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Saturday, August 6, 2016

Maybe we'll see more locally grown produce at farmers' markets?


     The Denton City Council approved a change allowing beekeeping in the city, It allows residents to keep honeybee hives if they meet certain criteria.

     The city also has applied for a Bee City USA designation that would help promote healthy bee habitats and overall knowledge about bees.

     To be able to keep honeybees, residents must inform their adjacent neighbors, have a source of water within 20 feet of all hives and register with the city. The size of a person’s land also can limit how many hives they can keep.

     Before, most beekeepers followed the nuisance ordinance, which said Denton residents couldn’t keep bees if they endangered their neighbors’ health or welfare. Some, however, took this to mean that beekeeping wasn’t allowed at all.

     With the addition of beekeeping to the city code, Christina Beck, president of the Denton County Beekeepers Association, said she hopes this will encourage more people to keep honeybees. Because bees are such good pollinators, it could result in more local food sources.

     Beck also said the ordinance could help curtail the spread of Africanized bees, a type of aggressive bee that is often called a “killer bee.” Because our honeybees travel in larger colonies, they could possibly overpower other bees.   “Hopefully, we’ll see more produce in our community market,” she also said.

 

A sparrow by any other name…   The familiar and often pesky House Sparrow isn’t actually in the same biological family as our native Sparrows. Imported from Europe in 1851, it’s actually a weaver-finch. The common name came about because the small birds look similar to our native Sparrows. House Sparrows (sometimes called English Sparrows) are in north Texas all year long. The real sparrows migrate north for the winter. Our native sparrows belong to the Emberizidae family, but House Sparrows are in the Passeridae family (if it really matters!).

  Owen Yost, in addition to blogging, is a Landscape Architect emeritus from here, who‘s worked in north Texas for over 30 years.  He is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), International Society of Landscape Architects, the National BirdFeeding Society, National Wildlife Federation and the Audubon Society. He was honored with a Lifetime Achievement award by the Native Plant Society of Texas. His design office is at northwestern68@yahoo.com

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