If you’re downtown and are hearing some buzzing above your head, have no fear, it’s the neighborhood bees working hard on some delicious honey. A new trend is starting up in our city in a great effort to preserve the honey bee population that has been in danger of disappearing due to pesticides and other environmental issues.
Over the past few years, high-rises have been transforming their rooftops into little havens for honeybees to procreate, pollinate and produce more honey. 540 West Madison, in West Loop is just one of the many buildings to take on this amazing action towards saving the environment. On top of 540 West Madison alone there are tens of thousands of honeybees that have already provided about 100 gallons of honey. Excitingly, the tenants of the building were all given small jars of honey when the hives were harvested the previous year. Honey has also been given to the neighborhood coffee shops to be served with specialty drinks.
Surprisingly enough, the hives survive throughout the winter and the honeybees do their best to keep the queen warm through the more frigid months in Chicago. They keep her warm by huddling all together and alternating the outside bees so they don’t freeze.
Hopefully, this summer we’ll hear of more and more buildings implementing beehives on their rooftops to help the honeybee population as well as the environment as a whole. You can help too by ordering your own hives or just by helping out the Chicago Botanic Garden in attracting bees to your yards. You can do this by leaving a part of your yard untilled, planting native plants or even building a bee condo!