Beekeeping and bees have long been a passion of mine. Though I’ve never owned a hive, I’ve had great experiences beekeeping on farms and learning on my own about historical beekeeping methods.
Today, many people understand the importance of bees and the important role they play in sustaining a healthy local ecosystem and supporting our environment. In Santa Clara Valley, historically known as the “Valley of Heart’s Delight,” beekeeping is also a link to our agricultural past.
Unfortunately, restrictive beekeeping ordinances currently all but prohibit beekeeping within Campbell city limits. At a time when cities across the world are promoting the benefits of urban beekeeping, this puts Campbell behind the curve. Many of these laws were written over thirty years ago over fears around the Africanized honey bee, an aggressive hybrid species which caused panic as it spread across North America. Yet today, Africanized honey bee DNA has disappeared from Bay Area bees, making these laws out of date.
Changing our beekeeping ordinances and promoting urban beekeeping in Campbell can help to promote that history, educate a new generation of Campbell schoolchildren, and at the same time help sustain a healthy and diverse ecosystem.
I will update Chapter 7.28.030 of the Campbell municipal code, which currently places overly burdensome limitations on urban beekeeping.
These laws were enacted in the Bay Area and California over fears of the Africanized honey bee, yet this hybrid species is no longer present in local bee populations. Modernizing this law would help promote the burgeoning field of urban beekeeping.
I will work with the Santa Clara Valley Beekeepers Guild on bee-related issues, including formalizing a policy utilizing their services to remove bee swarms within City limits.
The Guild is a nonprofit organization and offers their services free of charge, including safely removing bee swarms (a natural phenomenon in the life of a hive) for the City and its residents.
I will collate and distribute resources on urban beekeeping which can be shared with interested Campbell residents on the City website and social media.
I will partner with local beekeepers and urban farms within Campbell to form educational partnerships for Campbell schoolchildren and interested residents, as well as explore partnerships with the Campbell Historical Museum, allowing a hands-on immersive experience and exploration of our agricultural past.