Saving the Bees
It's a bit late for them to be taking notice but the Obama administration deserves credit for worrying about bees. Honey bee colony collapse disorder (CCD) is a truly critical national problem. From a grass roots perspective one might wish that the administration's recent Presidential Memorandum on pollinators had explicitly mentioned the possibility of creating programs to encourage urban hobbyist beekeepers but I think the wording of the Memorandum gives agencies enough flexibility to consider the option. As it happens, by the way, these days one doesn't need to become an expert on bees in order to have a hive. If you want, private services will install and manage a hive for you. In the DC area, for example, Eco Honeybees will be happy to set you up. Although DC has extremely restrictive regulations regarding urban beekeeping it apparently doesn't enforce them. And despite its ill-informed regulatory environment DC has become something of a national hub for innovative beekeeping. I've had a hive on order from Eco Honeybees for a couple of months and I can't wait for the bees to arrive!