We have undoubtedly heard about “colony collapse disorder,” the very serious bee die-offs occurring around the world due to a variety of environmental problems which have been linked to the widespread use of insecticides which contain neonicotinoids. Bees pollinate one out of every three bites of food we put in our mouths and are essential to our food supply. They are also essential to our local trees, plants and especially our gardens: fruits, vegetables and flowers. Despite problems elsewhere, bees are actually doing fairly well in Los Angeles and Councilmember Koretz feels a strong responsibility to maintain their health.
Councilmember Koretz took up the cause to allow backyard beekeeping in Los Angeles, which originated as this motion by former Councilmember Bill Rosendahl. "There is no one more afraid of bees than I am," Councilmember Koretz said, "which is why this is such an important initiative to me. This will help us track and manage the more than 9 hives per square mile that already exist, which will help prevent swarming and keep us all safer."
The initiative to legalize backyard beekeeping began with the Green Committee for the Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC), part of whose area extends into Council District 5. The MVCC approved and implemented a Beekeeping pilot program, which resulted in the positive results found in this "Feasibility Study of Urban Beekeeping in Mar Vista." Several years of outreach and education resulted in over twenty neighborhood councils throughout the City sending in their support for the ordinance, including from CD5, the Bel Air Beverly Crest Neighborhood Council, the Westside Neighborhood Council, and the South Robertson Neighborhoods Council.
As detailed in this LA Daily News article, led by Councilmembers Koretz and Huizar, the City Council approved the ordinance in October 2015 and celebrated with the urban beekeeping fans and advocates at a press conference which followed the vote.
Former Councilmember Bill Rosendahl, the author of the original motion, was able to join Councilmember Koretz and Mayor Garcetti for the signing ceremony of the backyard beekeeping ordinance.
The new backyard beekeeping ordinance can be found here:
If you would like a beehive safely removed and relocated, you can call the Bee Allies Swarm Hotline: (424) 353-BEES . For more information about Urban Beekeeping, please visit: www.HoneyLove.org
Thanks to a motion introduced by Councilmember Koretz, the City Council approved this resolution to support the Congressional bill, H.R. 2692, the "Saving America’s Pollinators Act of 2013." This Act would have directed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to take actions related to pesticides to preserve the health of the bee populations that serve as America’s pollinators. More specifically, H.R. 2692 would require the EPA to suspend the use of four of the pesticides belonging to the neonicotinoids class (imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, and dinotafuran) until their safety could be determined.
Back to top