HoneyLove was featured in the Palisadian-Post!!
Top 5 cities that LIKE HoneyLove on Facebook:
- Los Angeles, California, USA
- Kathmandu, Nepal
- Colombo, Sri Lanka
- Santiago, Chile
- Jakarta, Java, Indonesia
Since that victory in November of last year, a total of 7 Community Councils within Los Angeles (Mar Vista, Del Rey, Greater Griffith Park, South Robertson, Silver Lake, Hollywood United, and Atwater Village) have voted in support of our efforts to legalize urban beekeeping in LA! And last month we received our first official Motion from Los Angeles Councilman Bill Rosendahl to begin the process at a city level!
Please help us to LEGALIZE URBAN BEEKEEPING IN LOS ANGELES by adding your name to our PETITION (you do not need to live in Los Angeles to sign)!!
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!!! Visit HoneyLove.org to find out how to get involved!!
ARTICLE: Collecting Nature’s Bounty: Honeybees
A triumph of nature and nurture, the queen honeybee is the head and heart of the hive. Plumped on royal jelly (secretion from the glands of worker bees) and pampered by worker bees, the queen is the colony’s big mama, whose sole mission is produce up to 2,000 eggs a day.
??Royal distinction for the queen bee can be traced to ancient times, some say 10,000 years ago, when human beings became beekeepers. In India, Persia, Rome Egypt and Babylonia, bees were considered sacred animals, symbols of life and fertility.
??In the 21st century, bees are no less important: they are responsible for the variety of our food, and ultimately our survival. ‘Four out of 10 bites of food we eat are dependent on the honeybee,’ says Michael Pollan, professor of science and environmental journalism at Berkeley…
When a swarm of honeybees showed up in Rob and Chelsea McFarland’s backyard, they called Backwards Beekeepers, a group of organic, treatment-free beekeepers in Los Angeles who remove and relocate honey bees. ‘It was pure magic for me seeing the swarm and gentle nature of bees,’ said Rob, a featured speaker at the Pali Cares program. The McFarlands are the founders of HoneyLove, a nonprofit organization with two goals: to inspire urban beekeepers and to help legalize beekeeping in Los Angeles.
??Contrary to popular lore, honeybees are too busy to be vicious. In the spring, when the nectar flows, bees are working overtime. ‘There is lots to forage on in our landscape,’ McFarland said. ‘Our cities are a banquet for bees. It is estimated that there are nine to 11 colonies for every mile in L.A.’
…in the last three years, more than one in three honeybee colonies nationwide has died in a phenomenon know as collapse colony disorder. For farmers, this is a not only a great worry but potentially catastrophic. According to the Natural History’s Brown, you need a certain number of colonies to pollinate orchards. Michael Pollan points to the loss of diversity in agriculture as contributing to the bees’ demise.
??’Monoculture wreaks havoc on honeybees’ diets, limiting options once the dominant crop is no longer flowering,’ he says. ‘Bees can’t survive on a continual cornfield; there is nothing to eat.’
??The industry is now transporting hives over long distances in order to pollinate orchards. Working the bees nonstop for up to three months causes tremendous stress on the bees. Pesticides and fertilizers further contribute to their demise.
??This is where backyard beekeepers can help make up a little for the loss and increase awareness of the problem, the McFarlands say.
??’We believe that the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Our home gardens are free of pesticides, and in city like Los Angeles, there is year-round availability of pollen and nectar.’
??While beekeeping is legal in Los Angeles County and in certain cities, such as Santa Monica and Redondo Beach, ‘the city of L. A. has no official policy; therefore it is illegal,’ Chelsea says.
??Los Angeles currently outlaws beekeeping in residential areas, and the city’s policy is to exterminate all feral honeybees.
??Eight Community Councils within Los Angeles (Mar Vista, Del Rey, Greater Griffith Park, South Robertson, Silver Lake, Hollywood United, Atwater Village, and West L.A.) have already voted in favor of supporting an urban beekeeping program in residentially zoned districts.
??Legalizing beekeeping in Los Angeles would enable better bee management, control and public safety as compared to only having wild hives, which is the current situation, reasons Danny Jensen of Backwards Beekeepers. ‘More beekeepers actually mean fewer swarms, fewer feral bee colonies taking up residence where they aren’t wanted and fewer grumpy bees.’
??For more information on urban beekeeping and upcoming events, visit honeylove.org
Come Get Buzzed with HoneyLove @ Fraiche in Santa Monica!
June 30th @ 6pm!
*Event sponsored by Whole Foods Market, Santa Monica Wilshire & 5th
To our fathers: Larry, Mike & Grampy
? LOVE YOU!! ?
~Rob & Chelsea~
[card via Papyrus]
ONE YEAR AGO TODAY we made our first speech to the Mar Vista Community Council to begin the process of legalizing urban beekeeping in Los Angeles!
Since then we have had a total of 7 COMMUNITY COUNCILS within Los Angeles pass motions in support of our efforts (Mar Vista, Del Rey, South Robertson, Greater Griffith Park, Silver Lake, Hollywood United, and Atwater Village).
And last month we received a motion by Los Angeles Councilmember Bill Rosendahl instructing the city’s planning department to begin preparing a report ”relative to the feasibility of allowing beekeeping in R1 zones as a practive to foster a healtheir bee population.” - View the full motion here!
WE ARE GETTING CLOSE!! THANK YOU FOR ALL OF YOUR SUPPORT!!
Click here sign our petition!
Below is the speech Rob McFarland of HoneyLove.org gave to the Mar Vista Community Council last year:
They say that you don’t choose to be a beekeeper, but rather the bees choose you. My wife, Chelsea, and I got involved with bees out of passion, but also out of chance. When a swarm of feral honeybees came into our garden one afternoon, we were recruited into the ranks of beekeepers, an order that includes everyone from Aristotle, the Apostle Luke, Alexander the Great and several of our country’s founding fathers, to Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart and Michele Obama. The problem was, giving them a home was not legal, but incomprehensibly, exterminating them was.
As avid gardeners, Chelsea and I had been following the Backwards Beekeepers blog for several years prior to the swarm showing up, so we knew exactly who to call. A few hours later, a volunteer from the organization showed up and removed the bees without incident. We were able to find a new home for them in Santa Monica where they are now happily making honey. This experience drove us to learn more about honeybees and start HoneyLove.org an organization committed to saving bees from extinction by educating and inspiring urban beekeepers.
The histories of the human species and that of the honeybee are inseparable. Neither species could have evolved to present conditions without the symbiotic relationship that we harbor. Albert Einstein is thought to have said, “if the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.” The reason for his grim prognosis is the fact that bees pollinate 80% of the world’s plants including 90 different food crops, which means that 1 out of every 3 bites of food is thanks to a bee.
Unfortunately, we have real reason to fear the specter raised by Mr. Einstein. Since 2006, more than one third of honeybee colonies collapsed nationwide, a global phenomenon now called Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. And while there is no one smoking gun causing CCD, scientists now widely agree that it is a result of a combination of factors, made manifest by industrial beekeeping. The practice of trucking hives great distances to pollinate crops, exposing bees to countless pesticides, interfering with the species’ natural defenses by treating them with miticides and antibiotics, and feeding them high fructose corn syrup – junk food – has made bees incredibly vulnerable and on the brink of collapse. If present trends continue, scientists estimate there will be no more bees by 2035. That is, only if we fail to act, if we fail to recognize this disaster in the making and don’t take strong action to counter the slow march to extinction.
So what do we do? According to Simon Buxton as quoted in the new documentary Vanishing of the Bees, “the future of beekeeping is not in 1 beekeeper with 60,000 hives, but rather 60,000 people with 1 hive.”
The best science tells us that the future of the honeybee is within the urban environment; cities actually provide safer habitat than the farms and rural areas traditionally associated with beekeeping. Monocultures, or the planting of a single crop, are problematic for bees because outside of the brief window when the crop is in bloom, these vast plots become devoid of the pollen and nectar that hives require for survival.
Cities, however, provide greater biodiversity for foraging bees throughout the year, which drastically reduces if not eliminates the need to feed bees or disturb them by moving their hives. And due to most people not wanting pesticides on their property or near their family, bees are granted a ‘get out of jail free’ card, thus eliminating one more reason for their decline. The city environment is therefore the last refuge of the honeybee.
Atlanta, New York, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Spokane, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and most recently Santa Monica [AND REDONDO BEACH!!] have all taken decisive action and legalized urban beekeeping. We believe it to be a necessary and just measure requiring immediate action. We humbly request that you support our motion in the spirit of preserving the future of the honeybee.
Help us save the honey bees!!
Your contribution directly supports the educational outreach, community action and advocacy efforts to protect the health and well-being of honey bees. HoneyLove is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization. Your donation is 100% tax-deductible.