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Tag Archives | urbanbeekeeping

Gumuchian’s “B” Collection Donation to HoneyLove

Saving the Bees: HoneyLove.org Hosts First Annual “Natural Beekeeping Conference” with Donations Received through GUMUCHIAN‘s “B” Collection!
HLONBC_Gumachian2016

Local nonprofit, Honeylove.org, hosted a Natural Beekeeping Conference sponsored in part by GUMUCHIAN on Saturday & Sunday, August 20-21 at the Pasadena Masonic Temple in Pasadena, California. The 2-day conference was an unforgettable weekend filled with educational lectures and workshops, hands-on demonstrations, the latest in natural beekeeping techniques and findings. Chelsea McFarland, Co-Founder of HoneyLove said “The conference lectures were led by the top minds in Natural Beekeeping and attended by over 100 beekeepers and HoneyLovers. Thank you to Gumuchian for all of their support in making the weekend a success!”

 HLONBC_2016

 

To make an appointment, contact Myriam@gumuchian.com or

Read full story · Posted in Natural Beekeeping Conference

How to coexist with bees and wasps

Coexist bees wasps

For many of us, if we hear a buzzing or see a bee or wasp, our first reaction is to try to move away—or even get rid of the offending insect.

First, it’s important to know that there’s not just one type of bee or one type of wasp. In fact, there are over 20,000 species of bees and over 30,000 species of wasps. The most notable of those bee types is, of course, the honeybee. That is essential to crops—bees pollinate more than half of all our fruit and vegetable crops, and also produce millions of pounds of honey each year.
Bees congregate in what can be huge colonies, up to tens of thousands of bees, while wasps tend to be less communal in their living patterns. Even within the wasps species though, some are more solitary than others—as are some bees.
Once you learn a little about bees and wasps, you can then learn how to live more harmoniously with those insects. This graphic can help.

Link: https://www.fix.com/blog/living-with-bees-and-wasps/

Read full story · Posted in Yay Bees

Support USDA tax-payer funded research

Share the Beekeeper’s Voice: Support USDA tax-payer funded research

The Pollinator Stewardship Council is deeply concerned about recent reports of U.S. Dept. of Agriculture scientists who have faced consequences or investigations when their work called into question the health and safety of agricultural chemicals.  We believe USDA must maintain scientific integrity, and not allow harassment, censorship or suppression of science-based findings.  We are concerned that tax-payer funded research is being withheld from the tax- payers due to suppression of USDA scientists. Beekeepers are tax-payers, and integral agricultural stakeholders who rely on the research of USDA scientists to protect the national resource of pollinators so vital to a nutritious diet.  The Pollinator Stewardship Council urges you to contact your Congressional Representative to take the necessary steps to ensure USDA maintains scientific integrity in the protection of the health of the land so all agricultural stakeholders can work together to protect natural resources and the environment.  Speak up for honey bees; share the beekeepers voice.  Send an email to your Congressional Representative and Senator today by choosing from one of three letters, or feel free to send all three letters.

SELECT A LINK TO AN EMAIL BELOW AND SEND IT TO CONGRESS

I support USDA Scientists

The Honey Bee “Risk Cup” Runneth Over

I want my tax-payer funded USDA research

Read full story · Posted in News

Edmonton beekeeper builds a better beehive

via edmontonjournal.com

A local beekeeper has developed a novel hybrid hive design to provide better living conditions for Edmonton’s urban bees.

Dustin Bajer’s hive is taller and narrower than the typical hive used in the beekeeping industry, helping it better imitate a hollowed-out tree where bees would be found in nature.

“I take the standard hive and tweak it a little bit, try to make it a little more ‘bee-centric,’ working for the bees,” Bajer said in an interview Thursday.

Bajer said his beehive design strikes a balance between the needs of bees and those of the beekeepers who look after them.

“I’m just trying as much as possible to let the bees do what they would be doing in nature.”

Bajer is selling his handmade hives on his website, dustinbajer.com, for $200.

Typical beehives have 10 removable frames that the bees use to build honeycomb.

Bajer’s design leaves two frames out. “Eight frames is closer to the inside of a hollow tree where you’d find bees naturally,” he said, “so they’re able to cluster together a little bit easier.”

Instead of weaving in and out between the frames, bees in Bajer’s hives can move vertically along the comb to get at the honey they need to eat during winter. For overwintering bees, the less they need to move, the better.

Frames in Bajer’s hives go into boxes that are smaller than the industry norm. While the volume of the hive and its weight doesn’t change, the beekeeper can handle the boxes more easily.

In April of this year, Edmonton city council amended its animal licensing and control bylaw to permit beekeeping in the city.

Edmonton is a good environment for keeping bees, said Bajer, who lives in McCauley.

“We typically think of cities as these barren concrete jungles without nature,” he said. But in reality, the biological diversity present in cities helps produce good honey.

“You can actually taste it, because you’re going to get pollen from willows, cherry trees, lilacs. There’s a little bit of something for the bees the entire growing season.”

Bajer said he tries to live as close as possible to nature in an urban environment. He wants his leafy backyard to feel like an oasis in the city.

“My ideal day is sitting on the deck with a glass of wine, just watching the bees go and forth.”

Bajer’s beehive design is his personal response to the needs of urban bees.

“First and foremost, beekeepers need to understand how bees behave, and to ensure that they have everything that they need in order to be able to do that.”

[view original post via edmontonjournal.com]

Read full story · Posted in News

READ: Herbicides, Not Insecticides, Biggest Threat to Bees

honeybees

By Bonnie Coblentz via agfax.com

People who care about honeybees know that insecticides and pollinators are usually a bad mix, but it turns out that herbicides used to control weeds can spell even bigger trouble for bees.

Jeff Harris, bee specialist with the MSU Extension Service and Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station researcher, said herbicides destroy bee food sources.

“When farmers burn down weeds before spring planting, or people spray for goldenrod, asters and spring flowers, or when power companies spray their rights-of-way, they’re killing a lot of potential food sources for bees and wild pollinators,” he said.

Harris said the direct effect of these chemicals on bees is so much less of an issue than their loss of food supply.

“Disappearing food is on the mind of beekeepers in the state,” he said. “That is even more important to them than losses of bees to insecticides.”

Johnny Thompson, vice president of the Mississippi Beekeeping Association, is a cattle and poultry farmer in Neshoba County who has been in the bee business for the last 10 years.

“Before we got back into bees, I sprayed pastures by the barrel to kill weeds. As a cattle farmer, weeds are a nuisance,” Thompson said. “I’m trying to grow grass for the cows to eat and not weeds, but as a beekeeper, those weeds are not weeds. That’s forage for the bees.”

Today, Thompson said he uses the bush hog more than he sprays herbicides to keep the food supply for bees intact on his land.

“If you kill everything the bee has for food, you may as well go in and spray the hive directly. The bees are going to die,” he said. “All the emphasis is being put on insecticide, but the greater risk to bees are the herbicides.”

He has made management changes for the sake of his bees’ food supply, but he recognizes the tension between current agricultural management practices and pollinators’ best interests.

“When you travel through the Delta or the prairie part of the state in February, the row crop land is purple with henbit blooming. By the end of March, it’s all gone because farmers burned it down with chemicals to try to kill everything in the field before they plant,” he said.

“They burn it down early because weeds in March or early April are a reservoir for insect pests to the crops that will soon be planted,” Thompson said.

Crops in the field, especially soybeans, are great sources of bee forage, and farmers and beekeepers can coordinate to protect both of their interests.

“We moved bees to the Delta this summer to make soybean honey,” Thompson said. “We’re working with the growers to try to put the bees in areas that are fairly protected and won’t get directly sprayed.”

But farmland is not the only place bees find food. Yards, roadsides, golf courses and power line rights-of-way are other places bees forage when plants are allowed to bloom naturally.

“We need to stop looking at them as weeds and instead look at these plants as forage,” Thompson said. “I can manage around the insecticides, but if herbicide use means there’s nothing for a bee to eat, there’s no reason to put a hive in an area.”

[view original post via agfax.com]

Read full story · Posted in News

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

Winter Bees and Oak Leaves

 Winter Bees Winter Bees CU

Winter in most climates is the hardest on bees. Temperatures fluctuate and create humidity in the hive. Some beekeepers have had success controlling this with a layer of oak leaves between their inner cover and telescoping top. NASA uses oak leaves to control humidity in telescopes, and it seems to work great for bees too!

Read full story · Posted in Yay Bees

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

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