Worker Bees

Michael S. Thompson of the Chicago Honey Co-op discusses his urban beekeeping operation and how it provides jobs to otherwise hard-to-employ people.

1 minute read

October 3, 2009, 1:00 PM PDT

By Nate Berg


"We chose to raise this particular animal in an older American city because of the abundant nectar forage left over from farming here in the last two centuries and the addition of millions of city-planted shade trees. Locating the bee farm close to where we live and sell the products helps enormously in the reduced amount of travel time and heavy hauling needed for honey production. Also, under-used industrial parks abound in this postindustrial city, providing excellent opportunities for food production."

The program was initiated through a grant from the Illinois Department of Corrections, and provides work for recently released prisoners in Chicago.

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