They say that you don’t choose to be a beekeeper — the bees choose you. So when a swarm of honeybees showed up in our garden in Los Angeles, we were unknowingly recruited into the ranks of beekeepers, an order that includes everyone from Aristotle, Luke the Apostle, Alexander the Great, Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, Leo Tolstoy, Thomas Edison — all the way through to First Lady Michelle Obama.
Our fascination quickly turned us into advocates when we learned that our city’s policy is to exterminate feral swarms of bees rather than rescue them. Given the threat of Colony Collapse Disorder to global honeybee populations, this is not something we felt we could stand by and watch happen.
Since that first encounter, we created the Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) non-profit HoneyLove.org. Our mission is to protect honeybees and inspire and educate new urban beekeepers. We are currently working with the Mar Vista Community Council on a feasibility study, a necessary first step in our efforts to legalize beekeeping in the city of Los Angeles.
New York, Seattle, San Francisco, Portland, Denver, Spokane, Atlanta, Chicago, Toronto, Vancouver, and most recently, Santa Monica have all taken decisive action and legalized beekeeping. Please add your signature to our petition and help us put Los Angeles on that list!
photo credit: Ashley Fontenot