ARTICLE: The Buzz on Urban Beekeeping by Rick Paulas KCET.org
If you’re trying to raise money to save puppies or kittens or other adorable creatures, it’s simple. You find the cutest ones around, snap a few photos, get rights to a Sarah McLachlan song, throw some information up about where to send donations, and bam! Work’s done. But bees? A creature that mostly elicits the emotion of run-away-as-fast-as-you-can? They’re not exactly the easiest sell.
Which is the problem that’s been keeping Chelsea and Rob McFarland — husband-and-wife team behind the non-profit organization HoneyLove — busy for the past 18 months. Their goal of trying to make Los Angeles the latest city to legally allow urban beekeeping — in this regard, L.A. is a bit behind the curve; New York, San Francisco, Seattle and even Santa Monica are among the growing list of cities that allows beekeepers within city limits — isn’t an easy one.
Rick: Is there evidence you’ve seen that the disappearance of they honeybees is slowing down or stopping?
Chelsea: We have not seen the effects of Colony Collapse Disorder in our hives. We believe this is because the city is the last refuge of the honeybee. Traditional agriculture has put bees in to a tight spot for many reasons — pesticides, antibiotics, miticides, trucking bees across the country, feeding them high fructose corn syrup instead of allowing them to eat their natural honey, placing contaminated beeswax foundations in their hives… too many reasons to list!
As organic urban beekeepers we do not do any of that. 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.
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