- The City Council of Santa Monica
- United States of America
On December 14, 2010, the Santa Monica City Council and Mayor Bloom unanimously voted to lift the ban on bee keeping in the city, with a 2 hive limit. Thank you so much for your support. I only wish I could thank everyone personally who signed my petition.
When entire bee populations disappear or die out or are exterminated in large numbers, the ramifications are serious. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, about one-third of the human diet is derived directly or indirectly from honeybee pollinated crops. Unless measures are taken to protect honeybees, many fruits and vegetables may disappear from the food chain.
Here in California honeybees are responsible for nearly half of our state’s $18 billion agricultural industry, pollinating 47 different nut, fruit, vegetable and forage seed crops. The American Beekeeping Federation estimates that about 50 percent of the honeybee colonies in California have been killed or severely weakened. Just to pollinate the current California almond crop (which accounts for 80% of almonds worldwide) requires HALF the United State’s bee population be trucked in. The number of managed hives in California has dropped to around 400,000 hives, so many farmers are resorting to importing bees from Australia at tremendous cost.
With the crisis of Colony Collapse Disorder, it’s never been so important for all communities—urban and rural—to promote beekeeping, and preserve those survivor stocks of our own honey bees. Legal in cities throughout the country—including Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis, Portland, San Francisco, Cleveland, Detroit, Tulsa and Seattle, beekeeping promotes the natural pollination of plant installations by both citizens and governments. Cities have recognized that honey bees are not only essential to a thriving natural environment that includes farmland, orchards, urban vegetable gardens and city parks, but a key part in providing food security to all citizens. The swarming of a honeybee colony is a natural process of reproduction.† Feral, or unintended, swarming is common worldwide.† Normally, a swarm collector is called (from a local list or 911 operator) and the bees are safely removed from unsuitable locations and into the care of nearby beekeeper.† Even government sites such as Chicago’s City Hall and the White House’s South Lawn have honeybee hives!
The purpose of Honeybee Rescue
The city’s current policy of exterminating feral bees on city property goes directly against Santa Monica’s push toward sustainability and greater environmental responsibility.
In response to the current honeybee crisis, a honeybee rescue in the city would kill two birds with one stone by providing humane removal of feral “nuisance” swarms for urban dwellers, while supplying healthy survivor-stock colonies to surrounding farmers in desperate need of more pollinators.
We, the undersigned, support:
1. Repeal of Municipal code 4.04.130 legalizing beekeeping in the city of Santa Monica, Bee Rescue, and the creation of a legal bee yard within city limits that will operate as a secure, temporary holding area for feral honeybee colonies that are awaiting relocation to agricultural zones outside city limits.
2. Change the city of Santa Monica’s current response to feral honeybee swarms (which is extermination), and to allow live bee removal, only involving swarms, on city and public property within Santa Monica city limits.
The Save The Bees in Santa Monica petition to The City Council of Santa Monica was written by Daniel Salisbury and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.