Save the Bees – Eau Claire Chapter
by Drew Kaiser
Colony Collapse Disorder. You may have noticed a recent flood of media coverage about colony collapse disorder (CCD), a little-understood blight on the honeybee that has wreaked havoc on this crucial pollinator’s populations. Sometimes reading these big-picture news pieces can seem a little overwhelming. Honeybees have been an integral part of our agricultural system for thousands of years, their pollination activities are responsible for one in every three bites of food we eat, and we don’t know why they’re dying. As a result many large, rurally based beekeepers are getting out of the business. In response, many cities around the country have passed ordinances allowing the keeping of bees; in our area most notably Minneapolis, Milwaukee, and Madison. On August 13, a group of Eau Clairians gathering under the Facebook moniker @Save the Bees—Eau Claire Chapter (STBECC) started to gather signatures in support of Eau Claire forming our own ordinance. In less than twenty-four hours over 200 supporters signed the petition, and that number continues to grow. Their aim is to convince city staff and council members to consider an ordinance similar to the one passed in Madison, which the American Bee Journal has called The Best Bee Ordinance in the country.