L.A.’s New Buzz

Colony Collapse Disorder
Colony Collapse Disorder (Photo credit: Ravenelle)

In the face of the growing (and badly understood) phenomenon of colony collapse disorder that threatens the nation’s food supply, a Los Angeles couple has started a movement to compliment urban farming: urban beekeeping. Steve Lopez delivers a delightful profile of the pair in today’s Sunday L.A. Times.

While beekeeping is illegal in the City of Los Angeles, Therese McLaughlin and Adam Novicki have watched their garden “explode” after adding a single colony of honeybees. They were so moved by the experience that they have started a non-profit organization, HoneyLove (http://www.honeylove.org) to get more of us urban dwellers into the bee business, and to get city ordinances preventing the farming of bees either modified or repealed.

The story strikes a chord for several reasons. First, most people forget that California is at its core an agricultural state. Long before the arrival of oilmen, aviators, and filmmakers, the sunshine and sea breezes had already turned California into the most important agricultural state in the Union. Despite technology, urbanization, and modernization, California now supplies the world.

Second, I think Mc Laughlin and Novicki (trading as “T&A Farms”) are onto something, fostering a trend that is liable to spread across the nation, and adding another brick to the construction of the California of the 21st Century.