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BEEKEEPING LEGALIZED IN TORRANCE!

email via HoneyLover Jim Montgomery


The city council approved the ordinance last night, 6-1!!!!  All were in favor except for Councilmember Heidi Ashcraft.    (The link for the ordinance is here).  Beekeeping on single family residences is no longer illegal in Torrance. That is the good news, the bad news is the process is more complicated and costly than I would have liked.  I would have liked to see beekeeping allowed by right as is the case in Redondo Beach, but in Torrance we will have to submit a Special Animal Permit along with an $80 application fee.
In addition, when you apply your surrounding neighbors will be notified of your application and will have up to 10 calendar days to object.  If this occurs, your application will be suspended and you can appeal the objection to the Torrance Environmental Quality and Energy Conservation commission along with, I believe, a $70 appeal fee.
If there is no objection, or there is an objection and you win the appeal and the SAP is approved there is still one more potential hurdle. Anyone, anywhere in the city of Torrance can appeal the decision.  They would be on the hook for this $70 appeal fee, not you since the SAP has been approved at this point.   If there was no objection by your neighbors, the appeal goes to the TEQECC as above.  If it had been objected to and you won your appeal at the TEQECC, the appeal would then go to the city council to be heard.  The decision of the council will be final with no further ability to appeal either by you or anyone else.
A few of the council members spoke in favor of allowing beekeeping by right (Councilmembers Goodrich and Griffiths) but there was sufficient concern raised by others that in order to secure enough votes to pass the ordinance, the compromise to allow this objection/appeal process was put in place.  I spoke with the staffer who largely wrote the ordinance to voice my concern about this process that it is likely that at least one of your neighbors is going to object out of fear, spite or just because it is easier to say no than yes.  He acknowledged that but said if you follow the regulations of the ordinance and the objection is not based upon something substantial like a medically certified bee sting allergy, the thought is that the TEQECC or council would take that into account when hearing the appeal and likely approve the application.
The TEQECC voted 6-1 to pass the ordinance to council and the council voted 6-1 to approve the ordinance so I suspect that an application will be approved by them unless an objector has a significant objection and not just they don’t want a neighbor to have bees.
Take the time to read the ordinance and let me know if you have any questions.   The Special Animal Permit is not in place yet so I do not yet think you can apply, I will update folks when I hear more about the process to apply.
Thanks again to everyone who contributed to getting an ordinance passed to legalize beekeeping in Torrance!
Jim
Read full story · Posted in News, Yay Bees

Pesticide Research Institute Testing/Reporting

Susan BIP Scale
Emails via HoneyLover Susan Rudnicki

This is the helpful information beeks should read if they have a pesticide kill.   Even if they do not elect to do the testing (I have decided to go ahead and do it—-$576)  the important thing to do is filing the report with the EPA and the State Dept. of Pesticide Regulation, which costs NOTHING.   The Pollinator Stewardship Council folks, Michele Colopy in particular helped me, will help anyone.    We NEED this data amassed to impress upon the bureaucrats that our bees suffer these insults.  

Susan
———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Susan Kegley
To: Susan Rudnicki

Hi Susan,

I’m so sorry to hear about your bees! My apologies for taking so long to get back to you, but I’ve been out of town and am just catching up.

My company, Pesticide Research Institute, can help you with getting a sample analyzed and interpreting the data. See our sampling pages for more information:

Sampling Beehives for Pesticides

Beehive Sampling: Process & Cost


If you decide to do the analysis, I would recommend analyzing pollen, not bees. Pesticides degrade quickly in bees, but not so much in pollen.

I’m attaching our Cost Estimator spreadsheet for your convenience. It is unfortunately quite expensive to have the lab work done, but it can provide a wealth of information about the types of chemicals your bees were exposed to. It is most useful if you can also analyze a sample of pollen from a thriving hive (one not experiencing a kill) in the same vicinity, for comparison purposes.

Best,
Susan

More background information via HoneyLove Forum

Read full story · Posted in HoneyLove Interviews

Honeybees at work

By Suzanne Sproul, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin

Have you heard the latest buzz? Los Angeles has laid out the backyard welcome mat for honeybees.

Urban beekeepers couldn’t be happier. After several years of discussion, lawmakers recently joined an increasing number of cities, including Santa Monica, Redondo Beach and Culver City, in attempts to help protect them.

Honeybee fans are thrilled, but some people still worry about safety concerns, particularly for those with bee allergies. The new ordinance requires urban beekeepers to register their hives with Los Angeles County, regulates their distance from property boundaries and nearby streets and calls for them to be kept high above ground and surrounded by a structure, such as a wall or hedge. Typically, only two hives would be allowed at a residence.

“We are very happy that more people and cities are recognizing the importance of honeybees, but everyone should know they’re already here. On average in Los Angeles, there are nine to 11 colonies per square mile. The honeybees live in attics, trees and everywhere, so it’s not that we’re bringing in more. We’re simply trying to protect the ones here,” said Chelsea McFarland, an urban beekeeper along with her husband and the chief executive officer of HoneyLove, a nonprofit in Santa Monica.

Bees pollinate about 80 percent of plants, which directly impacts the community.

“If you want a green city, we need beekeepers and a place to keep bees,” she said.

Organic gardening and providing backyard pollinator gardens rich with plenty of bee-friendly plants such as sage, goldenrod, lilac and lavender will help.

Maxime DeBrouwer of La Cañada Flintridge is a relative newcomer to beekeeping, but he’s a huge fan.

“My friend Paul (Hekimian) got me interested. He came over when we were having a party and brought a whole frame of honey which he harvested and gave to everyone at the party. He then told us how easy it is and offered to give us a hive, which he rescued through HoneyLove,” DeBrouwer said. “We love honey, heard about the die-off of bees and wanted our kids to learn about them. I then bought some books and went to a local beekeepers’ meeting that turned out to be down the street from my house. I was surprised to find 100 people at that meeting.”

Paul Hekimian isn’t so surprised at the interest. The Santa Monica man is a second-generation beekeeper.

“I learned from my dad, but then got away from it until a few years ago when my son found an open-air hive in the backyard. We rescued the bees and now care for them as a hobby,” he said, adding that he bottles the honey to give as gifts to friends.

DeBrouwer understands the concerns about stings and allergies but believes if people really knew how important bees and the many misconceptions there are about them, many fears would disappear.

“We find bees so fascinating and love watching them and learning. My daughter Alexa loves to handle them and has written stories about it at school. My younger daughter Maya loves to brag that she has 10,000 pets. Honeybees are quite calm and friendly.”

Beekeepers are quick to point out that many individuals confuse honeybees with yellow jackets or wasps, both of which are more aggressive.

“Bees do all the hard work,” McFarland said. “And we get to enjoy their labors. We should be good stewards and help maintain colonies.”

One solution to help ease fears, he said, would be to attend a beekeepers’ meeting and learn more.

“It’s very easy. Just go to a club meeting and learn and then take the plunge and get a hive once you learn the basics.”

Erik Knutsen enjoys nature and gardening and did just that. The Silver Lake man already kept chickens so he said he thought he’d research beekeeping. He liked what he discovered.

“Working with them is magical,” he said. “You get a front seat to some miracles of nature.”

His understanding of the beneficial relationships between Mother Nature, man and bees has increased, and he hopes others will learn more, too.

HoneyLove is a Southern California nonprofit that began in 2011. Its goal is to educate the public about honeybees and to raise awareness about their importance. Bees actually are an essential part of the food chain through pollination of crops, gardens and flowers. According to the USDA, bees help produce about one-third of what is eaten. HoneyLove believes cities, now including Los Angeles, represent the last refuge for honeybees.

There are several groups in the area that provide classes, workshops and meetings for those interested in beekeeping. They include the Beekeepers Association of Southern California (Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties), which normally meets at the La Mirada Civic Center, 13710 La Mirada Blvd., La Mirada; the Los Angeles County Beekeepers Association, which dates back to 1873 when it held its first meeting in El Monte and offers “Beekeeping 101” classes starting in February; and HoneyLove, a nonprofit group based in Santa Monica.

 

BEE FACTS

Bees aren’t bad, just their reputations. In fact, they serve a vital purpose by pollinating food crops and other garden landscapes. Here are 10 things you should know:

1 Honeybees are the only insects that produce food that people eat.

2 Honeybees help the economy through pollination to the tune of $15?billion for U.S. agricultural crops.

3 Honey is the only food that doesn’t spoil. Its low moisture and pH levels prevent bacteria from growing in it.

4 The first alcoholic drink — mead — is a mixture of wine and honey.

5 Bees venture out of their hives 15 times a day and can visit 100 flowers or more.

6 Each American eats almost 1.5 pounds of honey each year.

7 Honeybees are fast, able to fly about 15 miles per hour.

8 Colony Collapse Disorder means bees are in danger. A little more than 50 years ago, there were 5?million honeybee colonies compared with today’s 2.5?million.

9 Your chances of being hit by a car are greater than having a severe reaction to a sting.

10 Want to help attract bees? They like sage, mint, thyme and lavender and are fond of butterfly bush, honeysuckle and sunflowers.

Source: HoneyLove, http://honeylove.org

 

[Click here to read original article via dailynews.com]

Read full story · Posted in Uncategorized

READ: The details of the new beekeeping code

Sanctuary Group Jump 2013
by HoneyLover Susan Rudnicki

It is now official! The full city council of Los Angeles unanimously endorsed the new backyard beekeeping code in a 15 to 0 vote. Mayor Garcetti set his signature to clinch the new law, and now we have the largest city in the country covered for keeping backyard hives.        

In case you do not know the specifics set in the code, you may see them here—
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/d9zhgb1wy9v9lfv/AADXk9qo_P9w_wSyPpavtiBHa?dl=0

The new rules do not specify what sort of bees we may keep nor what kind of hive we must use. The language is concerned mainly with lot line setbacks, alignment of the flightpath and enclosing walls or fences—in other words, land use issues. But with privilege comes responsibility, and one of the very important things to remember is that most of the folks around us will not be keeping bees. Annoying the public will lead to nuisance complaints. We must manage our bees well, giving them regular inspections for space assessments, health, temperament, and  queen viability. Joining up with other members of bee clubs and keeping up with educational advancement will be very important aspects of setting the best impression for calming worried citizens who are not so sure about this new allowance for backyard hives.

There is one part of the code that requires the beekeeper to interact with the officials, and that is this—-The applicant is registered as a beekeeper with the County of Los Angeles Agricultural Commission. Registration is easy, costing only $10 per year per beekeeper. The current apiary inspector, Conrad Burns, is a likable, friendly guy. He is going around to all the backyard beeks to make contact, assess beekeeping knowledge, and trying to help with the success of our model. Please do not neglect this aspect of responsible urban beekeeping—get your hives registered. It creates a impression of legitimacy with the public and can only work to everyone’s benefit.

We have the downloadable form on dropbox for you here—
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/5tr9ljcy5zsapkw/AAAHSuE3fqpAlDAgLFF7Lzgwa?dl=0

Send it in and make a renewed pledge to help establish the most vibrant, connected beekeeping community in the country—Los Angeles. Get involved with HoneyLove and make the networking of a like-minded group help you with your beekeeping challenges as well as contribute to our ever present need for folks to help us spread the message. We really need our members to contribute in substantive ways to continue to accomplish the goals.

Thanks!

Susan BIP Scale
Read full story · Posted in Newsletter Articles

It is a DONE DEAL!!

Mayor Eric Garcetti just signed the ordinance to LEGALIZE URBAN BEEKEEPING in Los Angeles!!

Big thank you to all the LA council members, planning department, city staff, community councils and dedicated HoneyLovers who helped us to get here—YAY BEES and YAY BEEKEEPERS <3!!!

Related posts:
Backyard Beekeeping Ordinance Update
LA City Council legalizes urban beekeeping today!
LA CITY COUNCIL ***FINAL*** BEE VOTE

Read full story · Posted in HoneyLove Buzz, HoneyLovin, News, Yay Bees

Cello music for hives

On a beautiful Indian Summer Sunday, Cellist Jordan Hamilton offers a winter blessing for the hives—Enjoy! 

Read full story · Posted in Yay Bees

Cargo Truck Bee Rescue Photos!

HoneyLovers Susan & Eduardo rescued a really nice vigorous colony of 11 med. frames of brood from under a cargo container in Torrance. Check out the photos below!

Cargo Truck Bee Rescue — HoneyLove.org

Read full story · Posted in Bee Rescue

Backyard Beekeeping Ordinance Update

by Katherine E. Peterson—Los Angeles Department of City Planning

The Backyard Beekeeping Ordinance (CPC-2015-578-CA, Council File No. CF 12-0785) was unanimously adopted by the City Council yesterday, Wednesday, October 14, 2015. The Ordinance received 15 “Yes” votes and 0 “No” votes.  For more details or to review/download documents submitted to the City Clerk, including the City Planning Commission Staff Report and action, please refer to the online Council File at the following link:

https://cityclerk.lacity.org/lacityclerkconnect/index.cfm?fa=ccfi.viewrecord&cfnumber=12-0785

What’s Next?

According to Section 250 of the City Charter, the Mayor has 10 days to act on the ordinance, meaning he can act on it on the same day, or 10 days later. Assuming the Mayor approves it, the City Clerk’s Office will then post the adopted Ordinance for a period of 10 days and a 30-day effective date will begin after that. Simply put, the earliest an Ordinance can realistically go into effect is 40 to 50 days after it is adopted by the City Council. When we have an effective date, we will notify the individuals on this interest list by email.

Feel free to forward this information to anyone you feel might be interested. If you received this email via forwarded message from someone else, and you would like to receive updates directly from the Planning Department, please email katherine.peterson@lacity.org and ask to be added to the interest list. Please type “Add Me to Backyard Beekeeping Notification List” in the subject line and provide your group/organization/company affiliations and contact information (please include at least your zip code).

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thank you,

Katie

Katherine E. Peterson
Code Studies
City of Los Angeles Department of City Planning
Phone: 213-978-1445
katherine.peterson@lacity.org

Read full story · Posted in News

LA City Council legalizes urban beekeeping today!

Organization: HoneyLove
Email: info [at] honeylove.org
Web: http://honeylove.org
Contact: (424) 625-8233

PRESS RELEASE—For Immediate Release

Los Angeles urban beekeepers finally realize legalization at City Hall
LA City Council unanimously approves backyard beekeeping ordinance today.

After four years of public outreach, education and grassroots efforts[1] across every part of the city spearheaded by local non-profit HoneyLove.org, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously approved urban beekeeping today by a vote of 15 to 0. Los Angeles hobbyist beekeepers can finally join most every other major metropolitan city on the globe with fully legal hives in their backyards.

Most cities have already legalized urban beekeeping including Santa Monica, Redondo Beach, Culver City, San Diego, San Francisco, New York, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, London; the list goes on. The legalization effort in Los Angeles, led by HoneyLove, began in November 2011. The group rallied its volunteer beekeeper-members to educate the public and collect thousands of petition signatures both in person and online. They visited over 20 neighborhood councils to garner motions in support of beekeeping and raised awareness through outreach at public events, with local groups and schools and by way of countless articles, radio and TV interviews, Youtube videos, hands-on workshops and monthly newsletters.


 

Report from City Attorney

“The proposed ordinance amends the LAMC to allow beekeeping in the RA, RE, RS and R1 zones. It adds definitions and standards to the sections of the LAMC that regulate the uses (including accessory uses, of which backyard beekeeping would be considered) in those zones. The standards are intended to prevent backyard beekeeping activity from becoming disruptive to occupants of neighboring properties while allowing backyard apiaries to thrive and improve the surrounding environment. For example, the proposed ordinance requires the placement of a solid barrier at least six feet in height between hives and an adjacent lot in order to direct the flight of bees to a higher level when departing their hives. Additionally, a water source must be maintained on the property where the hives are located in order to discourage bees from seeking water sources on neighboring properties.

The proposed ordinance also limits the number of hives allowed per 2,500 feet of lot area and prohibits the placement of hives in front yards. It restricts the placement of hives to at least five feet from front, side and rear lot lines and at least twenty feet from public rights-of-way or private streets and requires that hive entrances face away from or be parallel to the nearest lot line adjacent to another lot. Finally, any person interested in backyard beekeeping must be registered as a beekeeper with the County of Los Angeles Agricultural Commission before engaging in beekeeping activities on his or her property.”[2]


 

“When HoneyLove came to me two years ago, I was proud to lead the effort to legalize beekeeping,” said Councilmember Huizar. “We are working to become a more sustainable City to confront the environmental crises of today, and bees, and beekeepers, are a part of the solution. It’s time to support beekeeping in the City of Los Angeles’ residential neighborhoods, which will help our bee population and make the City safer and greener.”

“This arose from the neighborhood council system,” said Councilmember Koretz, who took up support of the motion when Bill Rosendahl termed out.  “It started in Mar Vista, was vetted through the NCs—over twenty neighborhood councils from throughout the city have sent in their support.  Bees are dying worldwide—in LA we’re putting out the welcome mat.  They are vital to our survival.”

“Very excited for Mar Vista residents to learn that what started as a sustainable initiative for their small residential community has grown into a citywide effort to help save the honey bees across this great city…one healthy hive at a time!”  adds Maritza Przekop, City Planning Associate at City of Los Angeles and early proponent of the ordinance in Mar Vista. maritza_porti01@hotmail.com

“There are so many environmental reasons to support urban beekeeping but there is also a really critical safety element. When beekeeping is legal, then feral hives can be properly managed which makes our city safer” says Meghan Sahli-Wells, Current Councilmember and former Mayor of Culver City. meghan@logicalnot.com

Their advocacy for the honeybee is echoed by HoneyLove co-founder and author of the new book “Save the Bees,”[3] Rob McFarland. “Bees are an essential part of our food system. According to the USDA, bees are responsible for the production of about a third of our diet. In addition, bees are a boon to local gardeners and urban farmers. As you may be aware, honeybees worldwide are in crisis, falling prey to the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder at an alarming rate, making beekeeping a serious food security issue.” rob@honeylove.org

HoneyLove member, beekeeper and film producer Max Wong, who helped shepherd legalization in Santa Monica, states that “Honeybees are such effective pollinators that they are able to increase agricultural yield by 30 to 60 percent. This increase in productivity in an urban garden can mean the difference between a family needing food assistance and a family that can pull itself out of poverty, and even participate in a local, green economy. Urban beekeeping is a powerful tool that we can use to help provide food security for our most vulnerable neighbors. Honeybees enable people of all economic levels to eat better and have the empowering and deeply satisfying experience of successfully growing their own food.” maxwong@gmail.com

“It’s great to see Los Angeles catching up with all the other great cities of the world in making beekeeping legal. The City Planning department did a great job in crafting a common sense set of regulations. Now that the City Council approved the changes to the code, we can get on with the work of saving bees and creating a city friendly to pollinators,” says Erik Knutzen, co-author of The Urban Homestead: Your Guide to Self-Sufficient Living in the Heart of the City (2008) and Making It: Radical Home Ec for a Post-Consumer World (2011), also a Los Angeles Resident and urban beekeeper. homegrownevolution@gmail.com

The most common concern about honey bees is bee stings. Honey bees are not aggressive by nature and are unlikely to sting. Only 0.4% of Americans report an allergy to insect stings in the U.S. and almost none of these are caused by honey bees [but by other stinging insects]. In addition, less than 1% of the US population is at risk of systemic reaction to stings by honey bees. Severe reactions from the sting of any one insect in a year are 1 in 5,555,556. The chance that someone will be hit by a car is 59.3% higher.[4]

“I am one of the minuscule percentage of people who is actually systemically allergic to honey bees and I am full support of legalizing urban beekeeping in Los Angeles. Beekeepers are our first line of defense in helping to make the city safer by managing the feral populations of bees that already live naturally in our environment” says Chelsea McFarland, HoneyLove co-founder. chelsea@honeylove.org

“I am a registered urban beekeeper with two boys—four and eight years old—who have never been stung by any honey bees from our managed hives in our backyard.  Unlike the unmanaged feral hives already existing in Los Angeles[5], my hives are inspected, managed and carefully looked after. Having more educated beekeepers will, in fact, provide a safer environment for everyone,” states Paul Hekimian, Santa Monica Resident, beekeeper and HoneyLove Board Member.  paul@honeylove.org


About HoneyLove

HoneyLove is a Los Angeles based 501(c)3 non-profit conservation organization with a mission to protect the honeybees by educating our communities and inspiring new urban beekeepers. Founded in 2011, HoneyLove believes that the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Our home gardens are generally free of pesticides, and in cities like Los Angeles, there is year-round availability of pollen and nectar for the honeybees!  Learn more about HoneyLove’s events and services at http://honeylove.org


[1] http://honeylove.org/press/

[2] http://clkrep.lacity.org/onlinedocs/2012/12-0785_rpt_ATTY_09-18-2015.pdf

[3] http://smile.amazon.com/Save-Bees-Natural-Backyard-Hives/dp/1624141412/

[4] http://justfood.org/sites/default/files/Just%20Food%20Beekeeping%20Campaign%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

[5] 9-11 colonies of bees per square mile was a stat given by LA County Agricultural Commissioner during the Mar Vista Beekeeping Feasibility Study in 2011 – https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B3mjhYhHhzMrNGRiYjkzNjItMGExNi00Y2I1LWIyMWUtY2VhYTIwNzJkMTQ5/edit


Full PRESS RELEASE linked below: 
https://www.dropbox.com/sh/66pf5cuo83pugso/AACzBj16yET2_53zUsWaYBR5a?dl=0

Read full story · Posted in HoneyLove Buzz, News, Yay Bees

Heat and collapsing honey combs

by HoneyLover Susan Rudnicki

The weather this summer in the LA basin has been record-breaking hot. These prolonged conditions stress the bees trying to maintain the proper temperature in their hives. They normally coat the insides of the hive bodies with water they gather, and fanning with their wings, induce a “swamp cooler” air conditioning.

I have seen the entire front of hives covered with bees trying to stay out of the interior—even great clumps of bees hanging from the front porch landing area. All this heat has caused the honey combs in two of my larger hives to fall out of the frames and fold over. It is quite the mess. Clearly, this trend of hotter, longer summers is being predicted by climate scientists, so something needs to be done to help the bees vent the heat.

I have fitted each hive with a wood framed, screened top board that fits under the regular migratory top. By turning the migratory top over (upside down) the cleats will create a shaded, one inch air space to relieve the bees’ heat issue and not expose them to direct light. Very many more bees are now back inside their hives, instead of hanging out on the front.

Read full story · Posted in Newsletter Articles