LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Members of the Los Angeles City Council voted Wednesday in favor of a study on the impact of allow urban beekeeping in the city of Los Angeles.
The council also approved a motion calling for the city to explore more humane bee-removal alternatives other than extermination, and a resolution supporting federal protections for bees against pesticides.
The Los Angeles Municipal Code currently prohibits beekeeping, which it defines as “the care and maintenance of bee hives” and the “managed production of honey bee by-products such as honey and wax” in single-family residential zones.
Councilman Paul Koretz said the state has been losing a third of its bees a year since 2006, threatening California’s avocado and almond growing industry.
“Almonds alone are $4 billion of our state’s economy,” he said.
Urban beekeeping advocates say legalizing the practice will “foster a healthier bee population,” which has seen a steep decline, prompting concerns that the local economy and the state’s agricultural industry could be negatively affected.
However, some people worry that legalizing beekeeping will bring more residents into direct contact with Africanized — or “killer” — bees, according to the Associated Press.
Almost all feral hives in Los Angeles contain Africanized genes that can make the colonies more aggressive.
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