PHOTO: Bee rescue / Cut-out from a storage box @ Ocean View Farms
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.
The buzz around urban beekeeping
London’s Jewish Community Centre is doing its bit to ensure a sweet new year with a campaign to promote urban Jewish beekeeping. Community members are being encouraged to run their own hives to combat a dramatic decline in honey bee populations…
“I have always been fascinated by the bee world,” she said. “But it’s not like chickens where all you need is some space and some grain. I’m so grateful this opportunity came up.”
Alison Benjamin, who runs the course with Brian McCallum, said: “It’s really important to start keeping bees in cities, there’s more of a diversity of flowers and plants. You can taste that in the honey. In the country, there are fields and fields of the same crop. In a city it’s warmer and more sheltered.
“Bees can also be great for community cohesion. Some schools in south-east London have used beekeeping as a way of keeping kids calm because you have to be very careful and thoughtful when dealing with bees.”
New North London Synagogue also has plans for a hive of its own.”We think it’s a great way to bring people together and teach important lessons around sustainability that are rooted in our faith,” said executive director Claire Mandel.
Just finished making our first batch of HoneyLove California Orange Poppy Seed Packets!
JOIN US – JUNE 14TH !!!
We are presenting an “Urban Beekeeping Pilot Project” to the Mar Vista City Council in the hopes of beginning the process of legalizing beekeeping in Los Angeles – COME OUT AND SHOW YOUR SUPPORT FOR HONEY BEES!!
Tuesday, June 14 · 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Mar Vista Recreation Center Auditorium
11430 Woodbine Street, Mar Vista CA 90066
New York, Seattle, San Francisco… and most recently SANTA MONICA have legalized beekeeping….
Now we NEED YOUR HELP to get Los Angeles up to speed!
If you can’t make it – you can also email Bill Rosendahl to show your support!
bill.rosendhal [at] lacity [dot] org
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.