Editor's note: This article was originally published June 25, 2012.
Apiophiles, rejoice—beekeeping is now legal in Redondo Beach.
With a unanimous vote Tuesday, the city council took another step in allowing beehives in back yards when it approved the proposed fee for beekeeping permits.
The council established a residential beekeeping permit program at the beginning of June after North Redondo Beach resident Ed Garcia petitioned the council for a permit. At the time, the municipal code considered beekeeping a nuisance unless people who wanted to keep hives in their back yards received a permit from the city council.
In the past 100 years, Garcia was only the fourth person to request such permission, according to a report from city staff.
For an annual fee of $45, people who wish to keep hives in their back yards can apply for a permit.
In addition, potential beekeepers must abide by certain requirements set by city staff. Hives may only be maintained on a single-family residential property, and are limited to one colony per 3,750 square feet of lot area. A maximum of two hives are allowed on any property.
Each colony, which must be kept in an "inspectable" hive with moveable frames and combs and well-maintained, must be registered as required by the California Food and Agricultural Code and Los Angeles County. Additionally, beekeepers must first register with the city's municipal services unit.
Hives must be kept 10 feet away from any property line, and 15 feet away from any public property or home. Entrances should face away from or parallel to the nearest property line.
In addition to these regulations and others, hives must be "re-queened"—that is, keepers must replace the existing queen with a new one—at least once every two years to prevent swarming. Hives must also be re-queened following any swarming or aggressive behavior.
According to the Redondo Beach Police Department's list of proposed fees and revenue impact, the city expects to issue two beekeeping permits during the fiscal year 2012-2013.