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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 BigGreenBoulder.com:
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.


Sow Seeds: Stop Walking Around Doing Nothing

“In the last one hundred years, 94 percent of seed varieties available at the turn of the century in America and considered a part of the human commons have been lost.”That’s one of the key takeaways in award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray’s book, The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. In her book, Ray […] Read More

True or false? Figs contain dead wasps

They are trees of life and trees of knowledge. They are wish-fulfillers … rainforest royalty … more precious than gold. They are the fig trees, and they have affected humanity in profound but little-known ways. Gods, Wasps and Stranglers tells their amazing story.Fig trees fed our pre-human ancestors, influenced diverse cultures and played key roles […] Read More

Imagination, Purpose & Flexibility: Creating an Independent Farmstead – Q&A (part 1)

Twenty years ago, the land that authors Shawn and Beth Dougherty purchased and have come to name the Sow’s Ear was deemed “not suitable for agriculture” by the state of Ohio. Today, their family raises and grows 90% of their own food.Such self-sufficiency is largely the result of basing their farming practices around intensive pasture […] Read More

Eight Seed-Saving Myths

You don’t have to move to Svalbard, Norway in order to have access to a seed bank.Author and plant breeder Carol Deppe believes that every gardener should have her own seed bank. Even if you aren’t a seed saver, you should have your own seed bank. Even if you never experience any disaster beyond the […] Read More

Skills: The Gateway to True Homesteading Freedom

There are numerous skills that a homesteader needs to use on any given day; some are learned and others are passed down from homesteader to homesteader.In this excerpt from The Nourishing Homestead, author Ben Hewitt talks about why these skills are important to pass down to each generation, perhaps even if you’re not a hardcore […] Read More
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