes starting in February; and HoneyLove, a nonprofit group based in Santa Monica.

Backyard Beekeeping in City of Los Angeles: Signed, Approved - Effective December 6, 2015

City of Los Angeles City Council  From Katherine Peterson    November 12, 2015

The Backyard Beekeeping Ordinance (Council File: 12-0785) was passed by the City of Los Angeles City Council on October 14, 2015, and signed and approved by Mayor Garcetti on October 26, 2015. This ordinance becomes effective on December 6, 2015.

Attached, you'll find the signed ordinance document, which can also be found in the Council File index, and on our website:, under "Ordinances".

Thank you for your interest and involvement in the development of this ordinance to allow beekeeping in more areas throughout our city, supporting the bee population and our local food system.

Beekeeping Class 101 - July 19, 2015 at Bill's Bees Bee Yard 9AM-Noon

Sunday, July 19, 2015 9AM-Noon: It's going to be a gorgeous day up at Bill's Bees Bee Farm today for the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101. We're going to learn Honey - Harvesting and Extracting. We'll also revisit Varroa Mites and treatments.  We'll then move over to one of our other apiaries, just a short distance from the Bee Farm, and requeen some aggressive hives. BEE SUITS REQUIRED. Come, learn about bees and beekeeping. For directions and more info visit: /beekeeping-classes-losangeles/


Beekeeping Class 101 - June 14, 2015 at Bill's Bees Bee Yard 9AM-Noon

Our next LACBA Beekeeping Class 101 will be held June 14, 2015 at Bill's Bees Bee Yard, 9AM-Noon. Bee Suits Required. 

Note from Bill: "June Bee class is traditionally our class for hunting mites, but every class from now on out will have a segment on testing for mites, monitoring mite levels, and treatment.  We will follow the progress of packages installed in April. A guy from Long Beach is supposed to be bringing a hive with a problem.  We plan to diagnose the problem and fix it. We may get a chance to take a look at an Africanized hive going through the re-queening process.  Queen was introduced in a cage after removing the old queen at our last class, for those who stayed very late last month.  We need to verify that she was accepted or not."

We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment. Join us! For more information, check out our Beekeeping Class 101 page.

Beekeeping Class 101 - Part 1

Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association/Bill's Bees

How exciting! 119 newbees (Yikes!) showed up for our first class of the 2015 season! What a gorgeous day to be up on the mountain at Bill’s Bees Bee Farm. Bill and Clyde have hosted and taught the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101 for quite a few years. Once upon a time, there were only a handful of “newbees” interested in becoming beekeepers. Over the past few years, interest in beekeeping and the desire to learn more about these tiny honey bees who are so important to our survival, has grown around the world.

So now you want to be a beekeeper!!! You’ve come to the right place. We offer a great series of classes for both beginners and established beekeepers. We’ll walk you through a season of beekeeping; from where to get your bees, what you’ll need in the way of protective clothing, tools and equipment, how to care for your bees, and when and how to extract honey.

With the joy of beekeeping also comes the responsibility to your bees, your neighbors, and yourself. We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment, adhering to best management practices for the bees, the beekeepers, and the general public. Keeping bees can be daunting and there’s a lot to learn. As the beekeeper will tell you, “Ask ten beekeepers a question, and you’ll get eleven answers.” You'll make mistakes, we all do. But you’ve entered a wonderful community whose passion is honey bees. We’re here to help you become the best beekeeper you can be.

In our first class we discussed some of the preliminary planning considerations, tools and equipment, and beekeeping resources. In April you’ll be picking up your bees (hope you’ve got your bee order in, they’re going fast!). Below are some things to consider and plan for before you pick up your bees. In our next blog we’ll share the essential tools and equipment you’ll need before you bring your bees home.

Location, Location, Location:

  • A location in the open, preferably with a southern or easterly exposure, for maximum sunshine throughout the day.
  • Away from animals and children, not along a foot path, or where there is direct traffic. 
  • Protected by a barrier (approx. 2 feet from - and facing a hill or wall) from wind, streets, etc. This will also force the bees to fly up and over cars, people, etc., thus causing them to be less of a nuisance and helping them to stay alive.
  • Ease of access (you don’t want to be lifting heavy supers of honey up and down stairs or across rocky fields).

What the bees will need:

  • A safe, natural habitat with a source for nectar and pollen. A typical honey bee colony forages more than 80,000 square yards to find plants and flowers with sufficient nectar (honey) the bees' source for energy and pollen (essential in brood rearing) the bees' source of carbohydrates. 
  • A nearby source of fresh water (within ¼ mile) so they don’t use the neighbor’s swimming pool. This can be a tank or barrel of water with rocks or floating boards or cork for the bees to land on. 
  • A safe, comfortable, home to live in. 

We suggest you buy a couple of good beekeeping books and read them all the way through, twice. Here’s some suggestions: 

  • Beekeeper’s Handbook 
  • Keeping Bees in Towns & Cities
  • How to Keep Bees & Sell Honey
  • Beekeeping for Dummies

Our next class is March 15th at The Valley Hive, where you’ll learn woodworking, how to build bee boxes, frame assembly, and how to prepare your hive for your bees. All future classes will be at Bill's Bees Bee Yard. 

We don't send out notices or emails of changes in dates, times, location, or schedule. All the information regarding the classes is posted on the website: Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Beekeeping Class 101 and on the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association Facebook page

We welcome you to the wonderful, exciting world of beekeeping. We are forever grateful for the 'Gift of the Bees!' Join us!

Thank you!
Bill and Clyde
Bill's Bees

Beekeeping Class 101: 2015 Season Begins Sunday, February 15

Beekeeping Class 101: 2105 Season begins Sunday, February 15, 2015

2015 Beekeeping Class 101 Schedule
  Feb. 15March 15April 19May 17June 14July 19Aug. 16Oct. 11
Please see our Beekeeping Class 101 for details.


   "Go to the bee, thou poet: consider her ways and be wise."
-George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, 1903

Mark your calendars! Bill and Clyde have once again graciously offered to host Beekeeping Class 101 for 2015.

We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment, adhering to Best Management Practices for the bees, beekeepers, and general public. All are Welcome!

All the information you need in order to attend our Beekeeping Class 101 is posted on our Beekeeping 101 Class page of our website and on our Facebook page at:

Location of Classes:
Bill's Bees Bee Yard
12640 Little Tujunga Blvd.
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342

Beekeeping Class 101: Sunday, October 12, 9am-noon, Bill's Bees Bee Yard

Beekeeping Class 101: Sunday, October 12, 2014 at Bill's Bees Bee Yard 9AM-Noon. Topic: Keeping Your Bees Healthy through the dearth. BEE SUITS REQUIRED to attend this class. We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment. Everyone is Welcome! For details and directions see Beekeeping Class 101.

This is our last beekeeping class for the season. Please check back with us in 2015 for an update on classes. All Beekeeping Class 101 news will be posted on this website and on our LACBA Facebook page as soon as there is a schedule. Please don't contact us about the class prior to 2015, we won't have any further information for you.  Thank you very much.  We look forward to seeing you in 2015.

If you want to learn more about beekeeping come to our meetings, the first Monday of the month. 

For an awesome, intensive three full days of beekeeping overload, come to the California State Beekeeping Association (CSBA) Annual Convention, November 18-20, 2014, at the Hyatt Regency in Valencia, CA. It's the 125th Anniversary of the California State Beekeeping Association and the speaker lineup is outstanding. To learn more about the 2014 CSBA Annual Convention visit:

Or visit our LACBA website convention page at: /2014-csba-convention-info/

Beekeeping Class 101: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at Bill's Bees Bee Yard

Beekeeping Class 101: Sunday, July 20, 2014 at Bill's Bees Bee Yard 9AM-Noon.  Topic: Bee Hive Management.  BEE SUITS REQUIRED to attend this class.  For details and directions see Beekeeping Class 101.  We teach responsible beekeeping for an urban environment. Everyone is welcome but if you have not been attending our beekeeping classes you may want to wait until next year's session of  Beekeeping Class 101 which will begin in February 2015. 

LACBA Buzzings!!! Newsletter from February 2014 Meeting

Buzzings!!! Newsletter from our February 2014 Meeting is now ready for your reading enjoyment. Thank you to LACBA Secretary, Stacy McKenna, on a wonderful job. Featuring more information on the legalization of urban beekeeping in the City of Los Angeles, Swarming,  the Almond Update,  lots of Q&A from the floor, update on speakers and plans for the 2014 CSBA conference in Valencia, CA. Come to our next meeting on Monday, March, 3rd, and see how you may be able to participate. All are welcome!!!

8 Food Classes that Will Change Your Life

The Daily Meal    By Caroline Lange    8/15/13

Maybe it's the explosion of research and publications surrounding the state of American food production, like Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food and the 2008 documentary Food, Inc. Maybe it's a dreamy Jeffersonian desire to return to the land in the midst of the digital revolution, driven by nostalgic hipsters and modern homesteaders. Maybe we, as Americans, are just fed up with the way we've been cooking and eating.

Click here to see our 40 favorite food classes in America!

Whatever the reasoning is, many Americans are exchanging packaged, factory-produced, and fast food for something a little slower and a little more hands-on. As Pollan wrote in a 2012 New York Times article, "In the last couple of decades, a new economy of farmers’ markets, community-supported agriculture (also known as farm shares) and sustainable farming has changed the way millions of Americans eat and think about food. People by the millions have begun,...


Slideshow w/Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association - Bee Classes:

Beekeeping Class 101: March 17, 2013 - Bill's Bees Bee Yard


An additional day has been added to our Beekeeping Class 101 Schedule. Sunday, March 17, 2013 9am-noon. Location: Bill's Bees Bee Yard. Topic: The proper way to put on a bee suit so you don't get stung. Tour inside a beehive. Taught by Bill Lewis and Clyde Steese. The fee is $10.00/class. If you're an LACBA Member the classes are included in the LACBA membership. LACBA membership is $10/year. It is not too late to join us. Even if you have not attended our prior classes you are welcome. 

What an awesome experience to be standing on a mountain top, blue skies above, thousands of tiny honeybees buzzing all around us, and our 'heads in a beehive.' This is one of our greatest gifts as beekeepers. The bee keeper is truly blessed. May we be forever grateful for the 'Gift of the Bees'.

See our Beekeeping Classes page for details. 

Beekeeping Class 101 begins February 17, 2013 9:00am-Noon

LACBA 2013 Beekeeping Class 101 begins: February 17, 2013 (Sunday) 9:00am-Noon

  "Go to the bee, thou poet: consider her ways and be wise."
                       George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman, 1903


Bill's Bees Bee Yard
12640 N. Little Tujunga Road
Lake View Terrace, CA 91342

See our LACBA Beekeeping Classes web page for Map and Directions, Schedule of Classes, and Topics we'll cover. 

Our goal: To walk you through a season of keeping bees. 

The first class will be about equipment and materials; what you need and what you don't need. If you haven't bought anything yet, WAIT until after class so you don't spend money on things you don't need. The first & second classes do not require any special bee suites/attire, but subsequent classes will. 

Come, learn about bees, beekeeping, and how to be a responsible beekeeper in an urban environment.