Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 28, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 8



 Mountain Views News Saturday July 28, 2012 


Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


OK, Sierra Madre, it’s that time of year again! 
You know, the time of year to enjoy the great 
outdoors, working in the garden and finding 
comfort in hearing the buzz of busy bees flying 
about from one flower to another, doing what 
comes natural; helping nature take its course! 
With so many fragrant flowers, a wide variety of 
blooming plants and blossoming trees covering 
our yards and hillsides, it seems everything alive 
is answering to the sun’s beckon with a plethora 
of plumage, making the local bees as happy as can 

 I learned to appreciate the important, integral 
part that bees play in the basic balance of nature 
at a very early age. I remember my dad bringing 
home golden jars of fresh honey from a local 
beekeeper in Huntsville, AL where I grew up, and 
I still have a vivid memory of how good it tasted 
on my breakfast toast! When he brought home 
the honey, my dad made a point of reminding 
me how much effort it took for the bee to 
produce, and encouraged me to appreciate it for 
that reason. Now, as an adult living in Southern 
California, I enjoy watching bees buzzing about 
in my community, knowing they are helping 
sustain a healthy balance in nature and facilitate 
the growth of delicious edibles such as honey, 
fruit and nuts that would not be available to me 
without the hard work of the bee.

 Being the bee lover that I am, I was naturally 
drawn-in by the headline of an article I saw in 
the California section of the Sunday, July 15 issue 
of the LA Times, about a young couple totally 
sold-out on urban beekeeping in Los Angeles. 
HoneyLove, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization 
founded by 2 big-time bee lovers, is on a major 
mission to promote the freedom of urban 
beekeeping in Los Angeles. A few incorporated 
cities in the LA urban area have opened up to 
the idea of residential beekeeping, but most have 
maintained a sense of rigid resistance, enforcing a 
200 ft. perimeter between human dwellings. Well, 
if you leave it up to Rob and Chelsea McFarland, 
the founders of HoneyLove, that fact will soon 

 Honey bees are important pollinators for 
commercial crops in California and most of 
America in general. Although they are not 
indigenous to our continent, they succeeded in 
establishing themselves as a part of our ecosystem 
and we have grown quite dependent on their 
presence for crop propagation. “Pre-honey bee” 
pollination in America was carried out by other 
hard-working vectors such as the bumble bee, the 
beetle, the butterfly and the moth. The honey bee 
with which we are familiar was first brought to 
America’s east coast in 1622, and made its way to 
the west coast around 1853. The immigrants who 
brought the European honey bee to America also 
introduced a number of European plant species 
for the intentional purpose of continuing the 
harmonious relationship between the two, and 
facilitating the growth of green pastures and a 
variety of foods for livestock and human alike.

 In the 1980’s, the European honey bee in 
America found itself somewhat challenged by 
a ’new bee on the block’, that was brought over 
from Africa. The African honey bee is more 
socially aggressive, making it a challenge for 
the docile European bee, which tends to focus 
more on producing honey than fighting off the 
enemy. Regardless of their differences, both types 
of honey bees have succeeded in surviving and 
thriving here in the US for many decades, and we 
humans have most certainly benefited from their 

 I caught up with Chelsea at HoneyLove this 
past week, hoping to learn more about what 
drives their mission to legalize beekeeping in LA. 
Their organization spends a lot of time educating 
the public about bees and sharing their views on 
urban beekeeping as well as other down-to-earth 
techniques for healthy living that I found quite 
refreshing. Look them up on line at honeylove.
org. Even if you are not a huge bee enthusiast, I 
think you will be impressed with what you find 
on their website.

 After talking to Chelsea, I felt inspired to 
learn even more about the bees in LA, and began 
wondering about my own feelings as to whether 
it makes sense to encourage backyard beekeeping 
in our local community. I was curious as to 
whether Sierra Madre had any ordinances in 
place for or against bee keeping, and I found out 
that our town does allow backyard beekeeping, 
limited to the same 200 ft. perimeter range that 
many other towns in LA set forth.

 Next, I came across a website for Orange 
County Beekeepers Association, and I called the 
phone number they show for contact. I was able 
to talk to Amy, the president of the organization. 
Amy has been involved with the bee community 
and studied bee culture in Southern California 
for many years and has volunteered enormous 
amounts of time and energy to the cause. She 
owns a bee removal and rescue business in Costa 
Mesa called Bee Detectives (949) 922-6986. 
Amy explained how the bee population became 
what it is today in California, and offered several 
other resources for information on the subject, 
including the name of a bee expert, Dr. Eric 
Mussen, Professor of Entomology at UC Davis. 
Dr. Mussen was kind enough to take the time 
to share his thoughts on urban beekeeping, and 
gave me insight on lots of other facts about bees 
that truly fascinated me. He has dedicated his life 
to the scientific study of insects, with a special 
interest in bees, so he has more knowledge than 
most on the subject. By the time I finished talking 
to Chelsea, Amy and Dr. Mussen, I thought my 
head would split wide open with information 
overload on bees in California!

 Ultimately, after reviewing the facts and 
hearing various thoughts on urban beekeeping, 
I was able to decide that it seems to me to be a 
perfectly natural activity to take part in, if you 
go about it in the right way. Dr. Mussen made it 
clear that in his opinion, it is best to work with 
European honey bees versus African bees for the 
urban backyard. Mainly because the European 
bees are better honey-producers and are much 
more docile and less likely to attack if aggravated, 
than the Africanized bee. He also emphasized the 
importance of maintaining at least two or more 
healthy colonies at any given time, because a 
single colony stands a higher risk of dying out. 
Now that I feel like I have graduated from my 
self-immersed course on urban beekeeping, I 
am thinking maybe someday I might take up the 
hobby myself, even if just to remember how good 
that fresh honey tasted on my toast as a kid!



(NAPSI)—Investing a little time and effort before you leave can pay big dividends when 
traveling with your pet. Here are some tips that can help keep you and your pet on the road 
to happiness:

• If traveling by car, the experts at the ASPCA recommend using a well-ventilated crate or 
carrier. Make sure it’s large enough for your pet to move around in. It can help if you let your 
pet get used to the carrier before you leave.

• Pack a travel bag for your pet. Include a bowl, food, water, leash, plastic bags and grooming 
supplies. Additionally, remember your pet’s favorite toy or pillow. 

• If your pet still shows signs of travel anxiety, you’ll be glad to know there are natural remedies 
that can help. Veterinarian recommended and 100 percent natural, Rescue Remedy Pet 
is designed to help address a wide range of pet problems including anxious behaviors from 
travel or change in routine, fear of loud noises, barking or scratching.

You can find Rescue Remedy Pet at Whole Foods and anywhere natural products are sold. 
Visit to learn more.


PET OF THE WEEK: SANDY: Animal ID #A4460749

Meet a stunning dog, the extremely handsome Sandy 
(A4460749). Sandy is a cute, docile one year old orange 
and brown neutered male Norfolk Terrier/Irish Terrier mix 
puppy. He was found in West Covina on July 11th and was 
brought to the Baldwin Park Animal Care Center. Weighing 
twenty-five pounds, Sandy will be an eager pupil for training. 
He is shy but agreeable with other dogs, and he likes people 
and sticks close to his handler. Well-suited to life as a lapdog, 
Sandy will be a faithful companion for an adult household in 
any living situation, and he is perfect for an older person or 
someone who works from home. To watch a video of Sandy 
please visit:

 To meet Sandy in person, please see him at the Baldwin Park 
Shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 
(Phone: 626-430-2378 or 626-962-3577). He is currently 
available now. For any inquiries about Sandy, please reference his animal ID number: A4460749. 
The shelter is open seven days a week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm Friday-
Sunday. This is a high-intake shelter with a great need for adoptions. For more information about 
Sandy or the adoption process, contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer Adoption Coordinator 
Samantha at or 661-309-2674. To learn more about United Hope for 
Animals’ partnership with the Baldwin Park Shelter through its Shelter Support Program, as well 
as the many dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes available for adoption in local shelters, visit http://