The Los Angeles City Council voted [October 14] to allow backyard beekeeping, joining cities like Santa Monica, New York, Denver, and other cities where the hobby is legal.
[...] Councilman Paul Koretz [....] said bees "do especially well in Los Angeles" and Wednesday's move could help address bee colony collapse disorder which has claimed about a third of the global bee population.
[...] City leaders and members of HoneyLove, a nonprofit that promotes beekeeping, said the activity aids urban farming efforts such as community gardens. They also said urban areas offer a pesticide-free environment for insects that are critical to the health of agriculture and plants.
[...] The ordinance allows no more than one hive per 2,500 square feet per lot area to be kept in the backyards of single-family homes citywide. Front yard beekeeping is barred by the ordinance.
It also sets buffer zones and areas on a property where hives can be kept and requires that beekeepers raise walls or hedges high enough to ensure bees need to fly up before leaving the backyard.
A water source also needs to be maintained near the hives so the bees would not need to venture outside of the beekeeper's backyard to get hydrated, under the rules.
The backyard beekeepers also need to register with the County of Los Angeles Agricultural Commission.
The commission has 129 beekeepers registered with 219 locations countywide, according to commission spokesman Ken Pellman. Of those registered, 39 are commercial beekeepers, which means they have eight or more hives.
[...] Los Angeles already averages about eight to 10 feral bee hives per square mile.
(Score: 2) by bradley13 on Friday October 16 2015, @09:36AM
Is this yet another case of California over-regulation? Why would beekeeping be outlawed? Is this normal in American cities?
In any case, keeping bees is certainly a positive thing. However, the whole "colony collapse disorder" is just ridiculous. CCD is a direct consequence of the way the huge commercial outfits handle their bees [cornell.edu]. The bees are massively inbred. They are transported all over the place from one crop to the next, which spreads disease. The surprise is that some disease or parasite hasn't wiped out them out before this.
The problems with inbreeding in bees is nothing new. [discovermagazine.com] I've found papers from 25 years ago discussing it, but commercial beekeepers are intent on ignoring it.
Despite some pseudo-scientific claims to the contrary, wild honey bees show no signs of colony collapse disorder; they just have their normal fluctuations, like they have always had. You might think that wild bees might be bred back into the commercial bees, but no - they are less docile, more difficult to work with. Wild bee colonies are routinely destroyed (at least here), so that they don't compete with the commercial bees.
Stop the inbreeding, stop the crazy long range transporting. This will require a move away from monoculture agriculture (like the California almond orchards). But no - better to cry for sympathy, try to blame anything but address the actual problem.
Everyone is somebody else's weirdo.
(Score: 2) by Geezer on Friday October 16 2015, @09:57AM
"Is this normal in American cities?"
(Score: 0, Flamebait) by Webweasel on Friday October 16 2015, @02:56PM
Land of the free. Home of the brave.
Priyom.org Number stations, Russian Military radio. "You are a bad, bad man. Do you have any other virtues?"-Runaway1956
(Score: 2) by Phoenix666 on Friday October 16 2015, @11:06AM
It was only a few years back that NYC allowed bee-keeping. We have colony collapse to thank for that. Now all we need is for something to threaten chickens and they'll let us keep them in the backyard again. Like with most food, eggs from your own chickens are vastly superior to mass-produced store-bought ones.
Washington DC delenda est.
(Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday October 18 2015, @04:52AM
Meh, eggs from urban backyard chickens are not all they are cracked up to be. They contain alarming levels of heavy metals.