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ARTICLE: Thousands Flock to Mar Vista Community Fall Festival

In addition to small business owners, there were a variety of non-profits on hand, including HoneyLove

“We educate and inspire new, urban beekeepers,” explained HoneyLove director Ashley Fontenot. 

She and HoneyLove founder Chelsea McFarland gave away California poppy seeds and did temporary tattoos of honeybees to also try to connect with young children who stopped by the booth with their parents. 

“This year, we got our 501c3 status, and we’re out here gaining more local support,” McFarland said. “We’re expanding in terms of our outreach.”

[click here to read the full article via venice.patch.com]

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2nd Annual HONEY TASTING
September 8, 2012 @ PARK BAKER & SONS

Thank you to all of the beekeepers who submitted their honey, and to all of our fabulous HoneyLovin’ judges!!

2012 BLIND TASTE TEST WINNERS: 
1st Place: Backyard Bee Hive (Top bar hive after a linden flow)
TIE in 2nd Place: Harry’s Raspberry Honey & White Himalayan Honey
3rd Place: Harry’s Whipped Honey (last year’s 1st place winner)

Honeys: Organic Blue Borage Honey, White Himalayan, Chileano Ulmo, Ohi’a Lehua Hawaiian, Tupelo, Backyard Bee Hive, Zick’s Orange Blossom, Bill’s Bees Sage, Bill’s Bees Wildflower, Backyard Bees Orange County, Golden Honey from the Dale, Mandeville Canyon, Harry’s Honey Whipped, Harry’s Honey: Raspberry, East Mar Vista Raw, Ceebs from Manning, Ceebs from HoneyLove Sanctuary, and HoneyLove Honey.

Click here to view more photos!

[Photos by: HoneyLover John Fedorowicz]

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We can’t eat all this honey without you!

JOIN US this Saturday for our 2ND ANNUAL HONEY TASTING and help us pick this year’s winners ? 

http://www.facebook.com/events/176160899175521/
http://www.meetup.com/HoneyLove/events/72446912/

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HoneyLove Bee Rescue @ Venice Grind - 06/25/12
 

Why were the bees attracted to that spot you ask?
There was a big empty container of Lemon Grass Oil… which happens to be the exact same thing we use in our Swarm Boxes… because it mimics the queen pheromone scent! 
 

Favorite quote from a boy watching the rescue: 
“I want to have that job” 

?!!!

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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.

Thank you!

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VICTORY IN REDONDO BEACH, CALIFORNIA!!
by Ed Garcia

Before last night’s city council meeting, bees were categorized as a de-facto “nuisance” by the municipal code. Last night that changed :) A group of BBK’s came to the city council meeting to support my petition for a permit allowing me to keep a hive and in a team effort we were able to persuade the city council to get with the times and allow individuals to keep bees. Thank you all so much for making this happen. 

After a very lengthy meeting that started at 6PM, our issue finally came to the floor at nearly 10 PM. Representatives from Redondo Beach Animal Control summarized their position which was formally submitted in a 12 page report. In essence they were agreeable to granting the permit subject to a variety of requirements, including the approval of my neighbors. 

Then it was our turn. Members of the city council asked a variety of questions that we were able to answer based on the knowledge that we’ve absorbed through BBK and our individual experiences with the bees. It all wrapped nicely at the end when the city council unanimously agreed to adopt the measure that in essence removed bees from the list of “nuisances” and allowed individuals to keep bees. Additionally, the city council agreed to remove the requirement of “approval by neighbors” and even to lower the fee for the permit that was proposed by animal control. In all I would say it was a victory for all beekeepers. 

I would like to acknowledge all the support and guidance provided by Kirk, the use of the material compiled by Rob and Chelsea [HoneyLove] and the fine example they set with their efforts in Mar Vista, the enthusiasm and participation of Susan, Roberta, Dennis and Randy. You guys Rock!

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PHOTOS: HoneyLove MEAD WORKSHOP - May 12, 2012
@ The Curious Palate in Mar Vista, CA

See more photos on Google+

Download the handout from our event (pdf)

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National Honey Bee Awareness Day is August 18th, 2012 

…and for those of you who joined us yesterday at our MEAD WORKSHOP – you know that we will have something ready just in time for the AFTER PARTY!! 

Mark your calendars!! More info coming soon…

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HONEYLOVER OF THE MONTH: Michael
RESCUED FROM: Bird house in their own backyard!

“I’m so happy to have come across Honeylove. We’ve had bees in our birdhouse for several years and I didn’t think much of it. Until they got crowded and swarmed, and swarmed again. For a moment I thought after the third swarm maybe they shouldn’t live here. But but now we all do, and happily. I don’t think they miss the little birdhouse.” – Michael

“Michael and his bees are some of HoneyLove’s favorites… for the same reasons: good-natured, loyal, and productive!” – Rob McFarland (HoneyLove)

If you happened to see our observation hive at our Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase, you saw some of Michael’s very happy bees in action.  Our observation hive will be back for your viewing pleasure at our booth at the upcoming TreePeople’s Green City Fair on May 5. 

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PHOTOS: Mar Vista Green Garden Showcase
HoneyLove booth @ “Showcase Central” April 21, 2012

Click here to view more photos!

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