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Louisville, Colorado: The Bee-Less City

Apparently–or at least according to our friend Dave Burdick in Boulder–Louisville, CO won an award for being the best place to live. And the reason: no bee stings. Wait a minute. How can a city be “best”, if it’s bee-less? Not possible. Sound funny to you? Well, since we’re big supoprters of beekeeping, I had to read on. And thank god, there’s a happier ending. From
That’s right. In Louisville, bees are banned from residential areas, so it stands to reason that nobody gets stung by bees, right? It’s not something that most of us really focus on, but there’s always a little part of your mind, somewhere, dedicated to bee anxiety, right? So come on, let’s hang in L-ville — bee-free!
Kidding aside, there really is a bee ban in Louisville and some aspiring beekeepers are trying to change that. And commercial beekeepers say there would be real value in increasing the amount of backyard beekeeping in the area:
Commercial beekeepers are encouraging hobbyists in hopes of increasing the local bee population, which is now estimated to be about half of what it was 50 years ago.
Mite infestations in the 1990s exacerbated the bee decline, while commercial beekeepers on the east and west coasts began to report sudden colony losses in 2006 — a problem dubbed “colony collapse disorder” by researchers. The cause of the phenomenon is unknown. Tom Theobald, a beekeeper who owns Niwot Honey Farm, says the situation is potentially dire. “It’s a very fragile population,” he said. “Bees are critical to our food system. A third of agriculture crops are pollinated by bees.” He said a bee colony pollinates flowers in about a mile radius. With feral colonies disappearing, he said, “if you don’t have an active beekeeper, you don’t have bees.”
To read the entire article, click here.

A Simple Way to Grow Fresh Greens Indoors This Winter

Just because the temperatures have started to drop doesn’t mean you have to live without fresh greens until next Spring. With author and gardener Peter Burke’s innovative method of growing soil sprouts indoors, you can grow nutrient-dense greens all year long at a fraction of the cost of buying at market. Burke’s new book, Year-Round Indoor Salad […] Read More..

A Day in the Life of a Homesteader

As Homesteading Month comes to a close, we take a look at what it means to live the homesteading life every day. Read through the question and answer below and be sure to check out any of the previous articles you might have missed:Why Acquiring Land Presents a Challenge for New Homesteaders Homesteading Q&A: Solutions […] Read More..

Go Lean: How To Eliminate Waste and Increase Efficiency on the Farm

Using the words “factory” and “farm” in the same sentence may seem sacrilegious, but today’s young farmers like author Ben Hartman are discovering that the same sound business practices apply whether you produce cars or carrots.In his new book The Lean Farm, Hartman demonstrates how applying lean principles—originally developed by the Japanese automotive industry—to farming practices […] Read More..

Why Acquiring Land Presents a Challenge for New Homesteaders

More and more often, young people are turning away from cities and urban life in order to live off the land and even start farms of their own. But while many have the desire to grow food for themselves and/or others, acquiring land, and the financial burden that comes with it, presents a difficult challenge […] Read More..

How to Distinguish Permaculture from Natural Farming

Just what are the differences between permaculture and natural farming? How are they connected, and where do they diverge in philosophy and principle?Those questions are answered in the following excerpt that is adapted from the newly released One-Straw Revolutionary, a book that delves into the philosophy and work of Japanese farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka […] Read More..