Confirmed victory

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 a huge food security issue. 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 which involves artificial insemination of queen bees, trucking thousands of hives great distances to pollinate crops, exposing bees to countless pesticides, and 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 don’t take strong action to counter the slow march to extinction.

Mar Vista is a community within Los Angeles (Council District 11) that has been actively working toward becoming a more sustainable place to live. Los Angeles currently outlaws beekeeping, and the city's policy is to exterminate all feral bees. With worldwide bee populations threatened with Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) and urban beekeeping more popular than ever, this policy needs to change. Feral bees, being subject to natural selection but not to the rough treatment and chemicals of commercial beekeeping, are far more robust than their commercial cousins. As commercial colonies collapse at an alarming rate, it is crucial that this population be protected.

Luckily the Mar Vista Community Council is conducting a feasibility study for a Urban Beekeeping Pilot Project. Sign our petition to let the Mar Vista Community Council know that this is an important issue that they should move on as soon as possible. Please ask them to move forward with their request for a pilot project and work towards repealing the Los Angeles code outlawing beekeeping and to establish a live bee rescue policy, allowing thriving populations of healthy feral bees to be relocated to the agricultural areas that need them.

Letter to
Mar Vista Community Council Los Angeles, District 11
I am writing you to ask that you make the legalization of beekeeping and the establishment of a bee rescue policy one of your top priorities. Bees are an essential part of our food system. According to the USDA bees are responsible for the production of roughly a third of our diet. In addition they are a boon to local gardeners, urban farmers, and provide a nutritious source of sweetener.

Unfortunately, as you may be aware, honeybees worldwide are in crisis, falling prey to the mysterious Colony Collapse Disorder at an alarming rate, making beekeeping a serious food security issue. While the exact causes of this disorder are unknown, it is clear that the problem is exacerbated by the way commercial growers raise and manage bees. It is the backyard beekeepers raising feral bees that have found a way to keep hives healthy and thriving. That is why it is essential that we protect this genetically strong bee population, allow local beekeepers to help harness them, and establish a bee rescue to move feral bees to the agricultural areas where they are most needed. It is not often that so much good can be done with so little work.

Urban beekeeping has been gaining widespread attention since the President of the United States himself began keeping two hives on the White House lawn, and even Santa Monica recently dropped their beekeeping ban. With that in mind, I urge you to:

Urban beekeeping has been gaining widespread attention since the President of the United States himself began keeping two hives on the White House lawn, and even Santa Monica recently dropped their beekeeping ban. With that in mind, I urge you to:

1. Support the Beekeeping pilot project in Mar Vista.

2. Support efforts to repeal Los Angeles Municipal Code 50.03, which will legalize beekeeping in Los Angeles, Bee Rescue, and the creation of a legal bee yard within Los Angeles that will operate as a secure, temporary holding area for feral honeybee colonies that are awaiting relocation to agricultural zones outside city limits.

3. Change Los Angeles’ current response to feral honeybee swarms (which is extermination), and to allow live bee removal, only involving swarms, on city and public property within Los Angeles, including Mar Vista.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this important issue.

For your reference here is a link to Santa Monica's newly amended ordinance legalizing beekeeping: http://tinyurl.com/7ymqaz4