L.A.'s Mediterranean climate draws more than just expats and would-be movie stars. It's also perfect for wild bees, which populate the city from the coast to the Valley. Since 2008, Backwards Beekeepers, founded by Russell Bates, wife Amy Seidenwurm and bee guru Kirk Anderson, have aimed to diplomatically smooth over bee-human relations with their rescue hotline, which gets 15 to 20 calls a day — sometimes more. Unlike exterminators who kill bees while charging high fees, residents can report a swarm or hive to Backwards Beekeepers and see experienced, passionate volunteers safely remove bees without using chemicals and transport them to a new location where they can thrive — often for only the price of mileage reimbursement. The organization gets referrals from the animal care and control departments of various cities within L.A. County and has rescued bees from garbage dumps, suitcases, Jacuzzis, even inside the shell of a powerboat. The educational approach is a win for both residents and bees, which have suffered dangerously dwindling populations for years. Bee hotline: (213) 373-1104, backwardsbeekeepers.com.

—Liana Aghajanian

LA Weekly