ARTICLE:Los Feliz Ledger – by Norma Zager
A Beehive In Every Back Yard? GGPNC Votes to Support Urban Beekeeping
LOS FELIZ—The Greater Griffith Park Neighborhood Council (GGPNC) have voted to support efforts to legalize urban beekeeping in Los Angeles and encourage the City Planning Department to initiate an ordinance that would allow residents to raise their own honeybees.
A vote was taken at the GGPNC’s Jan. 17th board member after hearing from the community about the value of practice of beekeeping.
Chelsea McFarland of HoneyLove, spoke about the benefits of raising bees and said their future lies with individual beekeepers.
“According to Simon Buxton as quoted in the new documentary, The Vanishing of the Bees, the future of beekeeping is not in one beekeeper with 60,000 hives, but rather 60,000 people with one hive,” McFarland said.
McFarland and husband Rob founded HoneyLove as a nonprofit conservation organization to protect the honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers. She informed the board that bees pollinate 80% of the world’s plants and one out of every three or four bites of food eaten is thanks to bees.
“The best science tells us that the future of the honeybee lie within the urban environment. Despite the irony, cities actually provide safer habitat than the farms and rural areas traditionally associated with beekeeping. Our home gardens are free of pesticides, and in cities like Los Angeles, there is year-round availability of pollen and nectar,” she said.
Atlanta, New York, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Spokane, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and most recently Santa Monica have all taken decisive action and legalized beekeeping.
GGPNC board member Barbara Ferris, who supported the measure said, “The backyard beekeepers initiative is the most delightful issue I’ve ever heard presented to the GGPNC board.”
Franklin Hills resident Joe Andrews, who attended the meeting to show his support, has been raising bees for more than 20 years. “I like watching them and they are calming to me for some reason. It is also a quality of life issue,” he said.