Since being founded in April 2011, HoneyLove has been leading the grassroots effort to legalize urban beekeeping in Los Angeles, beginning with an extensive feasibility study and outreach campaign in Mar Vista. From there we gained the additional support of 10 Neighborhood Councils throughout Los Angeles: Del Rey, Greater Griffith Park, South Robertson, Silver Lake, Hollywood United, Atwater Village, West LA, Boyle Heights, Lake Balboa, and Chatsworth. Our thorough campaign work resulted in Councilman Bill Rosendahl putting our motion before the Los Angeles City Council where it is currently being studied by the Planning and Land Use Committee. And while we can't say that we have achieved full legalization yet, in creating the community model and approaching it from a grassroots level we've created momentum which cannot be stopped.

Our most important achievements are not measured in legislative changes but in the number of people we reach, teach, and impact. In that respect we have been enormously successful. In a short time we've connected with people all over the world through monthly workshops, mentoring sessions, honey bee rescues, education outreach, neighborhood council involvement and social media connections. Our proudest single achievement is creating a global community of conscientious, active urban beekeepers who now share HoneyLove's mission with an ever-growing audience. In 2050, we hope to look back on our work and be proud to say that we helped lead the change toward a pesticide-free Los Angeles.


1 Submitted Idea

  • 2013 Grants Challenge

    PesticideFree Los Angeles 2050

    Since 2006, more than one-third of honey bee colonies have collapsed worldwide—a global phenomenon now called Colony Collapse Disorder or CCD. There is no one smoking gun causing CCD; in fact, scientists now widely agree that it is a combination of factors. The best science tells us that if present trends continue there will be no more bees by 2035. That is, if we fail to act—if we fail to recognize this disaster in the making and don't take strong action to counter the slow march to extinction.

    At HoneyLove we have made it our mission to inspire and educate urban beekeepers as a means of conserving this critical species. Whereas bees used for pollination in the migratory beekeeping industry are suffering from colony collapse disorder, bees living in urban environments—especially Los Angeles—have been spared this fate. Why? Because the reasons contributing to the decline of the honey bee are absent (or significantly reduced) in the city environment. Urban bees can find more than enough forage in our gardens, landscaping, and weedy areas to feed themselves throughout the seasons (commercial bees are fed an artificial diet of sugar water, confectionery sugar and high fructose corn syrup). Because there is plentiful forage, urban bees are spared the stress which has contributed to the species' vulnerability. And since the vast majority of the forage in the city is pesticide-free—because most homeowners aren't dumping industrial-strength chemicals on their yards—bees have one less critical enemy to contend with. While the city represents the bees' best shot at surviving and thriving, at HoneyLove still have a lot of work to do to ensure they will have a healthy ecosystem in the future.

    In spite of being relatively pesticide-free compared to big agriculture, Los Angeles still uses an alarming amount of consumer-level pesticides that pollute our soil and waterways and affect our already poor air quality. Consumer products are often harmful to pollinators like the honey bee and yet they do not have to be labeled as such. HoneyLove's vision for 2050 is of a pesticide-free Los Angeles, achieved through grass-roots campaigning and led by beekeepers in each of LA's 95 communities. We believe that by creating educated urban beekeepers we're also creating stakeholders in our communities who can represent our concerns about pesticides. It is our belief that by training and educating beekeepers as ambassadors of the pesticide-free Los Angeles message, we can begin to tackle this enormous problem one household at a time, one lawn at a time, one school at a time, until we've built a critical mass which will simply not accept the use of chemicals in our backyards, parks, and public spaces. Taking pesticides out of the equation will have unquestionable benefits for our environment; soil will be free of chemical contaminants, run-off after storms will lack the poisonous punch it once had, and citizens will breathe freely knowing they won't be inhaling carcinogenic toxins. The only indicator a pesticide-free LA in 2050 doesn't touch on is proximity to parks and access to free space, but it does ensure that those places will be cleaner, healthier environments for people to enjoy. Our parks can become shining examples of pesticide-free, natural environments and serve as the inspiration for citizens to think differently about the products they use at home and in their gardens.