DIY Backyard Beekeeping: A Guide for Beginners If you can garden, you can be a beekeeper. Here are the first steps: the questions to ask, the equipment you'll need and how to choose the right bees. By Kim Flottum
Great page with lots of info including how to make a traditional straw skep (beehive). Not legal for keeping bees in LA, but you can make one for decorative use (they make great "hides" to cover up water faucets and the like).