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TONIGHT SILVER LAKE UNANIMOUSLY VOTED IN FAVOR OF URBAN BEEKEEPING IN LOS ANGELES – That makes 5 councils so far!! Up next – Hollywood United and Studio City!!

PLEASE SIGN OUR NEW PETITION: 
http://www.change.org/petitions/legalize-urban-beekeeping-in-los-angeles-2

Los Angeles Neighborhood Councils that officially support our urban beekeeping motion so far!! ? 
1. Mar Vista (11/8/11)
2. Del Rey (12/8/11)
3. Greater Griffith Park (1/17/12)
4. South Robertson (1/19/12)
5. Silver Lake (3/7/12)

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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.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION TO LEGALIZE URBAN BEEKEEPING IN LOS ANGELES!!

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MVCC Approves Motion to Support Urban Beekeeping Los Angeles

The motion will next be presented to the Los Angeles City Council.

“The Mar Vista Community Council Board of Directors maintained a quorum Tuesday night and voted to approve the motion to support urban beekeeping in Los Angeles…

Backwards Beekeepers founder Kirk Anderson noted that Mar Vista has a thriving population of feral bees, and allowing beekeepers to step up and legally manage bees would only help the community. 

Green Committee Co-Chair Sherri Akers also spoke about HoneyLove founders Rob and Chelsea McFarland, who first brought the idea of a beekeeping pilot project to the council. She spoke of how the couple had personally worked to remove hives from public spaces and protect the community from feral bees. 

Board member Kate Anderson said she respected the concerns about being stung but added that the six-month study by the council had seriously considered the issues at hand and had done its work.

Board Member Geoffrey Forgione also pointed out that the motion that will now be presented to the City Council is not advocating that the pilot program take place specifically in Mar Vista. Rather, the MVCC is advocating for the implementation of the program in Los Angeles.

Following the approval of the motion, several supporters dressed in black and yellow applauded the move as they waved yellow pom poms on sticks above their heads.

Chelsea McFarland told Patch she was grateful for the support of the MVCC Green Committee and the Backwards Beekeepers, saying, “This was a great night for Los Angeles beekeepers.”

Przekop, who headed up the outreach committee for the project told Patch she was happy that the motion passed but that “it’s a very small step in a long process. I hope [the Los Angeles City Council] and other neighborhood councils support this, because this isn’t going to happen just by Mar Vista supporting it.”

Przekop added she was thrilled to be part of this grassroots movement and that the template created in Mar Vista for the beekeeping project is something that other communities can use in seeking support for the project.

The MVCC motion reads:

The committee reviewed over 150 articles on beekeeping, best practices, planning articles on Urban Agriculture, State, County and city beekeeping regulations to help in the evaluation of the recommendations and conclusions of the Beekeeping Feasibility Study. The committee also spoke to program directors in numerous cities where programs are in place.

The Feasibility Study concludes that there is a strong community interest in supporting beekeeping efforts and that doing so would result in positive changes that permit the healthy growth of honey bee colonies and increase the production and quality of fruits, vegetables and flowers in Mar Vista’s organic home gardens while providing a community service as a resource for the removal of feral (wild) hives. Research indicates that such a program would be cost neutral to the city of LA.

The MVCC Board therefore recommends the implementation of a Beekeeping Pilot Program in to test safety and develop best practices for future expansion. We urge the City of LA to adopt a policy that includes conditions relating to maintenance, location, registration and notification to assure for the safety of all residents, which may result in the continued preservation of quality of life and preservation of single-family residential districts.”

[click here to read the original article on marvista.patch.com]

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What’s That Buzz in Mar Vista? 
The Mar Vista Community Council is studying a proposal to legalize beekeeping in the neighborhood. 

“Mar Vista may soon become home to the city of Los Angeles’ first urban beekeeping farms. The Mar Vista Community Council unanimously approved a feasibility study Tuesday on legalizing beekeeping within the coastal enclave.

The move comes as scientists seek to explain the mysterious death of billions of bees nationwide, a problem many experts think urban beekeeping could help ameliorate.

“We will have no more bees by 2035 if nothing is done,” warned Rob McFarland of the urban beekeeping advocacy group Backwards Beekeepers. “The future of beekeeping is not one man with 60,000 hives, but rather 60,000 men with one hive.” [Simon Buxton, Vanishing of the Bees]

Honeybees pollinate more than a third of America’s crops. Many farmers in the Central Valley import the insects every year to pollinate almond trees and other important regional crops.

Millions of hives have collapsed without warning in recent years. The United States Environmental Protection Agency says beekeepers began reporting the inexplicable loss of 30-90 percent of their hives during the winter of 2006-07. EPA officials attribute the phenomenon to Colony Collapse Disorder, the cause of which continues to elude scientists. Theories include an invasive mite and harsh pesticides used to protect crops.

The Backwards Beekeepers—named for celebrated writer-beekeeper Charles Martin Simon’s philosophy that people should conform to nature instead of forcing nature to conform to them—formed in 2008 to promote urban beekeeping in Los Angeles. Urban beekeeping, the group leaders say, allows bees to thrive in highly controlled environments.

One of the Backwards Beekeepers’ major accomplishments is the legalization of beekeeping in Santa Monica last year. Before the city ordinance passed in 2010, Santa Monica had a blanket policy of euthanizing bees in so-called “feral” hives.

The Backwards Beekepers had a strong presence at the Mar Vista Community Council meeting Tuesday to support a proposed resolution legalizing beekeeping. “This gives bees another get-out-of-jail-free card,” McFarland told the council. “We believe this is a necessary measure requiring immediate action,” he said.

Mar Vista resident Mark Lebovitz has battled numerous bouts of cancer and ascribes his current good health to a well-balanced diet high in organic fruits and vegetables.“Food is my medicine,” he said. “Suddenly, we’re looking into the possibility that we’re not going to have any more good foods to eat.”

Council members enthusiastically embraced the idea of urban beekeeping, with Kate Anderson even volunteering up her backyard for the venture.

Maurice Vickers of Backwards Beekeepers voiced his approval of the council’s vote outside the Mar Vista Recreation Center after the meeting. Legalizing beekeeping, Vickers said, just makes sense. “After all, bees are keeping themselves all over Mar Vista. Are they here legally or do they have to have someone’s approval? I think it’s better to have a controlled beekeeping situation. … Let’s put bees in their rightful place,” he said.

Once the study is complete, the council will decide whether to legalize beekeeping in Mar Vista.”

Article By Natalie Ragus / Photo Credit: Andy Hay

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