Following a unanimous vote by the Los Angeles City Council, residents in single-family, R1 residential zones can legally keep bees once the ordinance goes into effect Sun., Dec. 6.
“It is really great that the city council has recognized the importance of organic urban beekeeping for the pollination of our fruits and flowers,” says Gardner St. resident Anne Williams.
“Not only can you see the difference in the plants in your area, but harvesting purely organic honey provides an incredible health benefit that friends and family can’t get enough of!” she added.
Colony collapse disorder
Rob McFarland, co-founder of Honey Love, says city beekeepers are the best defense to the insect’s worldwide decline because cities provide safer habitats than most farms through greater biodiversity and lack of pesticides.
“Since 2006, more than one-third of honeybee colonies collapsed nationwide. If present trends continue, scientists estimate there will be no more bees by 2035,” says McFarland.
“The city environment is the last refuge of the honey bee.”
McFarland and his supporters campaigned lawmakers for four years for the ordinance change. They argue that bees are an essential part of our food system, responsible for the production of about a third of our diet.
“Honeybees worldwide are in crisis, making beekeeping a serious food security issue,” says McFarland.
Councilmember Paul Koretz has said, “This motion will give us better control of the bee population and, better yet, will help us protect a fragile species, so essential to human food supply, which is struggling against colony collapse disorder and dying in droves across the planet.”
For more information on how to become an urban beekeeper, visit honeylove.org.
By Billy Taylor