LA abuzz about push for urban beekeeping

Urban Beekeeping

Damian Dovarganes/AP

In this photo taken Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, Sweet Bee Removal professional beekeeper, Tyson Kaiser, expands a beehive hosted on the roof of a home in Los Angeles. The Los Angeles City Council will vote Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2014 whether to begin the process of granting urban bees legal residency in residential areas after a lengthy lobbying effort from bee lovers of all stripes. The vote comes against the backdrop of colony collapse disorder, a worrisome die-off of honeybees that has captured the attention of environmentalists and farmers worldwide.

Hundreds of beekeepers in Los Angeles have been raising bees in the city's residential areas — but so far, it's illegal.

The City Council is expected to vote Wednesday on whether to begin the process of granting those bees legal residency in backyards across the city.

Supporters say the city is the perfect place for beekeeping because it is warm year-round and has so many flowering plants.

They say LA is already packed with bees living in hidden places and it makes sense for safety reasons to have beekeepers caring for them instead.

But some people worry that legalizing beekeeping will bring more residents into direct contact with Africanized — or "killer bees."

Almost all feral hives in LA contain Africanized genes that can make the colonies more aggressive.

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