Louisville, Colorado: The Bee-Less City

Posted on Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009 at 4:11 am by makennagoodman

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.

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