May 3, 2012:
Forsyth County Board of Commissioners votes 4 to 1 to
Allow BEEKEEPING in ALL ZONING DISTRICTS with NO RESTRICTIONS
May 3, 2012:
Bethel Metz: HONEY BEE VICTORY IN PORT WASHINGTON, WISCONSIN!!!
“We did it!!! We accomplished the seemingly never-ending task of getting the City of Port Washington to pass the urban beekeeping ordinance! After 3 months of hard work, Ordinance #2012-1 passed unanimously last night. While this means absolutely nothing to some people and very little to most others, and while I am not “changing the world,” after battling for over 3 months to get this changed, this huge victory in my little corner of the world means everything to me because it literally has been my world. So as insignificant as this may be to people, please allow me to celebrate for a few days because we quite literally accomplished the impossible.”
No Zoning Laws, No Problem? Think Again. Faced with no legal right to keep their bees, beekeepers in Cumming, Ga. are working to get a new law on the books.
“Nicholas Weaver, a resident of Cumming, Ga., did everything right before becoming a backyard beekeeper. The then-13-year-old spoke with his neighbors to make sure they wouldn’t mind some new, buzzing tenants on his family’s property. He went to town meetings and asked if the city had rules about beekeeping. Finally, he checked the local zoning laws himself, just to be sure he was in the clear — and when he discovered that his town and its county, Forsyth, had no zoning regulations for non-commercial beekeepers, he figured his bees wouldn’t be a problem.
For 11 years, Weaver was right… But one evening last August, he came home to find a note tacked to his door with a request to call the county government. That’s when he discovered that even if his community had no official city or county guidelines about backyard beekeeping, he could still be forced to give up his hives. Citing an anonymous complaint, the county gave him five days to relocate his bees…”
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.”
“Finding a Home” Night at the Mar Vista Community Council
“Rob and Chelsea McFarland spoke for another creature in vital need of a home: bees. Said that a world without bees is a world without food. The best way to protect bees is to give them homes wherever possible. The Council approved a pilot study for their bee program.”
Article by: Andy Shrader / Photo Credit: Roy Persinko
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.