As this year’s bee season draws to a close, it’s only natural to take a step back and reflect upon some of the highs and lows of the past few months.
It has been a fast 7 months here with the Westside Bee Boyz. What started as a side comment from my business partner and founder, Thad Smith as a desire to start Chicago’s own beekeeping store and company, has now come into full-bloom. Although hiccups and growing pains along the way occurred, it’s incredible to think that from the meager management of 20 hives, we have grown our apiaries to over 110 hives with the goal of doubling again next year. We’ve established a CSA allowing others to get involved in the beekeeping process. The connections in and around the city of Chicago have opened doors to beekeeping in some of the most unique and beautiful places in the Chicagoland area. But more importantly we have met some truly beautiful people, all of whom have been interested in bees (along with a dose of varying apprehension) and wanted to see what they could do to help these amazing creatures.
People and organizations like Christy Webber Farm and Garden, Apple Blossom Honey Farm, Niki Mohrlant from Bella Beez Sparkling Honey Water, South Loop Farmers Market, Shedd Aquarium, The Plant Chicago, Lincoln Park Zoo, Marina Post and Annamaria Leon from Christy Webber, Belmont Feed and Seed, Chris Conley, Southside Occupational Academy, Local Foods Grocer & Distributor, Izaak Walton Conservation League, Elmhurst Learning Academy, Ted Jenkins and the Clarendon Hills Police Dept., 540 West Madison, 300 South Riverside Plaza, Rodney Brown, North Park Village Nature Center, Revolution Brewing, Farmer Wayne, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum… and just recently FarmAid.
We came into contact with the FarmAid organization through our partner Bella Beez Sparkling Honey Water and were asked to come to the 30th FarmAid Concert as an exhibitor and educator. We took the opportunity to inform those attendees about the great work we aspire to and our goals, hopes, and dreams and continue to spread the importance of honeybees to our “way of life”.
We thank all of these great organizations and people and appreciate their commitment to our cause. We would also like to say “Thank You” to all of you whom have read these posts and continue to follow our journey as a bunch of crazy bee farmers, just trying to make it in the City.
We also want to remind you that if you are interested in helping us out and becoming more involved with beekeeping in Chicago, check out our honey CSA. By purchasing a share, you not only get a bunch of tasty honey, but you also get an inside look at our process, our bee yard, and more.
Peace, Love, and Bees
Head Beekeeper for WSBB