Over the last three years, more than one in three honeybee colonies collapsed nationwide, a phenomenon now called Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. According to the USDA, about one-third of our food is thanks to the work of bees, making CCD one of the broadest environmental and food security challenges of our time. And while there is no one smoking gun causing CCD, scientists now widely agree that it is a result of a combination of factors, made manifest by industrial beekeeping, a practice which involves trucking thousands of hives great distances to pollinate crops, exposing bees to countless pesticides, interfering with the species natural defenses by treating them with miticides and antibiotics, and feeding them high fructose corn syrup. This deadly cocktail has made bees incredibly vulnerable and on the brink of collapse. That is, only if we fail to act, if we fail to recognize this disaster in the making and do not take strong action to counter the slow march to extinction.
Atlanta, New York, Seattle, Portland, Denver, Spokane, Chicago, San Francisco, Toronto, Vancouver and most recently Santa Monica have all taken decisive action and legalized urban beekeeping.
Los Angeles currently outlaws beekeeping in residential areas, and the city’s policy is to exterminate all feral honey bees. With worldwide bee populations threatened with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and urban beekeeping more popular than ever, this policy needs to change. We believe it to be a necessary and just measure requiring immediate action.
Four Community Councils within Los Angeles (Mar Vista, Del Rey, Greater Griffith Park, and South Robertson) have already voted in favor of supporting an urban beekeeping program in residentially zoned districts. The votes came after months of campaigning by Los Angeles residents and more than 2,000 people signed petitions on Change.org. The Community Council’s are calling for a Motion from Los Angeles Councilmember Bill Rosendahl to direct the City Planning Department to initiate an ordinance that would allow Los Angeles residents to raise their own honeybees, a practice that helps boost struggling honeybee populations and ensures local food security.