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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.


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? Hexies tutorial by
Adorable blog post by em ay kay ee.

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Design Notes: Hexagon Patterns

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KICKSTARTER: Honeybees Children’s Book: How to Save Our Food
A Children’s Book project in Fort Lauderdale, FL by Chris Hall

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ARTICLE: San Diego Reader
City Council Unanimously in Favor of Urban Agriculture Amendments

“Today was a landmark day for local agriculturalists as the City Council voted unanimously in favor of amendments to the municipal code which simplify the process for approving farmers’ markets on private property, make minor adjustments to community garden regulations, and ease restrictions for keeping chickens, goats, and bees.

In an affable session marked by laughter and applause, the Council heard from several supporting speakers ranging from Hoover High School geographic information system students to members of the San Diego Beekeeping Society, the San Diego County Farm Bureau, the Goat Justice League, Food Not Bombs, the International Rescue Committee, New Roots Community Farm, the San Diego Hunger Coalition, the One In Ten Coalition, as well as 55 written supporters who did not speak at the meeting.

The amendments follow a $50,000 grant awarded to the City of San Diego in March to pursue municipal code and general plan amendments supporting urban agriculture with the goal of stunting obesity rates by planning communities in ways that support increased physical activity and access to healthy foods…

In the first municipal code revision on beekeeping since 1977, the practice is now allowed in single family zones with a single family dwelling, community gardens, and retail farms…

“The benefits of bee keeping are fresh natural honey, natural sweetener, and increase in the docile domesticated honeybee population,” said Joyce.

“San Diego has had European honeybees since 1869,” said Eric Robinson of the 450 member strong San Diego Beekeeping Society. “They were brought here by John Harbison. Beekeeping was a large part of the San Diego economy as we exported boxes of honey back to the East Coast and Chicago. John died a millionaire… The bee keeping industry in California represents about $5 billion worth of agriculture. Every third bite of food is something that pollination by bees was involved in the process.”

Other statements of support for the amendments included the need to cultivate domesticated bees to counteract the plummeting bee population due to the enigmatic “colony collapse disorder”, the prospect of carbon emission reduction by eating locally grown produce, and, according to lifelong San Diego resident Oliver E. Owen III, 71, the simple enjoyment of “great critters. They relax you. Your blood pressure goes down, you don’t drink as much. And they have personalities. I’m here strictly to support this thing on the basis of camaraderie of animals. That’s all.”

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“Urban beekeeping has been all the buzz, lately.  And for as many people that keep bees, there are that many reasons WHY people keep bees.

One of the most important reasons to keep bees is for pollination.  Bee pollination is needed for the production of an estimated one-third of the food crops grown in developed countries. When it comes to fruit, the number of bees visiting a plant affects the size, uniformity and amount of fruit it produces. Bee pollination also has an impact on other foods we eat, such as meat, since the animals we consume often eat plants pollinated by bees.

It’s common knowledge that the honey bee produces honey, but did you know that they also provide us with wax, pollen, royal jelly, propolis and venom? These by-products have different uses but are all considered beneficial to our health. “Apitherapy” means the use of honeybee products for medicinal purposes.

Urban beekeeping is essential as the commercial beekeepers have sustained huge losses all over the country year after year. As urban beekeepers we can practices sans medications and chemicals. We can provide diversity-rich habits as well as encourage those around us to reduce and or eliminate the use of pesticides. Beekeeping is a very civic hobby!  But beyond that, it’s a lot of fun, challenging and rewarding.”

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Pesticide Action Network
Petition: Earth to EPA: Bees need help now

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VIDEO: Winnie the Pooh and The Honey Tree (1966)

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by LA Street Artist Bumblebee

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“The busy bee has no time for sorrow.”  ~ William Blake

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