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Why Isn't Backyard Beekeeping Legal in Los Angeles Yet?

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Bees are essential to life (they pollinate a whole lot of our food) and they're mysteriously disappearing, but deep in Silver Lake a group called Backwards Beekeepers is harboring wayward wild bees, carefully relocated from eaves or trees or wherever colonies pop up. And they're doing it illegally. Because unlike San Francisco and New York City, Los Angeles doesn't allow backyard beekeeping and in fact usually exterminates wild bees. Local groups have been lobbying for new rules for years and in that time the city's loosened restrictions on all kinds of urban agriculture--most recently it legalized gardening on parkway strips--so what's the hold up on bees? Plain old fear, it seems like. The California Report talked to an urban forestry manager for the city who says "a pest control adviser [in our office] said that 80 percent of the hives they're finding are actually Africanized colonies." Yeah, apparently some people are still using "Africanized" to describe particularly aggressive bees, but that aside, Backward Beekeepers cofounder says that 1) bees aren't pests, so it's crazy to let pest experts determine bee policy; and 2) "All bees are defensive ... There's always been mean bees, and they can be mean for different reasons." And some LA officials have bravely embraced our bee friends--City Councilmember Mike Bonin has proposed rules that would allow beekeeping in single-family neighborhoods and they "could be up for a vote in as few as five months." It's estimated there are about 10 feral colonies of bees in every square mile of the city.
· Guerrilla Beekeeping in L.A. [The California Report]
· Mar Vista Leading the Charge to Legalize Backyard Beekeeping in LA [Curbed LA]