(Photo by James Carbone for the Los Angeles Daily News) Honeybees at work producing honey combs in the “hive body” at the La Canada Flintridge home of Max DeBrouwer. Worker honeybees raised during the spring or summer months may live for 6 or 7 weeks. Their lives are especially busy, with lots of hungry larvae to feed, and honeycomb to be produce.
Posted DECEMBER 8, 2015
Story By Suzanne Sproul, via Los Angeles Daily News Home & Garden
Have you heard the latest buzz? Los Angeles has laid out the backyard welcome mat for honeybees.Urban beekeepers couldn’t be happier. After several years of discussion, lawmakers recently joined an increasing number of cities, including Santa Monica, Redondo Beach and Culver City, in attempts to help protect them.
Honeybee fans are thrilled, but some people still worry about safety concerns, particularly for those with bee allergies. The new ordinance requires urban beekeepers to register their hives with Los Angeles County, regulates their distance from property boundaries and nearby streets and calls for them to be kept high above ground and surrounded by a structure, such as a wall or hedge. Typically, only two hives would be allowed at a residence.
“We are very happy that more people and cities are recognizing the importance of honeybees, but everyone should know they’re already here. On average in Los Angeles, there are nine to 11 colonies per square mile. The honeybees live in attics, trees and everywhere, so it’s not that we’re bringing in more. We’re simply trying to protect the ones here,” said Chelsea McFarland, an urban beekeeper along with her husband and the chief executive officer of HoneyLove, a nonprofit in Santa Monica.
Bees pollinate about 80 percent of plants, which directly impacts the community.
“If you want a green city, we need beekeepers and a place to keep bees,” she said.
Organic gardening and providing backyard pollinator gardens rich with plenty of bee-friendly plants such as sage, goldenrod, lilac and lavender will help.
Maxime DeBrouwer of La Cañada Flintridge is a relative newcomer to beekeeping, but he’s a huge fan.
“My friend Paul (Hekimian) got me interested. He came over when we were having a party and brought a whole frame of honey which he harvested and gave to everyone at the party. He then told us how easy it is and offered to give us a hive, which he rescued through HoneyLove,” DeBrouwer said. “We love honey, heard about the die-off of bees and wanted our kids to learn about them. I then bought some books and went to a local beekeepers’ meeting that turned out to be down the street from my house. I was surprised to find 100 people at that meeting.”
Paul Hekimian isn’t so surprised at the interest. The Santa Monica man is a second-generation beekeeper.
“I learned from my dad, but then got away from it until a few years ago when my son found an open-air hive in the backyard. We rescued the bees and now care for them as a hobby,” he said, adding that he bottles the honey to give as gifts to friends.
DeBrouwer understands the…
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